In August of 2015 Valley Farms undertook a new venture.
Cutting our 50 of our best stock heifers, we inseminated them with American Bison Sperm. We have seen success with 48 of the 50 heifers.
The end result will be a new stock of Beefalo. They are due in Spring of 2016.
Here is some information on Beefalo.
Beefalo are a composite cattle breed developed in the United States during the early 1970's by Californian DC "Bud" Basolo by interbreeding American Bison with Domestic Cattle.
The Bison level was set at 3/8th's with the domestic cattle amount 5/8th's.
While interbreeding bison and cattle has been accomplished for some years (Cattalo) the cross often experienced poor fertility.
Photo courtesy of Paul Butler, Bold Venture LLC,www.boldventure.info
Basolo is credited for breaking through that fertility barrier, producing a thoroughly fertile bison-bovine hybrid.
Also influencing the breed was Montanan Jim Burnett who developed a goodly number of higher bison content bulls used as foundation animals. Such animals with bison content over 3/8th's are classified as Bison Hybrids. Bison Hybrids are often registered by the breed association as "ancestor animals". The minimum amount of bison content an animal may have and still be classified as Beefalo is 17 percent. Beefalo were originally a blend of Hereford and Charolais, but any cattle breed is allowed in their breeding.
Beefalo were extremely popular during the 1970's but fell out of favour primarily due to arguments over proving their Bison content. Blood testing that was available during Beefalo's early years was inexact, and often open to laboratory interpretation. It wasn't until the inception of DNA testing in the 1990's that the breed clearly established itself as having documented bison content.
The reasons for raising Beefalo centre on their handling like domestic cattle while retaining bison traits. Early documentation showed that Beefalo could be finished and marketed at up to 40 percent less cost than a conventional beef animal.
Currently Beefalo are experiencing a renewed interest, due to consumer demand for humane raised all natural, hormone-free and antibiotic-free beef. Beefalo beef is documented to be lower in fat, bad cholesterol, with higher protein than conventional beef. Known for its delicious flavour, Beefalo has won taste tests over regular beef as well as bison. Most Beefalo are marketed directly to consumers at the local level.
For more information on Beefalo visit: www.abwr.org, www.beefaloaustralia.com, www.boldventure.info
The Beefalo can vary greatly in appearance but generally it has a large frame and is well muscled similar in stature to the Bison. They are very docile in nature. One similarity most Beefalos share is their unique coat with it being very dense and made up of fine hair enabling them to adapt to colder climates.
This is why ranchers prefer this breed compared to others, the Beefalo is hardy in extreme cold as well as extreme heat.
Beefalo calves are born small but grow very fast, cattle producers buy and breed Beefalo for the easier care of animals from weaned to sales auction market. The USDA does not allow anyone to sell or claim their meat is Beefalo beef without registration approval from ABWR, so once registered breeders are open to take full advantage of the great beef selling attributes the breed provides. - See more at: http://www.thecattlesite.com/breeds/beef/97/beefalo/#sthash.afvIHBQ4.dpuf
Why raise Beefalo Beef Cattle? Easy care cattle Hardy in extreme cold and extreme heat Quality, tasty healthier meat, low in fat and bad cholesterol Efficient, non-selective grazers More disease resistant than conventional cattle Easy calvers and good mothers Low birth weights, excellent rate of gain, high weaning rates Active breeders Longevity