Tyler Ludens wrote:Would you be raising this for meat, or as a pet? Either way, I bet you need excellent fencing. They can get quite large. A bison ranch a couple hundred miles to the east of here seemed to have very stout fencing. Do you have the resources to purchase and store hay?
Miles Flansburg wrote:Elle, my grandfather was one of the first farmers to raise buffalo and he did a lot of cross breading with his cattle.
One year he had an orphan buffalo and brought it into the barn . He bottle fed it goats milk.
When it got big it thought it was more of a pet, and it was a little disconcerting to drive out to the field and have this full grown buffalo come bouncing up to you acting more like a dog than a buffalo!
Grandpa spent a lot of time repairing fences when the big bulls would decide to roam, but I think the cows mostly stayed home. But he had thousands of acres so I am not sure what you might find.
Maybe you could visit that buffalo ranch south of you and ask them about it?
Tyler Ludens wrote:Do you know what your carrying capacity is in animal units? Here the carrying capacity is 25 acres or more per animal unit (an animal unit is one cow and her nursing calf). Not sure how many AU a mature bison might be - I'd guess at least one. It might be a challenge to feed her on just 35 acres, which is why I was asking will you be able to purchase hay. it's so easy to overstock land if it hasn't been really improved - I learned this with our handful of sheep. But you might have a great opportunity to do really intense managed rotational grazing and improve your land, if you can afford more fencing. I think the usual thing is to have good perimeter fencing and make internal paddocks with electric fencing. In my locale people just do the perimeter fence and set stock, which means virtually all ranches are in poor condition because there's never any rotation.
Tyler Ludens wrote:You might still be able to take advantage of the opportunity to use a big herbivore to improve your land, especially if you can think of importing hay as importing fertility. The difficult thing these days is finding hay that hasn't been sprayed with toxic gick.
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