The scientific name is really “Bison”, but “Buffalo” is often used. We refer to them as Bison but the names are interchangeable.
No, not only are they not endangered, they have never been on the endangered species list. In the late 1800’s there were estimated to have been less than 1,000 bison remaining in the world. Today, there are over 500,000 in North America and the number is growing rapidly.
Private ranchers are the reason. Because the industry is commercially viable, ranchers are willing to raise Bison in large numbers. Otherwise this would be a hobby for a few ranchers and there would be a few in zoos. Actually, eating the meat will assure that the herd will continue to grow and regain its prominence on the plains and in our diets. Furthermore, surplus bulls 18-28 months of age are harvested for meat, while most females are kept to build the herd.
No, the government is not involved. The regulations are the same as for beef cattle. The government does control the bison herd at Yellowstone National Park, but none of those animals are utilized in the commercial meat industry.
Definitely not. This is one of the great attributes of this great meat. Most people say Bison is more flavorful and a little sweeter than beef.
Since Bison are wild animals, the meat is naturally leaner. It has less fat and calories and more protein and iron than a comparable portion of beef, chicken, or even some fish. The meat does not marble as beef does. Additionally, Bison is non-allergenic and is raised naturally, without the use of hormones and antibiotics.
A) There is less of it, i.e. supply and demand.
B) The breeding stock is more expensive.
C) The meat is more expensive to produce.
In order to ensure consistent quality all of our bison are finished with natural grains and hay. Environmental variations on the high plains, coupled with changing market conditions, make supplemental feeding necessary to produce fresh, premium quality Bison year round.