Roam
Home

Our Committment

Bison for Sale

Educational Items

Buffalo Seminars

Questions/Answers

Buffalo History

Wooly Bully News

Grassfed Benefits

Nutritional Info

Cookbook/Recipes

Food & Farmers

Photo Gallery

Our Bloodhounds

Client Comments

Contact Us

Questions & Answers Below
BISON HISTORY

Is it bison or buffalo?
What are bison/buffalo?
Where did they come from?
Why were so many buffalo slaughtered?
How many bison/buffalo are there today?
Where do buffalo live at today?

NATIVE AMERICAN'S

Did Native American's really use all the buffalo?
How did they use their Hide?
How did they use their Horns?
How did they use the Hair & Wool?
What other parts of the buffalo did they use?

BUFFALO MEAT

What does buffalo meat taste like?
Is buffalo meat hard to cook?
Isn't all buffalo meat grassfed?
Can I cook it like beef or in my beef recipes?
Why doesn't Buffalo Groves have Hot Dogs?

E-mail a Question
ANIMAL INFO

How big do buffalo get?
How long to buffalo live?
Do all buffalo have horns?
Why do buffalo have a hump?
Are buffalo fast?
Can I make a buffalo a pet?

BUFFALO RANCHING

What do buffalo eat?
How much water do buffalo drink?
How much land is needed to raise buffalo?
What kind of fences do you need for buffalo?
How different is it raising buffalo versus cattle?
I heard that all buffalo are field killed, is that true?
Buffalo have a bad rap, are they hard to manage?

COSTS

Why does buffalo meat cost more than beef?
Why is the overnight shipping costs so high?
What does it cost to purchase live buffalo?

What's the difference between bison and buffalo?    top of page

There is no difference. Bison is the scientific name and it's really bison-bison; but we all know the common name as buffalo. It's sort of like comparing canine to dog, or feline to cat (does that make sense?).

What are bison/buffalo?    top of page

They are North America's largest land mammal; and they are ruminant animals in the bovine family. They are descendants of the European Wisent.

Where did they come from?    top of page

During the Pleistocene Ice Age the ancestors of today's bison-bison, the bison priscus crossed from Siberia into Alaska. Bison priscus evolved into bison-latifrons and lived in North America for 300,000 years. 22,000 years ago bison-latifrons evolved into bison-antiquus. 10,000 years ago bison antiquus evolved into today's bison-bison.

Why were so many buffalo slaughtered in the mid 1800's?    top of page

As part of the U.S. government's plan to eliminate the Native American's, bison were slaughtered in great numbers to eliminate the Native American's food source. They were also slaughtered for their hides, tongues, and their bones were used for fertilizer.

How many buffalo (bison) are there today?    top of page

Around the year 2000 there were about 250,000 bison, which the bison industry estimates will reach 1,000,000 near the year 2005.

Where do buffalo live at today?    top of page

All across the US, and even outside the US. Mainly buffalo are raised by buffalo ranchers; but they are also at some Conservancies, Parks, and even Zoos.

How big do buffalo get?    top of page

Buffalo calves are born weighing between 35 to 50 pounds. Bulls will grow to 6 ft at the hump and may weigh as much as 2,400 lbs. Cows will grow to about 5 ft at the hump and can weigh over 1,000 lbs.

How long to buffalo live?    top of page

Buffalo should live 25 to 30 years in their natural environment. But often today's buffalo raised with additional supplemental feeds cause them to have health problems, which end their life in their teenage years. This is just one reason Buffalo Groves, Inc. chooses to raise our bison as naturally as possible and are committed to only grass feeding.

Do all buffalo have horns?    top of page

When buffalo (bison) are born they do not have horns, but do have buttons, which will grow into horns on both males & females. Unlike antlers on deer or elk, bison only get one set of horns.

Are buffalo fast?    top of page

Buffalo (bison) look big and slow, but don't be deceived. They can run very fast, turn real quickly, and jump quite high.

Can I make a buffalo a pet?    top of page

Please NO! Buffalo are not domesticated... they are wild! And, the most dangerous buffalo is a "sort of tame buffalo". Buffalo get big and their size alone can be dangerous.

Why do buffalo have a hump?    top of page

Their hump is needed as a counterbalance for their large and heavy head. But, as they mature the hump prevents them from rolling over.

Did Native American's really use all the buffalo?    top of page

Actually they used nearly all of the buffalo. (Their meat, hide, horns, hair, wool, and much more. It was somewhat like a store.)

How did they use their Hide?    top of page

Hide was used for clothes, shoes, tepees, blankets, etc.

How did they use their Horns?    top of page

Horn caps were used for spoons, cups, powder horns, tools, toys, ornaments and ceremonial items.

How did they use the Hair & Wool?    top of page

Hair & Wool were often used for ropes, halters, pillows, pads, bracelets and balls.

What other parts of the buffalo did they use?    top of page

The brains were used for preparing the hides. Teeth were used for games and ornaments. Tails were used as fly swatters, whips, and decorations. Chips were used for both fuel and diaper powder. Tallow (fat) was used for soaps, oils & cosmetics. Hoofs were used for glue, rattles and spoons. Sinew was made into bow strings and sewing thread. Bladders and other intestines were used for pouches, bags, buckets, and canteens.

How different is it raising bison versus raising cattle?    top of page

Well first off, we never raised cattle; but we see neighboring cattle ranchers doing things like checking for calves in the winter, pulling calves which cows are having trouble birthing, and worrying about such things as food, water, and if their animals will survive a storm. For us raising bison, we do none of the above, so it's easier and much less stressful.

