How Much Does a Bison Cost?
The American bison, also commonly called the American buffalo, is a bison species that is native to the North America grasslands. They once roamed in these grasslands in massive herds and became nearly extinct by a combination of commercial hunting and slaughter in the 19th century and introduction of bovine diseases from domestic cattle. However, this species has already made a recent resurgence, which is largely restricted to a small number of national parks and reserves.
How much is it?
- On average, a healthy, average, commercial Bison sold at a commercial auction from established herds is between $800 and $1,300 for bull calves and $1,500 to $2,500 for heifer calves. This price will be based on the weight and farm background. Commercial quality breeding bulls (2-6 years old) will cost you around $2,000 to $9,000. Meat bulls will fetch about $1 per pound.
- As for meat, the costs will depend on the cut and where you purchase it from. On average, be prepared to pay anywhere from $5 to as much as $35 per pound. Steaks are going to cost $12 to $30 per pound, while the roast, stew meat and burgers can cost $8 to $11 per pound.
- Bluemtnbison.com offer breeding bison bulls for $1,000 to as much as $4,000.
What is going to be included?
- Two ecotypes or subspecies of bison have been described: the wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) which is the larger of these two and with a taller, square hump and the plains bison (Bison bison bison), which is smaller in terms of size and having a more rounded hump.
- Bison have a life expectancy of roughly 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. Females usually live for 20 to 25 years and are capable of having a calf a year.
- Bison are herbivores, grazing on the sedges and grasses of the North American prairies. This animal is known scientifically as Bison bison.
- Their daily schedule involves two-hour periods of grazing, cud chewing and resting, then moving to a new location to graze again. A bison has a shaggy, long, dark brown winter coat, and a lighter weight, lighter brown summer coat. Their head and forequarters are quite massive and both sexes possess short, curved horns which can grow up to two feet long, which they utilize in fighting for status in the herd and also for defense.
- As is typical in ungulates, male bison are slightly larger as compared to females and, in some instances, can be considerably heavier. Adult males, also known as bulls, can reach up to 2,000 pounds, and females, also known as cows, up to 1,100 pounds. The calves usually weigh around 25 to 30 pounds at birth, and within an hour or so, they are up and ready to run together with their mothers.
- Head and body lengths range from 6.6 to 11.5 feet long, the tail adding 12 to 36 inches. Shoulder height in this species can range from 60 to 73 inches.
What are the extra costs?
- Show and sale prices of Bison command a premium depending upon the status of the event, animal placing, and farm background.
- Typical day rates for animal husbandry will range from $0.60 to $1.30 a day for younger bison and $1.20 to $2.00 a day for more mature animals.
- Special handling and/or optional feeding programs may add extra costs (e.g. flushing, creep feeding, higher quality breeding bulls).
Tips to know
- Meat from the Bison is very lean and has become quite popular in supermarkets. It contains far fewer cholesterol and calories than either chicken or beef. Bison contains 2.42 grams of fat, 82 mg of cholesterol, and 143 calories per 100 grams of cooked meat. Beef, by comparison, has 9.28 grams of fat, 86 grams of cholesterol, and 211 calories.
How can I save money?
- A few good places to purchase your Bison are from a nearby Bison ranch, or from a recommended breeder. These places tend to have lower prices.
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