Why would you raise Yaks?
Yaks were domesticated in the Himalayas about 3000 years ago. They were used for beasts of burden, meat, milk, fiber, hides and compost. They are a bovine (Bos Grunniens or Grunting ox). Yaks are a very exciting alternative to cattle. They are easy to raise and are well adapted to high altitude and most climates. They eat 1/3 less than cattle and improve the environment. They are disease resistant and do well without antibiotic and steroids.
Yaks calve easily with most calves weighing around 30 lbs. They breed almost every year starting at age 2 and have an 8 1/2 month gestation. Bulls can weigh over 1000 lbs. and cows weigh between 600-700 lbs. Yaks live 20-25 years. Yaks can breed with cattle.
Yak meat is lean, tender and mild. It is high in protein and low in fat (about 5%). Yak meat is becoming popular in restaurants and is a healthy alternative to beef.
Yaks produce a fine high-quality fiber that is increasingly marketable. It is similar to cashmere and qiviut.
Yaks are hardy and nimble. They are excellent on steep rough terrain. A yak can carry about 120 lbs. and are easy to saddle. They can forage in the bush and are natural herd animals.