Yakkin’ with a new herd

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Yakkin’ with a new herd

Tibetan plateau native creates niche market in Colorado
Lucy Butler scratches the chin of a yak cow on her and her husband’s Mesa View Yak Ranch in Montezuma County. Yaks are raised for their meat, hides, wool and for show.
Yaks graze in fields on Tom and Lucy Butler’s Mesa View Yak Ranch in Montezuma County. Yaks are described as good all-around livestock, smarter than cows, friendlier than bison.
Tom and Lucy Butler inspect Yaks grazing in a field on their Mesa View Yak Ranch in Montezuma County.
Tom and Lucy Butler inspect a Yak grazing in a field on their Mesa View Yak Ranch in Montezuma County.
A yak bull nicknamed “007” keeps an eye on visitors in a field on the Mesa View Yak Ranch of Tom and Lucy Butler outside of Mancos.
Lucy Butler rubs the side of a yak cow as its young calf stands near on her and her husband’s Mesa View Yak Ranch.
Lowdown on the yak

The yak, a native of the Himalayan region and as far north as Mongolia, is a member of the bovine family, the same as cattle. Wild yaks remain, but they are a vulnerable species, the result of hunting.
Most yaks have been domesticated through the centuries and are valued for their meat, milk and fiber. They also are used as pack animals.
Yaks have a long, shaggy outer coat of hair and an undercoat that protects them from the cold in winter, but which is shed in the spring. The female yak gives birth to a single calf.
The International Yak Association says the breed, which was first domesticated around 4,500 years ago, was given the scientific name Bos grunniens (grunting ox) by Carl Linnaeus in 1766.
Yaks were sent to England by an English military man in 1783, were imported to France 1854 and to the United States in 1871. The early arrivals mainly were destined for scientific study.
The species began to appear in zoos about 1900 in Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Wis., in 1914 and San Diego, Calif., in 1928.
The International Yak Association, formed in 1992, meets annually at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.

Yakkin’ with a new herd

Lucy Butler scratches the chin of a yak cow on her and her husband’s Mesa View Yak Ranch in Montezuma County. Yaks are raised for their meat, hides, wool and for show.
Yaks graze in fields on Tom and Lucy Butler’s Mesa View Yak Ranch in Montezuma County. Yaks are described as good all-around livestock, smarter than cows, friendlier than bison.
Tom and Lucy Butler inspect Yaks grazing in a field on their Mesa View Yak Ranch in Montezuma County.
Tom and Lucy Butler inspect a Yak grazing in a field on their Mesa View Yak Ranch in Montezuma County.
A yak bull nicknamed “007” keeps an eye on visitors in a field on the Mesa View Yak Ranch of Tom and Lucy Butler outside of Mancos.
Lucy Butler rubs the side of a yak cow as its young calf stands near on her and her husband’s Mesa View Yak Ranch.
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