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Buffalo Facts

facts-cows.jpegBison, or more properly called American bison, is the correct name for this magnificent animal. However, the names buffalo and bison are used interchangeably. The name "buf-falo" was given to the bison by early English colonists—possibly due to its resemblance to the Water Buffalo of Asia and Africa.

Bison are the largest native land mammals in North America since the end of the Ice Age. Although bison were once near extinction, there are currently over 500,000 bison in the North America. Yellowstone National Park has the largest free roaming bison population in the world, at about 3,500 head. Approximately 90% of the bison raised in the U.S. are raised on Buffalo ranches. The growing number of American Bison is largely the result of the growing demand for buffalo meat. Buffalo meat has a rich and somewhat sweeter flavor than beef, which many people prefer. Bison meat contains 2.42 grams of fat, 143 calories, and 82 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of cooked meat. Comparatively, beef contains about 3.5 times more fat per 100 grams of cooked lean meat

Female bison breed when they are two years old. Cows can live 20-25 years old, and can produce a calf each year if conditions are good. The gestation for bison is 9-1/2 months. Cows generally have one calf per year, (twins may occur, but very rarely). Calves are born from mid-April through June.

facts-redbull.jpegBuffalo generally reach their mature size at 5 to 6 years old, and can live for over 30 years. Mature bison cows (females) weigh around 1000 to 1200 pounds, and bulls (males) weigh around 1500 to 2000 pounds. Bison are hardy animals, acclimated to a wide range of environments. They are much less prone to disease than domestic cattle are, and have less difficulty calving.

Bison are very intelligent, curious, territorial, and playful. Although they may seem tame and gentle at times, they have a very strong pecking order within the herd, and they can use their horns quite aggressively. It is not recommended to be on foot, on the same side of a fence, with a buffalo. Please visit our links page to find out more information on American Bison.



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