Thursday, January 16, 2014

10 Farm Animal Hybrids You Didn’t Know Existed

 

Forget ligers, tigrons and grolar bears (oh my). Plenty of jaw-dropping hybrids can be had at the farm, where cross-species hybrids are more common than you might think.

Beefalo  

1. Beefalo

Ah yes, how fondly we remember the 1970s. A time of afros, Nixon, and of course, the peak of America’s interest in beefalo. English settlers in the American south noticed genetic mixes between American Bison and domestic cattle as far back as 1749, but it would be 100 years until the first intentional hybrids and more than two hundred until beefalo entered the mainstream of American culture. That decade, a peak 6,000 ranchers agreed to raise the fertile hybrid.

Popularity in beefalo has waned since, but the meat still has its fans. Just last year, the American Royal Steak Competition rated a beefalo steak from Merril Cattle Co. as the best in the country for the second year in a row.

Image via Flickr  

2. Dzo

Dzo are the Tibetan cross between yaks and cattle. Like mules, the male version of the hybrid is infertile, but female dzo, or dzomo, are fertile, allowing for the “back breeding” of three-quarter mixes. The hybrids are larger and stronger than the yaks and cattle of the region, making them ideal pack animals for hauling gear to the base of Mount Everest.

For the rest of the story: http://modernfarmer.com/2014/01/10-farm-animal-hybrids-didnt-know-existed/

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