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Anyone familiar with beefalo (buffalo-cattle hybrid)?

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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:52 PM
Original message
Anyone familiar with beefalo (buffalo-cattle hybrid)?
I'm researching ways to make my dad's 120-acre farm more productive and profitable. Currently it's primarily corn and soybean fields, with some beef cattle and pigs rounding things out. My dad wants to fence in marginally productive land for pasture and increase beef cattle production. Since he farms alone and is in his late 40's, physical labor is becoming an issue for him. Looking into beef cattle raising online, beefalo looked promising. They seem to combine the best traits of cattle and buffalo, yielding a hybrid that could outcompete beef cattle for meat production.

I've never seen a beefalo here in MN; is anyone here familiar with MN farms raising beefalo? Are they really all they claim to be? I thought that if he could invest in a small herd, say 6 heifers and 2 bulls, he could use them as a starter population for a larger herd in the future.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. I've eaten it, and it is good.
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. my friend's dad did that
he does alright
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. Beefalo is yummy!
I love the stuff.
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lastknowngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Check your local market and see if someone else already
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 07:01 PM by lastknowngood
supplies it. Also check for local customers, back home Arkansas the local farmers are selling as much as possible to local customers also switching to goats for milk and meat as there is a large ethnic market for it and they are hardy and do well on marginal land.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. There was a herd near me they also had an on-site butcher shop....
and grill. Excellent hamburgers and it is lower in fat. They need to be fenced in real good, they like to roam and are pretty smart in getting out.

http://www.ababeefalo.org /

http://www.cattle-today.com/Beefalo.htm

http://www.beefalo.org /
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm a little bit familiar
My late father was an artificial inseminator, and he bred a few cows with buffalo semen. This was about 20-25 years ago, so I'm a little hazy about the details.

What I remember is that the meat tasted great, that they did very well on sparse forage (look at where the buffalo roamed) and that they were ornery as hell. The meat was well-marbled and relatively low in fat overall.

I'm just a bit older than your dad, my only concern would be dealing with the aggressive nature of beefalo, especially the bulls (a lot depends on how the calves are raised, lots of early human contact is good). Economically, it probably makes sense if you and your dad are looking to get more from less in terms of forage availability.

There's no doubt that the beef market is turning away from feedlot-style farming on a big scale going forward, and towards a local and more home-grown market; beefeaters today are more conscious of what critters they choose to eat, and feel a lot better knowing where it comes from.

I'm from Oregon, and I've seen just a few here. I don't live in farm country anymore, so my knowledge is dated, but I thought I'd share what I do know. Hope it helps in some way.
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. First time I ever had it I was living in Minneapolis. Got it from the loca
grocery store.

Tasted like beef. Looked like beef.

Also take a look at rheas, emus, and ostriches. I think there is a bigger market for them. Although very labor intensive because you have to get the eggs and incubate them.

Other ideas - alpacas, and kashmir goats for wool. Very expensive wool. Llamas are popular. Not sure for what though.
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pansypoo53219 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. all i know is
they are cute.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. I had a relative that raised them on Arizona range
but they do have fertility problems. Have you read anything by Joel Salatin? Check out Salad Bar Beef or Pastured Poultry Profits and if you can get down to W Virginia go check out the farm or if you have a chance to hear him speak do so!

I would say hybrids are probably not the way to go (and if the numbers are that small I'd go for 8 heifers AI'd and forget keeping bulls) - possibly high quality seedstock might be less labor but seriously - check out Salatin (I may not be spelling that right)
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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
10. Pretty common up here...
...beefalo and buffalo.
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preciousdove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. My family would die for some good old fashioned sodium nitrate? ham..
and bacon. The stuff today tastes like salty slick cardboard. (I know pigs are gross and the large operations have a corner on the market. I have cousins on farms yet.)

Generations of my family lived into their 80's and 90's eating the stuff a couple times a week. The benefits cancel out the dangers as far as I could tell when I read up on it when the banned it. I keep trying different brands and am always disappointed. I keep hoping.

I had buffalo in SD a couple of times and I liked it and I am not much of a wild game eater at all.



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