The Californian rancher who claims to have successfully crossbred buffalos with Charolais and Hereford cattle, still refuses to allow scientific tests to be conducted on the new animals.
The Californian rancher who claims to have successfully crossbred buffalos with Charolais and Hereford cattle, still refuses to allow scientific tests to be conducted on the new animals. Though this refusal has given rise to a certain amount of scepticism about his claims in professional circles, the number of "Beefalos" now in existence continues to grow.
The rancher, D.C. "Bud" Basolo, began experimenting with cross-breeding buffalo and cattle seventeen years ago. His programme has now reached the "promotional" stage, and recently a Canadian paid two-and-a-half million dollars (???1.25 Million sterling) for a Beefalo bull. It was the highest price ever paid for a breeding bull.
Basolo believes his new breed could provide the low-cost meat of the future. He says that the Beefalo gains weight faster and can therefore be marketed sooner. The animal is hardier and easier to raise, and produces meat that is leaner and richer in protein than that of conventional cattle.
If scientifically confirmed, his achievement is considerable. It is remarkable to cross two different breeds and end up with an animal that is fertile and capable of reproducing. Mules, for instance, are the result of cross-breeding a horse with a donkey. But mules do not reproduce other mules.
Basolo claims that his Beefalos do reproduce, and he can point to the fact that there are now about 160,000 of them in north and south America.