Tibetan Yak are natives of the Himalayan mountains and were domesticated by the Qiang people of Tibet over 10,000 years ago. Known as “Bos Grunniens”, a member of the bovine family, Yak are commonly known as the “grunting ox”.  Originally domesticated in Tibet over 10,000 years ago by the Qiang people of the mountainous Himalyan region, they have supplied the indigenous people of these mountainous regions with most of their daily needs including meat, milk, butter, cheese, wool, fiber, leather, fuel, and packing/trekking/travel requirements. The versatile animal is an integral part of the lives of the Tibetan natives and substantially adds to the renowned health and longevity of these people.

Cows average between 600-800 pounds and stand about 4 1/2 feet tall, and bulls average about 1200-1500 pounds but can reach up to as much as 1600 pounds and stand 6 1/2 feet tall. They have a hump and horse-like tails that they bend over their backs when they run. Yak are adapted to the lower oxygen levels of high altitudes by having larger chest cavities, lungs and a much larger heart relative to their body size. They are extremely well adapted to survive in cold climates

Here at Buffalo Run Farm our Yak are completely grass fed with no antibiotics, vaccinations or treatments, to provide the highest quality meat. Yak meat is both uniquely tender, flavorful, higher in protein and omega 3 oils, much lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, triglycerides and calories than beef, with no additives, growth hormones, steroids, artificial colors or flavors and is all natural and grass-fed. Deep red in color with almost no marbling, 1/6th of the fat content of beef.Yak meat offers significant health benifits over other sources of meat

Colors and Color Patterns: There are 5 different colors of Yaks here in the United States. Of course there are many more, but these are the ones found in the U.S.A..

  • Black Yak: A pure black yak with a Grey Nose
  • Imperial Yak: A pure black yak with a Black nose
  • Trim Yak: A yak that is mostly black that has a touch of white on the forehead, feet, and/or tip of the tail.
  • Royal Yak: A yak that is a mix of white and black or white and gold. The white normally starts from the back end and makes it way forward.
  • Golden Yak: A yak that has a golden, honey brown color. Very rare, as the gene that creates this color is recessive.

Black and Black Trim Yaks are your most common yaks in the United States. There are more of these than any other color out there, these are typically used for meat

Imperial and Royal Yaks are not as common as Black and Trim Yaks, but are not the most rare either. They are second from the top in color when it comes to population. Imperial Yaks are also used for meat, but also hold value for being a pet and show animal.

 Here at Buffalo Run Farm we breed the Royal Yak.We find the color to be most desirable.

Easy to keep and extemely hearty,Yaks thrive in cold winters. They prefer to eat snow rather than drink water. They prefer to use shade shelters with open sides, or the shelter of trees. You'll see Yaks kicking up their heels and holding their heads and tails high during a blizzard, actually enjoying the weather we dread. On hot summer days, Yaks beat the heat by panting like a dog, wading into streams and ponds, and laying in the shade of trees. No buildings or structures are required. The stocking rate of Yak is three or four times that of commercial cattle. In other words, you can pasture four Yak cows on the same acreage as you can one commercial cow, and two Yak bulls on the same acreage as one commercial bull. A commercial cow eats twenty-five pounds of forage per day, while a Yak cow eats seven to eight pounds of forage per day and never needs grain. According to a University of Nebraska study, Yak steers only need six pounds of forage to gain one pound of body weight, while cattle and bison need eight pounds and twelve pounds respectively. Additionally, the Yak steer can be finished on grass alone. Yaks do not need or utilize grain, hormones, steroids, or antibiotic feed supplements to maintain excellent health and growth, nor are these items desirable. Docile, even tempered, intelligent animals, they can be halter trained to lead, groom, ride and pack. There is even Yak Polo played in Tibet! 

Wool: The soft underhair is cashmere-like and sells for up to $16 an ounce when spun. The outer wool can be used for clothing, rugs, rope and bags.

Milk: Creamy in color with a fat content of 5-7 percent, Yak milk can be processed into butter, cheese or yogurt with an average cow producing 110 kg and a lactation period of an average of 5 months.

Pack animals: Quiet, gentle and easily trained, Yak can carry as much as a horse or the equivalent of 150 pounds of load, walk trails that are too rough for horses and need no additional food other than browsing. Their split hoof makes them easy on trails and environmentally compatible. Quiet at night and easily tethered, they make the perfect pack animal for outfitters.

For more information on our Royal Tibetan Yak at Buffalo Run Farm please contact us via email or call Becky @ 814-571-4113 or Nate @ 814-777-6783 

Tibetan Yak