Bison Ranching in Colorado

Jun 30, 2017 -- Posted by : admin

What animal is more iconic of the American West than the bison? Now a popular livestock animal on ranches of all sizes, bison are returning to the range as their markets steadily expand.

Bison production is on the rise as ranchers produce roughly 7.5 million pounds of meat each year. The growing demand is attributed to the nutritional quality of the delicious meat as well as the reduced environmental impact of raising native species. Depending upon how they are managed, bison meat has a fat content of less than three percent, and lower cholesterol than beef. In fact, bison meat is lower in cholesterol than turkey, with half the fat.

National Bison Association reports on their website that national demand is booming. "Sales of bison meat in restaurants and retail stores now tops $350 million a year. Prices that ranchers are receiving from processors and marketers have been pegged at all-time highs for the past six years.

According to the Rocky Mountain Buffalo Association, Colorado is a key part of the fastest growing market for this all-American meat product. Their organization includes small and large producers who work together to maintain healthy genetics, exchange husbandry information, and collaborate on marketing efforts.

Bison management is similar to cattle in many ways, but with clear benefits. Given that bison are more flighty than domestic cattle, and their hides are tougher, bison pasture requires stronger fencing than the typical three-strand barbed wire fence ubiquitous to western cattle operations. Unlike domestic cattle, bison doesn't require much infrastructure. They prefer to calve on pasture and prefer the open range to the shelter of barns during harsh winters, though many producers design natural and artificial windbreaks for the success of their herds.

Bison is resistant to disease and parasites, and rarely require assistance in calving. As efficient grazers, their "mob-grazing" habits are studied by contemporary cattle and lamb grass-finishing producers to improve pasture health and meat quality.

Bison byproducts include skulls and tanned hides, and some producers sell bison for range hunts. Some bison ranches offer dude ranch experiences for tourists who wish to experience life on a working ranch. While there are no tax incentives specific to bison, agricultural pursuits in general qualify for tax breaks. The experts at Ranch Sellers can guide you through the process of achieving working ranch status to enjoy the tax and other financial benefits of raising livestock.

If you are interested in purchasing a luxury ranch and raising bison, Ranch Sellers can help you find exclusive ranches for sale, and get you started with realizing your dream. Contact us today and start your journey to owning your legacy ranch.


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