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Yaks are pleasing to view and own. Their large handlebar horns, buffalo look alike shoulders, horse-like tail, and a long hairy skirt mixed with their unique docile tendencies make for an unique appearance you can also enjoy watching for hours.
Yak infants are agile, athletic, lively, and leap and run like excited horses with their tails held high over their backs. Yaks are not loud animals. They communicate in quiet grunts, snorts and head shakes. Yaks are extremely intelligent, interested, independent, serene, mellow, and quiet animals that make them a pleasure to manage.
Thus of their unique heritage of growing in high mountainous areas with great temperature extremes they are extremely hardy and perfect for areas that are traditionally considered inhospitable to livestock. They enjoy the cold, dry conditions and need no unique shelter or diets.
Yak calves, cows and steers easily become halter trained, and can make great pets or 4H task livestock. They are a fantastic choice for packing plus trekking purposes. An adult yak can pack tremendous weight through rough tremendous mountain terrain more surefooted than horses or mules. Not really needing shoes, they are trail friendly and require little more than browsing along the way. They also may be confined with horses and mixed for a unique pack string.
Yaks are normally very hardy and disease tolerant. Their great wooly coating includes an outer safeguard hair and a fine inner hair called down. The down provides efficiency against the cold winter months. Each spring as the weather warms, the yak start naturally shedding their dainty undercoat. Yak farmers help this along by combing out their livestock and collecting the down. It is then washed and prepared the same as the fiber from sheep and other fiber livestock.
An adult yak produces roughly one pound of down per year. Yak fiber is quiet soft and luxurious. It truly is near to Qiviut (musk ox down) and even comes close in softness and warmth to Cashmere. Yak fiber is not slippery and can be easily spun. The micron count of this livestock is around 15-18. It has a short staple 1/2? – 2? with an irregular crimp. It is great for sewn and knitted garments, also; yak down is a great fiber when felt.
Most uniquely is the taste and advantage of yak meat which is quite possibly the healthiest and juicy tasting meat on the meat market. Yak meat uses 96% lean red meat and rates very low in the “bad” Palmitic acid plus saturated fats associated with heart problems and high cholesterol.
It is also quite high in protein and iron, and the “good” oleic acids and poly-unsaturated fats. It has a scrumptious and delicate beef flavor that is never gamey or greasy and is even less in fat than salmon. Tests have proven that 9 out of ten individuals will prefer yak meat over beef, bison or elk.