Second, check to see if there are multi-peril crop insurance programs available for your crop or livestock enterprises. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement, Agricultural Alternatives: Agricultural Business Insurance, Agricultural Alternatives: Understanding Agricultural Liability, Budgeting for Agricultural Decision Making. A bison will try to kill you at a whim, and because they're such fit animals, he'll have a good chance of succeeding. For more information on farm liability issues, see “ Agricultural Alternatives: Understanding Agricultural Liability .". Backcrossing, too, is usually to domestic bulls, since breeding back to buffalo bulls is also often fatal to F₁ mothers. University Park: Penn State Extension, 2004. View our privacy policy. Although Pennsylvania does not require meat inspection of slaughtered bison, many restaurants and retailers prefer USDA- or state-inspected meat. Why do we need this? Bison are social animals and thrive in naturally formed social groups. After enduring beef’s punishing boom and bust cycle and experiencing first-hand the environmental toll that cattle took on his land, O’Brien made a dramatic change. In most states, bison being raised for agricultural purposes will fall under the same category as cattle, but when slaughtered, it may fall under the same regulations as exotic animals. About 5 acres of land can support one or two fully grown bison. Bison continue to graze through the winter by rooting under the snow. I can't see you having a problem putting cows in with buffalo, because people cross bread them to get beefalo, so they shouldn't cause any harm to one another. Cattle Of course, you can’t just spin fiber from any old cow that comes your way. Bison require 1 pound of roughage per 100 pounds of body weight for digestion and 2 pounds of dry matter per 100 pounds of live weight for energy. The breeding season begins in August and continues into October, while the calving season begins in May and continues into July. However, if you have a superior bull (a high-producing, dominant bull), it may be difficult to rotate new bulls into the herd. Bison are larger, stronger, and more excitable than cattle and thus require special fencing and handling facilities. To prevent inbreeding and improve the herd, new young bulls should be brought into the herd every two or three years. Some producers even find a market for the hooves, bones, and hair. Only a few U.S. herds have more than 1,000 animals. “Agricultural Alternatives: Understanding Agricultural Liability." Verkaar et al. Becker, J. C., L. F. Kime, J. K. Harper, and R. Pifer. The result is a very lean meat. The amount of land that you have for your farm is going to dictate how many bison you can have. Their instincts are too strong. Allow for the same amount of pasture per … No. Bison are valued for their meat, which has higher protein content than beef but with lower cholesterol. Bulls weigh about 2,000 pounds at maturity and can be used for breeding at two years of age. As a precautionary measure, test and quarantine all new animals for three months before allowing them to enter the herd. Bison born on your farm and transported from your farm directly to an in-state slaughter facility do not need testing or health records. With good management, cows can reproduce every year and can begin breeding at two years of age. Studies indicate that cattle generally prefer to hang out around trees and water sources much more than bison do; other studies indicate that the presence of cattle around water sources can have an extremely negative effect on the cleanliness and biodiversity of these environments. On a 100 meter-squared paved lot, you can have 234 cows and bred heifers, or about 40 head of the same cattle on a dirt lot the same size. The other way, cattle bull on bison cows will work better. Bison need grass, water, good fences, herd companionship, durable handling facilities and a smart preventative health program. Aurochs were domesticated 10,000 years ago, so dairy and beef cattle today are incredibly docile animals that are very easy to rear and husband. Although bison still have many of their wild tendencies and are only semi-domesticated, they are an agricultural alternative that may be appropriate for some small-scale and part-time farms. In Pennsylvania, herd sizes range from small operations with fewer than 25 bison to large operations with more than 200 bison. A herd should consist of at least one bull and 10 to 15 cows. The industry, though, is still small. In cattle, it can cause cows to abort their calves. Many bison producers agree with the saying “You can get a bison to go anywhere it wants to go.”. As a result of society's increased nutritional awareness, the demand for bison meat has grown faster than the supply. Make sure you have the feed available before you have purchased your animals or adequate pasture. You can use the red Clear Form button to clear all the information from your budget when you are finished. But bison are wild; they're energetic and aggressive. You may also want to consider your needs for life and health insurance and if you need coverage for business interruption or employee dishonesty. USDA ND6. 13362.Beef, composite of trimmed retail cuts, separable only trimmed to 0" fat, select cooked. Jennings, Dana C. Kime, L. F., J. It is important to build contacts with other bison producers for the sale of breeding stock. Because bison meat has a low fat content (less than 3 percent) and a cholesterol content that is lower than that of beef, organizations such as the American Heart Association and Weight Watchers recommend bison meat as a healthy alternative (Table 1). Bison, separable lean only, cooked, roasted. If you are interested in raising livestock, but with a twist you can pursue bison farming. A buffalo bull on a cattle cows, there will be pregnancy issues; protein poisoning, too much water round the calves in the womb, and lots of aborted or dead calves. The budget summarizes the receipts, costs, and net returns of a bison cow-calf operation in which the offspring are sold for slaughter. They will circle the predator and drive it from their domain. For added weight gain and to improve meat texture and flavor, you should begin feeding grain 90 to 120 days prior to slaughtering. One bull can breed 10 to 15 cows. Unlike bison, cattle are very resistant to the MCF virus. Once the bison is sheared or brushed and the hair is sorted, the undercoat is typically mixed with longer fibers such as wool or alpaca hair to make it easier to handle. 