I heard that all buffalo are field killed, is that true?    top of page

No that information is not correct. Most buffalo raised for meat are slaughtered in processing facilities (some being state managed plants, and some being USDA inspected plants); and there are a few producers who field harvest (most of which are not then selling USDA inspected meat). The difference say between buffalo and cattle is that there are fewer plants that have adequate facilities for processing buffalo (another reason for the cost difference in buffalo meat).

Buffalo have a bad rap, are they hard to manage?    top of page

Dave likes to say you can get a bison to go anywhere he wants to go; but really if you are not aggressive in managing your bison, they are not aggressive animals. We don't chase our bison on horses or motor vehicles; nor do we walk among them without remembering they are a wild non-domesticated animal.

What do bison eat?    top of page

Buffalo (bison) are herbivores, which mean they are designed to eat grass! Actually they thrive on it. But, not all bison eat as healthy as they should. Some bison are feed like cattle in a feedlot, while Buffalo Groves bison are entirely grassfed.

How much do buffalo drink?    top of page

Buffalo/bison seem to drink about 10 -12 gallons of water per day (a bit more in the summer). They can eat snow for a while; and will jump on icy water tanks to break the ice for water. Also, when they are thirsty - they will search for water.

How much land is needed to raise buffalo?    top of page

We are asked this question - weekly... And, it's a difficult one to answer. Buffalo can of course, be raised in small pastures and fed year round... or folks can raise them and perhaps only supplement feed in the winter... or folks can raise buffalo without feeding them (even grass) at all. To do this you need to determine how many acres are needed per animal unit (1 buffalo is 1 animal unit). You can get information from your local county extention office and other agencies like the U.S. Dep.t of Ag. Other factors are if the land is dry or irrigated, etc.

What kind of fences do you need for bison?    top of page

This depends on the amount of land and the surrounding land. The closer you are to neighbors, the higher you may want your fence. Many people in the bison industry use a special high-tensile wire for their fencing, and they use t-posts up to 6 or 7 ft. tall.

What does buffalo (bison) meat taste like?    top of page

Buffalo (bison) meat tastes great! It's a rich and flavorful meat, but it is not gamey.

Is buffalo (bison) meat hard to cook?    top of page

Not at all, if you just remember it is much leaner than beef. For steaks, we say "think pink". For roasts the phrase is "low & slow". And for burgers remember "when you flip 'em, don't squish 'em".

Isn't all buffalo meat grassfed?    top of page

Touchy question... Like Beef animals, Buffalo start out on grass... and like most beef animals, most buffalo get "finished" with grain (many, many in feed lots - just like beef)... PLEASE REMEMEBR, BUFFALO GROVES, IS ALL GRASS - No Corn, No Oats, No Feedlots! (And our USDA Label says so!) If you want to know if someone is "all grassfed", you need to ask them if they finish on grain or if they ever feed anything besides grass.

Can I cook it like beef or in my beef recipes?    top of page

Absolutely. You can prepare the same dishes with bison that you have in the past prepared with beef. Roasts, Steaks, Casseroles, Stews, Mexican and Italian dishes, and much more.

Why doesn't Buffalo Groves carry Buffalo Hot Dogs?    top of page

We are investigating preparing a buffalo hot dogs, but are concerned about nitratie/nitrites. To quickly make a hot dog would likely require adding nitratie/nitrites. The Food & Drug Administration lists nitrates/nitrites as cancer causing... therefore will not allow it added to any new products like buffalo (bison). So, to make a hot dog,(like others do), we would have to add beef, pork turkey or some other already approved for nitrates/nitrites product... which we just won't do. But, we are investigating a natural buffalo hot dog (and a buffalo brawt dawg); so if we are successful, we'll add it to our product offering.

Why does buffalo meat cost more than beef?    top of page

First off, purchasing buffalo for breeding stock costs a bit more than beef. Second, it does cost more for buffalo fencing and facilities than beef. Thirdly, processing costs for buffalo are much, much higher than beef (and there are few processing plant that will process buffalo). Forth, USDA inspection for Beef is FREE; while for Buffalo it is billed at over $32.00 per hr. Fifth, there is not much information available to the public on buffalo meat so buffalo producers like Buffalo Groves), spend lots of money on marketing, education and web sites. Our industry does not help (nor have funds to help) us with this big expense.

Why is the overnight shipping costs so high?    top of page

Overnight shipping is expensive for anything other than a letter (which is about $15), and for meat a cooler is needed and then it's placed in a box. So sometimes, the billable rate is not the actual weight (example 4 lbs); but actually what is called dimentional weight (the sixe of the box - 13 in x 9 in x 8 in). And of course, it's based on the to - from zip codes. So for us to ship to Kansas (from Colorado), it's cheaper than shipping to Maine (from Colorado).

What does it cost to purchase live buffalo?    top of page

It's different to purchase a live buffalo for meat than it is for breeding. For breeding stock it varies between male and female; and it definately varys between calves, yearlings, two year olds, and older. We are contracting 2006 heifer calves for $600 and are almost sold out (some folks are selling them for $1,200); some as high as $2,500. Meat Bulls are always in demand, and at acutions they are selling for $1.00 lb to $1.20 lb (live weight). Breeding Bulls are sold anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000. Buffalo beyond "2 - 2 1/2 yrs old" do not sell well (most who buy buffalo for "new herds" or "for meat" want them young!

our committment    bison for sale    wolly bully news    our bloodhounds    contact us

photo gallery    educational items    buffalo seminars    questions/answers    buffalo history

grassfed benefits    nutritional info    cookbook/recipes    food/farmers    client comments

2001-2013 Buffalo Groves, Inc.    All rights & contents reserved.