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Yaks are pleasing to look at and own. Their great handlebar horns, buffalo like shoulders, horse-like tail, and an extended hairy skirt put together with their particular docile tendencies make for an amazing appearance you can also enjoy observing for hours.
Yak newborns are agile, athletic, playful, and leap and run around like excited horses with the tails held high over their backs. Yaks aren’t loud livestock. They talk in quiet grunts, snorts and head shakes. Yaks are very intelligent, curious, independent, serene, mellow, and very quiet animals that make them an honour to raise.
Because of their unique heritage of thriving in high mountainous locations with great temperature extremes they can be extremely hardy and perfect for areas that are traditionally considered inhospitable to animals. They enjoy the cold, dry conditions and require no unique shelter or diets.
Yak calves, cattle and steers easily get halter trained, and do make great pets or 4H task animals. They are a great choice for packing plus trekking purposes. An adult animal can pack incredible weight through rough tremendous mountain terrain more surefooted than horses or mules. Not needing shoes, they are trail friendly and require little more than browsing along the way. They also may be confined with horses and put together for a special pack string.
These animals are naturally very hardy and disease resilient. Their great wooly coating includes an outer safeguard hair and a fine inner hair called down. The down provides insulation against the cold winter time. Each spring as the weather warms, the yak begins naturally shedding their downy undercoat. Yak farmers help this along by brushing out their yaks and collecting the down. It is then cleaned and prepared the same as the fiber got from sheep and other fiber livestock.
An adult yak produces around one pound of down per year. Yak fiber is soft and luxurious. It is near to Qiviut (musk ox down) and compares in softness and warmth to Cashmere. Yak fiber isn’t slippery and may be easily spun. The micron count of this livestock is 15-18. It has a short staple 1/2? – 2? with an irregular crimp. It is wonderful for sewn and knitted garments, additionally; yak down is a wonderful fiber when felt.
Most uniquely is the flavor and benefit of yak meat which is simply possibly the healthiest and juicy tasting meat on the market. Yak meat uses 96% lean red meat plus rates extremely low in the “bad” Palmitic acid plus saturated fats associated with heart disease and high cholesterol.
It is also very high in necessary protein and iron, and the “good” oleic acids and poly-unsaturated fats. It has a scrumptious and delicate beef flavor which is never gamey or greasy and is even less in fat than salmon. Testing has proven that 9 out of ten people will prefer yak meat over beef, bison or elk.