Our Mystic T Ranch began yak ranching in January 2008. Our focus is breeding "Natural" seed-stock and producing yak fiber. We have carefully selected our yaks so they carry forward the best lines of yak available in the United States. We produce "Natural" yaks with the mature cows in the 650 to 750 lb size range and mature bulls in the 1600 to 1700 lb range. We do not breed to increase a yak's overall size or body length or to produce any specific physical traits other than a gentle personality, wooliness and good conformation. Cattle breeding done to specifically produce a larger carcass results in reduced grazing efficiency, increased feed costs, birthing problems and issues with infertility. We do not use Artificial Insemination with our yaks as many of the same problems can be produced through usage of line bred bulls used for AI.
We decided not to Line Breed our yaks when we purchased our first yaks because too much line breeding was done in the past with yaks and continues to be done by some yak breeders. We change to new breed bulls for breeding every couple of years so we can continue to bring in different genetics and move further away from the intensive line breeding previously done by other breeders. Our show quality bulls, which are still in their early prime, are then available for purchase by buyers who want a gentle, quality, proven breed bull that is not so closely related to their yak heifers and cows.
Our focus is to move further out with the genetics while still producing the best Gentle, High Fiber, Show Quality "Natural"yaks available in the US. We may be a small ranch but our reputation for producing Gentle "easy to handle" Show Quality yaks is well known among yak owners and yak breeders alike. Our determination to produce "Natural" yaks is unique among yak breeders.
Our yak herd is made up of Royals, Imperials, Imperial Trims and Native Black Trims. Royals are black and white (similar to Holstein markings), Imperials are Black with black noses, Imperial Trims have black noses and some white markings on head, feet or tip of tail and Native Black Trims are black with white markings on the head, feet and tip of the tail and have grey noses. Our herd contains the following top original yak lines in their lineage: the Diamond line, the Prince Allante line, and the Dreadlock line. These top quality lines were developed from the original stock brought into Alberta, Canada from the Berlin zoo and later imported to the United States.
Along with exceptional wooliness, show quality conformation is important for both show and breeding "Natural"seed-stock yaks. Our yaks stand square on all four corners, a conformation not found in lower quality yaks. They have short hooves and stand upright on them. Our yaks have thick wool and long skirts. They have well developed chaps on their front quarters and prominent forelocks. They could never be mistaken for rangy cattle and are never bred just to produce meat for sale. We do currently have USDA yak meat for sale.
At the National Western Stock Show in 2012, one of our yearling yaks took 2nd place in fiber and a six month-old yak took 4th place in fiber out of 62 yaks competing. Our yaks have been consistent ribbon winners in halter, fiber and pen. We no longer show due to the unsanitary conditions present at the National Western Stock Show yards. We have a closed herd and do not want to risk introducing any cattle diseases into our herd. Check out the photos of our 2012 National Western Stock Show Reserve Grand Champion Bull and other ribbon winners on our Our Stock Show Winners page.
Our yaks have generations of gentle yaks in their lineage. Our breeding program continues this focus of gentle yaks and we have chosen to remain a small yak ranch so our yaks get the human contact and personal attention they each deserve. We imprint each yak calf at birth with a focus on developing trust early. Each yak has its own unique personality and responds to its personal name reflecting the close relationship that has been developed.
Mystic T Ranch has a Lifetime membership with International Yak Association http://iyak.us and all our yaks are registered IYAK Foundation Herd Yaks listed in the North American Yak Registry. DNA is complete for our bulls and cows and results are available for all our registered yak calves.
We are expecting the arrival of our next baby yaks in Summer and Fall of 2021. Visit our Yaks for Sale page and check back often for updated photos of our yaks for sale.
We also have yak fiber available for sale. Click the link below to contact us about yak fiber availability. We hope to have both processed and unprocessed yak fiber available for sale by Spring 2021.
General Facts About Yaks
Domesticated full blood line yaks are the result of the cross between wild yak (Bos grunnians) and domestic cattle breeds (Bos mutus) that has occurred for over 3000 years around the Himilayan mountains in Tibet.
Yaks provide an excellent source of breeding stock, crossbreeding stock, fiber, milk and dairy products, meat, hides, horns, and make excellent pack or show animals.
Yaks prefer high altitude and cooler climates due to their heavy coat and lack of sweat glands. They can handle normal ‘summer’ conditions when shade trees and fresh water are available. A natural size yak eats about 1/3 the amount of grass or hay and drinks 1/3 the amount of water of a commercial cow. The larger size yaks that breeders have been developing will require more feed and water. Yaks have no need for grain. A good mineral block is necessary along with free choice freshwater.
Yak fiber is comparable to cashmere or angora. It is the soft, thick wool-like undercoat shed off at higher elevations during early summer when it is combed out, collected and processed. The courser outer hair or ‘guard hair’ is often used to weave ropes and belts.
Yak meat has a delicate and delicious beef like flavor. Yak meat is very low in fat as the fat layer is put down on the outside of the yak carcass and is easily trimmed off. The meat is deep red in color, high in protein, and low in calories, saturated fats, cholesterol and triglycerides.