— The Yakzz Team

The Yak Boys

Once you try yak, you'll never go back

Chandler & Holly Morton
4828 Kingston Ave.Highlands Ranch, CO 80130

October 12, 2016

Yak Production Information


Looking to learn more about Bos grunniens, your friendly neighborhood yak? Here is some useful information about yak ranching, slaughtering and yaks in general.

How Big Do Yaks Get?

A live yak can grow to impressive sizes, with bulls weighing
in at between 1000-1750 lbs, steers around 700-900 lbs,
and cows at 600- 800 lbs. The hanging weight for a
slaughtered yak is generally 55-60% of the animal's live
weight, and the meat produced from a yak will weigh in at
35-40% of the live weight.

Bulls are generally ready for slaughter at around 6 years, at
which point they are full-grown, although they are more likely
to be kept as breeding stock. Steers can be slaughtered at
?around 24-30 months, and cows at any age after maturity.

General Yak Meat Prices

The price of yak meat is generally about double that of beef, and is comparable to the prices for bison meat. This may vary depending on current market prices, but can provide a rough guideline as to the value of yak meat.

Ways to Make Money With Yaks

Wholesale value of yaks and yak products:
- Calves: $500-1,000
- Skulls: $100 - 250
- Hide: Up to $1,000, depending on quality, color, etc.
- Fiber - $6.00 per oz carded and cleaned, $4.00 per oz uncarded.
A yak can provide about 1 lb of fiber per year, and the wool is similar to angora and cashmere.

Yaks generally subsist on a diet of grass and hay - they are grazers, and can be finished on grass. There is no need to feed them grain, plus they are not particularly fond of it in the first place.

Yaks are more efficient grazers than cattle, typically eating half, or even a third, of what a commercial cow eats. This can save you a considerable amount of money on feed when compared to traditional cattle ranching.

Costs Associated With Harvesting a Yak

It is difficult to provide accurate estimates as to the cost of harvesting (slaughtering) a yak, as the expenses of doing so can vary widely based on a large number of factors. However, some of the types of expenses you could face include:

- Transportation costs of your animals, which varies depending on the distance involved
- Butcher's bills are usually around $300 - 400 per head
- Shipping costs for meat are often minimal if you are shipping at least 300 lbs
- Meat storage costs, if required
- Yearly feed and veterinary bills


Cows can produce two to three calves every three years,
depending on feed, condition, and other factors. The
gestation period for yaks is 8.5 months, and calves usually
weigh between 25-35 lbs at birth. Generally speaking, yak
heifers first conceive between 18 and 30 months, and calve
at 2 - 3 years old.

Bulls can breed at 2-3 years, and can live for upwards of
20-25 years. Thus, they have lower cow replacement cost
than traditional cattle.

Colors of Yaks in the US
- Black w/ gray nose. Common.
- Imperial - pure black with black nose.
-Trim mostly black w/ touch of white on forehead, feet, and tail tip. Common.
- Royal - mix of white and black, or white and gold.
- Golden - golden honey brown. Very rare.

Interesting Yak Facts

You can stock 3-4 yak cows for the same cost as a single bovine cow, and 2 yak bulls for every bull.

Yaks are surprisingly friendly animals, and are quieter than cattle. They grunt and snort, and will shake their head as well.

Elevation is not an issue with domestic yak - they actually do best at high altitudes and relatively low temperatures.