Most of our yaks are bred and born on our properties. Robert, however, does purchase new bulls every few years to introduce different bloodlines into our herd. Our yaks spend summers on the Wolf Creek Ranch and winters on the hay fields of the El Barranco farm south of Chama.
Grunting ox (Bos grunniens) is another name for the yak due to its loud grunting noises. In Tibet only the male is called a yak, while the female is referred to as a dri or nak. In the west, however, we refer to both males and females as yaks. The animals are well suited to our high elevation due to their evolutionary adaptation to elevations from 14,000-20,000 feet in Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, and Central Asia. Yak lung capacity is approximately three times that of cattle, and their red blood cells are smaller and more numerous than Bos taurus (cattle).
Robert generally purchases Angus and Angus cross cattle, but he does not purchase solely based on breed. Instead, Robert buys his animals based on health and body type – small frame cattle are excellent, as they fatten up on our rich grasses quickly.
Robert purchases many of our cattle from neighboring ranchers, but if he cannot obtain enough cattle locally he buys cattle at nearby auctions. As with our yaks, our cattle enjoy the summer grasses on the Wolf Creek Ranch and winter hay on the fields of the El Barranco farm.