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!
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.