Want to raise Bison?

What we learned..
Sue and I have been raising Bison for the past 16 years and we got started by visiting a local rancher, Bruce Wilson. It was more like a job interview than a sales meeting. We left his gorgeous log home with a book about bison and lots of answered questions. I think I read the book "Producers Guide" from the National Bison Association. After we read it at least twice and wrote out many questions, we thought we were set up. "Not yet", Bruce said, "I want to come over and see your corral setup." Two months later we took delivery of our first 3 bison, soon to be named Muff, Buff and Tuff. We still have one of Tuff's first calves. That's Stormy, our old brood cow. This has been our approach ever since. Know and understand this great animal before you buy.

We have started 9 small herds from 2 to 8. You must start with at least two. Depending on what your long term goal is will determine what age and number you will need.

1. First buy or geat a copy of the Producers Guide Book, read it several times.
2. Is your property fit for Bison?
3.Fencing, what type?
4. Corral, do I need one?
5. Water system for both summer and winter?
6. Mineral feeder?
7. Hay feeder?
8. Do I need a tractor?
9. Fly control?
10. Is this going to be a business or a hobby?
11. Do you have a plan if they escape?
12. What do I do if one gets sick?
13. Utilize the internet for information.


Why Raise Bison ?
Bison, or the American Buffalo is the only bovine native to North America. This fact is only the first of many reasons why buffalo producers are passionate about this animal, as were the Native Americans. Every part of the animal can be retailed and most producers market hides, leather, skulls, and hair in addition to the meat.

Bison meat is healthy, exceptionally nutritious, and unique in taste; being sweeter but not gamey, and very flavorful for it’s leanness. Bison meat does not marble. Buffalo fat lies between their muscle and their flesh. They are a natural grass converter. Any one that has the notion that fat and marbling are necessary for a tasty red meat meal, has not tried buffalo or has not learned that there is a taste for lean that is actually a delicacy. Buffalo meat is not graded under the beef grading system. A buffalo meat certification program is still being developed.

Bison producers are attracted to profitability of buffalo meat as an artisan or gourmet meat. This uniqueness requires the producer to be more involved in the retailing and marketing of their product. There are very few wholesalers or middlemen in the bison industry. Nor are there bison sales or sales barns that handle bison, should you wish to sell animals weekly.

Fences and corrals do need to be heftier than for cattle because buffalo tend to be wilder. They move quickly with immeasurable force and instant speed. Please refer to the NATIONAL BISON ASSOCIATIONS breeders handbook for information on handling equipment and health questions.

Why raise buffalo? They’re smart, they’re beautiful, they’re unique, they’re American, and it’s not your average guy or gal that chooses to raise this majestic animal. And when you meet bison producers, you’ll understand what a special kind of person is attracted to this American icon.


You should also consider...
The American Bison population, being only 375,000, doesn’t meet the supply and demand for meat sales and breeding stock.

Bison products such as head mounts, skulls, hides and bones are marketable items.

Bison meat is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than beef, turkey or chicken.

Bison market potential is high with little to no export compared to chicken or pork.

Bison are self sufficient, not needing to be milked or grained, with little or no veterinarian care, handling or calving problems.

Bison being raised on 1.5 acres per head are well fed, happy bison and therefore won’t stress the fences like other bovine animals.

Bison never overgraze, eating 1/3 less food compared to other bovine animals.

Bison don’t require high quality forage compared to other bovine animals.

Bison can survive wind chills of minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit without shelter or near constant feeding that cattle require.

Bison are majestic, intelligent, challenging and curious.

Bison are North America’s oldest and largest living land animal.

 

Lone Boot Buffalo Ranch - 2170 Brown Rd, Ferndale WA 98248 - 360-384-4161

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