Oh Give Me a Home……

12 Jun

Yesterday, we visited a Bison ranch for their yearly Calving Festival. We had a wonderful time and learned a little bit about the fluffy buffalo! Here’s a photo journal of our day with some things we learned mixed in:

First, we heard some music. Then, we hit the petting zoo

It’s a duck!



A burro….

A fawn….

And a cougar! (That we weren’t allowed to pet) ???

Then we waited for our covered wagon to arrive to take us out to feed the buffalo.

Ah-ha! Scientific classification: Bison Bison Bison. Seriously. Look it up.

A mature bull is 6.5′ high at the hump, 9-12′ long & 1800-2400 lbs.

During mating season, males are so “busy” (hehe) they have little time to eat & lose up to 200 lbs.

Gestation is about 9 months & calves are born around 50 lbs (ouch).

Buffalo can run 35 mph for up to 1/2 hour!

They can jump 6′ high from a standstill.

They are excellent swimmers! Who knew? They look more like they’d be excellent sinkers.

Buffalo fur allows them to withstand temps of 50 degrees below zero.

In warmer weather, they shed by rubbing against trees & rocks or rolling.

In the 1700s, there were around 60,000,000 buffalo in North America. By the 1800s, thanks to white hunters, the numbers dropped to as few as 500. Today, there are around 500,000 in the U.S. and Canada.

Their meat is lean (2.4 grams of fat in 100 grams of meat!), free-range and hormone free. They’re not confined to small feedlots, they eat the grasses from their pastures, and are only given antibiotics when they’re sick (instead of in their daily grain as most cattle are given).

Cowgirl Jenna is in heaven. She says this was her favorite part of the day.

We checked out the full-sized teepee (with a real fire inside!)…

…and painted some kid-sized versions!

We watched buffalo jerky being made over an open fire (Yes – those are Amish girls in the background),

Waited for a balloon animal from a freaky clown in a weird hat (Yes – that’s an Amish man in the background),

Jumped in a bounce house,

Said goodbye to my favorite critter,

And called it a day.



Posted by on June 12, 2011 in Family, Jenna, Random Fun


Tags: , , , , ,

6 responses to “Oh Give Me a Home……

  1. Heather

    June 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

    You know…they’ve got pretty weird hair…kinda looks like they have the mange! 😉

    J is getting SO STINKING TALL!!!!

    I love the burro too…Actually, we like donkeys/burros in general. They’re JACK’s (get it) mascot. 😉

  2. K

    June 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

    What an awesome time!

    I’ve heard that bison is exceptionally lean and pretty tasty, but have always felt conflicted about eating them because I thought they were scarce. Hmmm.

    The deer and bunny look a bit relieved that the couger is being kept confined.

  3. PsychMamma

    June 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Heather –

    Laughing about your hair comment! They had a throw pillow there that was covered in buffalo fur and it was SO soft! We just kept wanting to pet it and pet it. We talked about bringing it home to continue the petting (since it would eat less than a REAL buffalo), but the thing cost $150!! Eeep!

    Jenna IS getting tall FAST! I can’t keep the girl in clothes or shoes!

    I LOVE that Jack’s mascot is a donkey! Hehe!


  4. PsychMamma

    June 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    K –

    I’m sure the deer and bunny WERE relieved, but still not too thrilled to be caged so closely to the cougar. I desperately wanted to pet the cougar!

    If you find buffalo meat somewhere (store or restaurant), it’s from a ranch like this one that raises them responsibly for meat. Now, they’re very careful about conserving their numbers and they are breeding more babies than they’re using for meat. I’m a vegetarian, but if I was going to eat meat? I’d feel much better about bison than the cattle that are factory-farmed on huge feed-lots with chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, no space to roam, and unnatural feeding practices of grain instead of grass (their stomachs aren’t made to eat the massive amounts of grain we feed them to fatten them quickly, and they’d die soon if we weren’t already butchering them soon. Sigh.) Same for small farm, free-range, grass fed organic cattle. I’d feel better about eating that or bison for both health and ethical reasons.

  5. Maura

    June 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    The baby burro was adorable! It would have been a toss-up between the burro and the ducky for my favorite. Great pictures!

    I was going to comment on Jenna getting so tall, too! Growing like the proverbial weed. 🙂

    Their method of shedding does make them look pretty mangy when they’re in the process, but when they’ve got their full coat, it’s lovely! I’ve eaten bison and it is tasty, and knowing their raising the meat more responsibly makes me more inclined to get it again.

  6. PsychMamma

    June 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Maura –

    Settled. The burro wins the cute contest. The buffalo wins the tasty contest. 😉


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