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Our Bison

 

 

Our herd consists of some of the finest DNA tested Plains Bison in the world. Carefully selected for their lines, posture and temperament.

 

NO CATTLE GENES

Statistics show that bison meat provides the healthiest and best tasting alternative to commercially raised beef, chicken or pork. Little Texas Bison Ranch will provide excellent high quality, hormone free, grass fed, regenerative farm raised tasty and safe bison products to consumers thanks to our bison herd and use of ethical and environmental stewardship of our pastures and hay fields. It is the mandate of the ranch to raise the bison in the most natural way possible by eliminating the use of chemicals. Chemicals in the ground are chemicals in the feed (grass and hay), which are chemicals consumed by the bison and therefore chemicals in the meat.

Our Rotational Grazing Program will be developing and monitoring the rotational grazing plan for the bison. Through research Kelly and Lyn learned that the rotational grazing not only has great benefits for the bison such as reducing parasite infestation and the need for de-wormer but also has huge ecological and environmental benefits for the land and grasses by eliminating the need for herbicides and chemical fertilizers.

Raised as natural and stress free as possible will give you, the consumer, the best possible meat on the market.

BISON FACTS

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  • Bison is the correct term for the mammals we are raising. According to scientists, true buffalo are confined to Africa and Southeast Asia.

  • Before the settlements of modern civilization, around 30 million bison roamed across North America. By 1890, fewer than 600 plains bison were alive.

  • Bison and cattle are cousins (that is, they are in the same genus, Bos). 

  • Bison are the largest native animals on the North American continent. 

  • Full-grown bison bulls stand about 6.5 feet at the shoulder and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. 

  • Like domestic cattle, bison are grazers. Adult bison consume more than 30 pounds of grass (air-dry weight) in a day.

  • Bison prefer young, tender grasses and eat few forbs (such as wildflowers). Research at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve has found that not less than 99% of a bison's diet is grasses and sedges.

  • Bison graze mainly in early morning and the late afternoon, rest and chew their cud during mid-day and at night. 

  • The bison's rubbing on young trees helps prevent trees from invading the prairie.

  • When necessary, bison will travel a long way to find water; however they can go for long periods without it.

  • Bison can jump 6 feet vertically. Because they reportedly can jump more than 7 feet horizontally, "bisonguards" on the Preserve are 14 feet wide. (This is double the standard width of a cattleguard.) 

  • Bison can run speeds up to 35 miles per hour.

  • Bison are powerful swimmers, navigating with all but hump, muzzle, and top of the head submerged. 


  • Both sexes have horns; the cow's are smaller. A bull bison can be identified from a cow by wider, thicker horns; a wider skull; and a generally more massive structure.

  • The gestation period for bison is 9.5 months.

  • Bison calves are generally born in the spring and weigh 30-40 pounds.

  • Wallowing is practiced by both sexes and all age classes. Wallows are usually in dry areas, but wet areas may be used. This behavior seems to be important in grooming, sensory stimulation, alleviating skin irritation, and reproductive behavior.

  • Wallows also serve as water reservoirs, making small ponds that become available to vertebrates and invertebrates for multiple uses; in addition, such ponds enhance growth of specific vegetation needing moist or wet habitat. Wallowing behavior also transports soils and seeds to other areas via their fur.

  • The bison was named the state mammal of Oklahoma in 1972.

  • The bison was named the national mammal of the United States in 2016.

BISON VITAL STATISTICS

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  • Bison are social animals and live in herds that change in size and composition throughout the year. In winter, herds are much smaller, typically only 20 to 30 in number, with older bulls completely isolating themselves. During the rut (mating) season in summer, bison gather in very large herds. Herds are definitely matriarchal with cows usually leading herd movement.

  • Bulls weigh from 1,600 to 2,000 pounds, stand between 5.5 and 6.5 feet high at the shoulder, and measure from 9.5 to 11.5 feet in total length (including the tail). Bulls seldom live longer than 20 years but, in rare cases, may live to be 40 years old. The cow is smaller, weighing up to 1,100 pounds, although most weigh about 1000 pounds. They stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet in height at the shoulder, and are less than 10 feet in length. Less shaggy on the head and chin, she has a smaller hump and her horns are more slender and curved than the bull's.

  • A bison's coat attains prime condition during the winter months, then sloughs off in clumps during the annual molt in the spring. The biggest chunks come from the hump and shoulders, where fur is two to five times thicker than the hair on the hindquarters. This difference in thickness accentuates the hunchback shape. The hair on forelegs, throat, chin, crown, and forehead reaches surprising lengths, especially on older animals. The longest masses, dangling from between the horns and upper forehead, have been known to grow to 22 inches.

  • Bison are subject to the same diseases as cattle but in the wild seem to be amazingly free of disease. No serious epidemics have been reported in present-day animals.

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