• JJ Bison

How do Veterinarians Take care of Bison


Veterinarians can be few and far between for bison versus your traditional beef cattle. You may traditionally see more bison veterinarians out west where a large majority of the bison roam, however, the East Coast still has plenty of qualified veterinarians, including the President of the Eastern Bison Association, Victoria Sverduk.


Bison are only semi-domesticated, and as you’ve read from our blog posts, bison can be quite dangerous if not cared for correctly. Mature bison younglings can weigh between 1,000 - 1,500lbs, reach peak maturity between 8 - 10 years old, and can reproduce every year after the age of 2. As you can imagine, given the above facts, bison require a professional for help.


Bison and cows are pretty similar, so they are susceptible to many of the same diseases such as coccidia, mycoplasma, pink eye, parasites, BVD, etc. Fortunately, bison have stronger immune systems and because they are free-ranging and live in the open, they are less likely to infect one another. That means that bison rarely need a veterinarian’s assistance, but should have them available if needed. Bison should maintain a regular deworming program with veterinarian assistance and are limited in what they are allowed to be given to ensure there are never any growth hormones, stimulants, or antibiotics provided.


Antibiotics are not allowed in the care of bison as per the FDA. This is to ensure growth hormones are not added and protect bison. Our bison are inspected under the FDA, and they leave a stamp on the carcass after inspecting the organs for disease. Veterinarians also follow this strict enforcement and make sure to take steps to avoid issues and properly advise farmers on how to take care of their bison accordingly. The veterinarian that does take care of bison needs to have an interest in exotic livestock, and because virtually no products are approved for bison care, everything must be thoroughly researched by an approved veterinarian and FDA.


During the conferences we attend at the Eastern Bison Association, vets get together to teach us as farmers what’s best with our herd, and teach approved techniques and what to look for in our herd. We work to prevent issues before they occur and look for warning signs to keep our bison safe and happy. Some of these practices include migrating our bison to new fields to keep them away from unsafe conditions, continuously keeping an eye on bison weight, checking our bison during our daily feeds for irregularities, protecting bison from flies, etc.


We truly care for our bison, and we’re excited to continually share this love for our herd with you.


Contact us today, email us at meat@jjbison.com, or call us at (443) 252 - 2099 to order your bison today!