Beefalo Facts

Interest among ranchers and farmers in livestock that were a combination of American buffalo and conventional cattle prompted the American Beefalo Association to compile these beefalo facts.


| March/April 1981


About a year and a half ago this magazine published an article by Elsie M. Banks about an unusual breed of livestock: the American Beefalo, a 3/8 bison and 5/8 domestic cattle hybrid. Well, Ms. Banks's informative story created such a stir that the folks at the American Beefalo Association have been swamped with letters from "practically every state in the union, every province in Canada, various parts of Mexico, and as far away as Spain and England."

So, in an attempt to get the word out to as many "alternative cow" enthusiasts as possible, George E. O'Connor — Executive Director of the ABA — has provided the following beefalo facts to answers the most frequently asked questions about these magnificent hybrid cattle.


Question: What are the main advantages of raising Beefalo instead of "standard" livestock?

O'Connor: A Beefalo's 3/8-bison, 5/8-bovine parentage provides the hybrid with the most favorable genetic traits of both the American bison and domestic cattle. According to ranchers who raise them, the prolific crossbreeds are hardier, are more economical (and less care-intensive) to nurture, and produce meat that's superior to that of the common cow.

To be more specific, bison-crossed livestock inherit the foraging ability of their free-roaming ancestors, and thus can feed entirely on available hay and grasses, efficiently converting pasturage to weight gain without requiring extensive grain supplements. In fact, tests by the ABA have shown that hybrids raised solely on roughage rations actually outgain both Beefalo and domestic cattle that have been fed on grain. This distinctive Beefalo trait can add up to a saving of about 10¢ for every pound the beasts put on!

In addition, the rugged critters are able to withstand extreme cold (thanks to their thick "buffalo robes") ... yet — like their native American forebears — Beefalo perspire through the skin and thus maintain a constant "cool," even during the sultry summer months.





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