From wild yaks (Bos mutus) to the domesticated yaks (Bos Grunniens), Yaks are strong and well built animals. It is closely related o the bison and the buffalo and their bodies are made to have them adapted to cold regions. These include lungs with larger capacities as compared to most animals in the species and more hairy. The wild yaks are slightly taller and heavier than the domesticated yaks. Though they are mostly found in the Himalayas, Russia and Mongolia regions yaks are also kept as livestock for their numerous benefits.
Compared to the popular cattle breeds, Yaks are less expensive to maintain mostly because of their less expensive feeding requirements. The domesticated yaks are great sources of milk and meat. Their strength is also useful when it comes to transport, ploughing and sport such as racking yak skiing and yak polo. Wild yaks are also hunted for meat, wool and hides. Their hooves especially made to transverse through the rocks and ice.
Wild yaks are found mostly graving in herds of a hundred containing more female and young ones than the mature males. The males may choose to move alone or in groups of about six animals. Their grazing is usually depending on the climatic conditions.
Yaks do not like eating grain. For this reason, if you intend to travel with one, ensure that you have it graze on grass on the way. Other than grass, both wild and domesticated yaks will enjoy sedges such as carex, kobresia and stipa.
Yaks will also eat shrubs such as the winterfat shrub. Herbs and mosses and lichen also make up part of a yak’s diet. A yak’s independence, curiosity and brains makes it an even better pet. They are as noisy as most cattle including then the young ones are weaning.
How to feed your yak
Yaks drink snow instead of water which makes them cost efficient. A yak is able to gain an extra pound from eating only six pounds of forage. They also do not need any supplements, steroids of hormones to help them grow healthier as they can survive completely in grass.
They are herbivorous by nature and are used to grazing for grass. They also eat tubers and will re chew their food like most cattle. Mostly found in the Central Asia’s mountains, Yaks when extremely thirsty, will also chew on the ice to suck the water.
It’s several stomachs, enable the Yak to get the most nutrients from a single feed. They will also eat the twigs from trees and shrubs. They eat the grass and herbs when they are in the lower plains. When the weather gets warm, they shit to higher altitudes for the lichens and mosses.
Lichens are mostly known as being very vital forage for deers during the winter season. This makes them of good nutritional value during the cold for Yaks too.
Avoid over grazing by getting to know by leaning more about the pasture vegetation.
Early morning grazing in summer pastures during the warm season is advisable. During the winter, grazing is done more during the evenings. The grass they eat is quality and not so much. Some of those who keep yaks also give them alflfa, edible forbs and let them chew wild flowers.
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