were first domesticated in Tibet about 1,000 BC.
They are used for their milk, fiber, meat and as
a mount or beast of burden. Yaks were introduced
into Europe in the 1800s and into Northern
America in the early 1900s.
When people first see our Yaks they often ask
“What do you do with Yaks?” The list below is
where I start:
- Fiber/Wool production – A Yak
produces 1- 1 ½ pounds of wool per year
(being combed out). You use their fine
undercoat, which is comparable to Cashmere.
- Yak Meat – Yak meat is 95-97%
lean and very low in fat and cholesterol.
Yak is a high protein meat with less
calories than Beef, Bison, Elk or Chicken.
Yak meat is a deep red and very tender if
- Driving and Packing – Tibetans
have used Yak as pack animals for thousands
of years. They can carry the load of a horse
and need no special feed. Their split hoof
is easy on trails and can handle mountainous
terrain too rough for horses. They will lay
quietly at night until morning when they
will be ready to pack again.
- Milk – Yak Milk is a rich creamy
color and higher in butter fat (5-7% more
content) than cows. In Asia it is usually
turned into butter, cheese or yogurt.
- Breeding – Yaks calve easily and
can be bred at 18 – 24 months with gestation
being 8 ½ months. Bulls can be start
breeding at age 3. Yak cows are good mothers
and their rich milk allows the calves to
grow quickly. Even if calves are born in the
winter the cold doesn’t seem to bother them. You can cross
Yak with cattle to make a leaner beef.