24, pp. 17157.Beef, composite of trimmed retail cuts, separable only trimmed to 0" fat, choice, cooked. No. 1973). That's because of an agreement between federal agencies and the state of Montana to keep bison away from cattle outside the park. Breeders can advertise in association magazines, local newspapers, and agricultural publications. However, the plant must be willing to thoroughly clean the plant before and after the slaughter and must have equipment to adequately handle the larger animals. Most of the meat sold comes from bison bulls slaughtered between 18 and 36 months of age at a weight of 1,100 to 1,200 pounds. This cross is an excellent example of how new breeds of animals can be produced via hybridization (see video above). The squeeze chute should have a crash gate and palpation cage. A bill was passed this winter by the New Hampshire House and Senate that essentially allows farm-raised bison to be slaughtered and sold without … All samples per100 grams (3.5 ounces) cooked meat. As a rule, bison are no more difficult to raise than cattle. ... he can move the bison forward as needed, with a back fence about two days growth behind them. Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on your farm under one insurance policy. Grasses that stand up through the snow and retain a high protein percentage in the stems are best for winter pasture. USDA symbol for non-amendable species. Documentation: Anonymous 1850 (p. 39); Basrur 1969; Basrur and Moon 1967; Benazzi 1977; Boyd 1908†; 1914; Canada Department of Agriculture 1961; Dary 1974; Haines 1970; Goodnight 1914; Iwanoff 1911; Jones 1907; Logan and Sylvestre 1951; McHugh 1972; Meager 1986; Müller-Haye 1963; Pathak and Kieffer 1979; Peters and Slen 1964; Polziehn et al. Small herds, in particular, need make sure that they maintain genetic diversity in their herds. USDA inspection is required if meat is to be sold across state lines. Harper, J. K., S. Cornelisse, and L. F. Kime. Kime, L. F., S. A. Roth, J. K. Harper. Figure 1. You have to let your facilities do the handling, not the cowboy. A bison-cattle hybrid; the white face of Hereford cattle and the polled condition of Angus cattle are dominant in crosses with buffalo. Commercial breeders and bison enthusiasts have since reintroduced bison to Pennsylvania. Frank Riegler, a rancher near Yellowstone, says, "You can't have livestock and buffalo. Fences around the pasture should consist of eight high-tensile wires, three of which carry a high voltage of electricity, or equivalent fencing. A corral-chute system with no sharp turns or corners and with sides 7 to 8 feet high is recommended. USDA ND6. However, bison have stronger immune systems. 13366.Pork, fresh, composite retail cuts (leg, loin, and shoulder), separable lean only, cooked. Not all of the pasture land that is available to you may be suitable for bison grazing. Bison adapt to a wide range of environments, feed sources, and management systems. You cannot raise cattle if you have nothing to feed them or no pasture for them to graze on. No. Any of these routine on-farm activities can be a potential source of surface water or groundwater pollution. No. Because of the bison's rugged nature and calving ease, a veterinarian's assistance is rarely needed; however, you should locate a veterinarian for vaccinations and emergencies. The symbol used for non-amenable species is triangular in shape, which easily distinguishes it the traditional circular USDA symbols used for meat and poultry slaughter plants (Figure 1). Prepared by John Hagberg, Lazy J Bison; Lynn F. Kime, senior extension associate; Juliette S. Enfield, extension educator; and Jayson K. Harper, professor of agricultural economics. Heads are sold as mounted trophies or as cleaned or uncleaned skulls. 129-130). You should carefully consider how to manage risk on your farm. “Agricultural Alternatives: Starting or Diversifying and Agricultural Business." The white face of Hereford cattle and the polled condition of Angus cattle are dominant in crosses with buffalo. The land on which you raise the bison cannot, however, be depreciated. Other by-products of meat production include bison heads and hides. Its scientific name is bison and it belongs to the bovine family along with domestic cattle. Buffalo are wild but are in the cattle family so they can get along. Many producers use direct-marketing methods to sell bison meat. More information on the use of crop budgets can be found in " Budgeting for Agricultural Decision Making.". Because Bison are wild (not domesticated like Beef), ANY stress will cause meat quality problems. By entering your email, you consent to receive communications from Penn State Extension. You should check with your insurance provider before purchasing your first animal as bison are considered an attractive nuisance and require a specialty insurance product. Raising Bison After raising this awesome and intriguing animal for over 50 years, here’s what we suggest if you have an interest in raising them: Purchase a copy of the Bison Producers Handbook published by the National (and Canadian) Bison Associations. A crowding circle, alleyway(s), and sorting pens are also necessary. 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