Cavan Sullivan>ISM Walk & Talk Interviews>Sullivan, Cavan, Section 2


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The buffalo have about twenty acres and an eight foot high tinsel fence, though only six foot is necessary. They are a very powerful animal but have no reason to get out. Drink from a creek and eat plenty of grass. Mother's naturally ween their kids in the late fall. The bull is left with them all year. July, September, August is when all the cows come into heat. One bull, nine cows, four calves from last year and four or five young calves recently born. A buffalo is essentially a cow that knows how to use every inch of their body in their defense--in their head and their horn. Cows power is mostly in their hindquarters. Not domesticated, not tame, just not afraid of people. Protect the calves by standing in facing outwards. Marketed at 1000 pounds at eighteen to twenty four months. Not as efficient as beef cows.
Don't castrate or steer like cattle. Sexual maturity isn't reached until two years old. First calf in third year, they have a nine month gestation. Calves born at about 50 pounds and grow quickly.
Calves age vary from three weeks to three days. The mom's wean calves in the late summer. By October the calves should be weaned. The calves are a different color than adults. Even though they're red, it works as a camoflauge technique. They're the same color as white tail fawns. They get darker when their winter coats start coming in. Adults are shedding their winter coat in summer, big pieces fall off because they have such thick hair. .
Bison are low in fat. They have a lot of hair that keeps them insulated from the cold, instead of fat. The meat is a lot leaner. Buffalo steaks are too dry if cooked well done because they're so lean. Low in cholesterol, high in protein and iron and less calories than skinless chicekn. Buffalo do not have cancer. Post Zygotic isolation mechanisms is nature's way of stopping two species from breeding by making first generation males sterile. Breeding buffalo and beef cows aren't always successful. To be a beefalo there are certain ratios of cow to buffalo, with ideally less buffalo. Breeding the two species trades traits, such as the heat tolerance of buffalo and the docile temperament of cows.