The Story of The American Bison

It is truly amazing that the American Bison or Buffalo is still in existence today given its history. The buffalo was first encountered by the settlers moving west into the plains and prairies. At the same time, settlers also encountered the American Indian. They saw both as a threat to what they wanted - the land. The buffalo provided the Indians with food, clothing and other necessities. So as long as the buffalo existed, so did the Indian. And even if the settlers could eliminate the Indians without eliminating their food source, the buffalo was a problem as it was grazing on the pasture lands needed to feed the settlers cattle. It was decided that the best way to get what the settlers wanted was to eliminate the buffalo and so the slaughter began.
 
The only reason that the buffalo still exists today is that a few "thinking" individuals in the late 1800's and early 1900's decided to try to save what was left of the herds by capturing a few wild buffalo and raising them in captivity.


Most people have probably never actually seen a buffalo up close. We at Meyer Beefalo & Bison Hybrid Farm were privileged to not only see them on a daily basis but to care for them and help to keep the breed alive for 25 years. In 2011, we made the difficult decision to stop raising buffalo.  We found them a good home where the herd would be able to stay altogether and would continue to be raised on pasture.  We wish their new owners all the best and hope that they enjoy these magnificant animals as much as we have.  If you would like more information on the American Buffalo, please contact Minnesota Buffalo Association (MnBA) at

www.mnbison.org.





Bison Hybrids


A bison hybrid is a cross between a bison and domestic cattle that results in an animal that is 37.6% bison or higher.  For example, the animal shown at the right is 50% bison and 50% domestic cattle, making him a bison hybrid.

Bison hybrids have existed as far back as when the settlers first brought domestic cattle to this country.  With open ranges (no fenced in pastures), there were times when bison and cattle came in contact and interbred.  More recently, ranchers purposely bred the two species in an attempt  to produce a longer lived, winter hardy breed that possessed a luxurious hair coat and had strong mothering abilities.  They succeeded and the result included both bison hybrids and beefalo.  An animal is considered to be a beefalo if it is between 17% - 37.5% bison.

The pictures on this page are all Bison Hybrids (with the exception of the buffalo at the bottom of the page) that we have had or are currently raising on our farm.


For more information on Bison Hybrids or Beefalo go to our Beefalo Central pages.