How We Care for Our Bison
At JJ Bison, we love our animals and want bison to continue to grow. The more we can take care of these magnificent animals, the more we can sustain them and continue to help them thrive in the United States. To do this, we do our best to exceed expectations of animal care.
What We Feed Them
At JJ Bison, we do not feed our bison growth hormones or antibiotics in standard with the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety (USDA) and Inspection Service. Bison are fed hay and grain supplements. Bison are allowed to roam freely throughout their lives and are raised on the open range. At JJ bison, we also like to treat our bison with apples, pumpkins, and carrots! They love the apples the most.
Just like cattle, bison are also migrated from field to field to continue to aerate the pastures. This allows more grass to grow on the fields so Bison can continue to graze fresh grass.
Bison Care in Winter
During the winter, the ground is very cold, so migrating the bison to different fields isn’t as much a necessity as the spring/summer seasons. Fortunately, bison develop a thick, wooly-like coat to help protect them from colder temperatures. The coat is so thick that it even protects them from the snow that may build up on its coat. With this ability, bison can easily survive a storm that would similarly hurt other domestic livestock. During the winter, we do continue to feed them hay and grain supplements to ensure they are maintaining a healthy diet.
In addition to feeding, we also want to make sure their water does not freeze during cold conditions. To do this, we have a water dish that is continuously kept full with a pump underground. This has a heated pipe to make sure the water is unable to freeze. We do check on this as well to ensure this is in working order by safely climbing into the pasture and checking on the well during feeding times.
How We Keep Pests Away
Bison's biggest annoyance is flies. When visiting other farms during the warmer seasons, you may see bison covered in flies. The flies are attracted to the smell of manure and the smell of bison. To help the bison not feel overwhelmed by the number of bugs, we use a large number of flycatchers around the farm including flypaper, and ranch fly traps. We also include USDA-approved Insecticide ear tags on bison which are applied to their ears without any adverse side effects to the bison themselves. This keeps the bison fly-free and happy!