Beefalo May Be Even Better than Buffalo!
Beefalo are better than Buffalo! How can that be? There are several ways that we think that beefalo are better!
· First, beefalo are sooooo much easier to handle than their wild cousins, the buffalo! Buffalo, despite seeming to be quiet slow grazers, are extremely wild and unpredictable. They can have bursts of speed up to 35 miles per hour, can jump over tall fences and can turn completely around in the blink of an eye. And they have dangerous horns that most beefalo don’t have. We had 4 strand electrified barbed wire fencing to keep them where they belonged. Beefalo, on the other hand are very calm, gentle and easy to handle. You can coax them to follow you to where you want them to go with some good hay or an ear of corn. We keep our beefalo where they belong with a single strand of electrified fencing.
· Beefalo also grow larger and faster than buffalo. An important characteristic if you are looking to sell meat. We can butcher our beefalo at 1-1/2 to 2 years of age and they will have hanging weights from 500 to 750 lbs., depending on whether it is a heifer or a steer. Our buffalo, raised the exact same way, took 3 years to mature and had hanging weights from 350 to 600 lbs.
· Beefalo cows and heifers calve easily, just like the buffalo. And their babies are strong and vigorous, standing and nursing within a very short time after birth.
· If you are looking for more than just a meat animal, the beefalo can also be better than buffalo. We have never milked a buffalo, although we have several beefalo that provide us with wonderful, healthy milk. We have one beefalo cow that gave us 2 gallons of milk per day at her peak and milked for an entire year (and I might add, she was enthusiastic and happy to do so each and every day – we never had to fight with her to come in for milking).
· They adapt easily to different climates. Here in southern MN, we can get temperatures in the 90’s during the summer and below zero temperatures in the winter. The beefalo, given trees for shade and wind breaks, seem to handle the weather extremes better than the buffalo who tend to loose condition more easily than the beefalo. That is the main reason why we only butchered the buffalo in the fall and early winter months but can butcher our beefalo year round.
· Did you know that in 1985, the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) evaluated beefalo meat and determined that it was sufficiently different nutritionally from regular beef to earn it a separate and distinct classification apart from regular beef. They found the beefalo meat, when properly raised to be lower in fat and cholesterol and higher in protein than regular beef. There have been various studies over the years that show the health benefits of eating beefalo over beef.
· Beefalo and buffalo, if raised on grass pasture, are both extremely lean, healthy meat. They both are very low in cholesterol and fat and high in protein. And you get the added bonus of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids when they are raised on grass. Be sure to ask your farmer how the animals are raised and what they are fed. It makes a difference!
· And when it comes to taste, we did a blind taste test (on our pasture raised buffalo and beefalo) and we could NOT tell the difference between the two types of meat. If we can’t tell, we are pretty sure that you won’t be able to tell either. Which brings us to economy. Because the beefalo mature up to 1 year sooner than the buffalo, we can charge less per pound, so you are getting the same healthy, great tasting meat for less money.
· If you are looking to be a niche market producer, we strongly recommend the beefalo!
· If you are looking for healthy, great tasting meat, we strongly recommend the beefalo!
MeyerBeefalo & Bison Hybrid Farm