Skip to comments.Central Oregon home to rare white buffalo herd
Posted on 12/12/2010 11:38:25 PM PST by Racehorse
Pendleton Woolen Mills is making new Navajo-style blankets using wool and blended hair shed by an unusual herd of white buffalo in central Oregon.
Ranching experts say fewer than 50 white buffalo, or American bison, live in the U.S., The Oregonian reported.
On a sanctuary east of Bend, 11 of them roam acres of isolated juniper forest under the care of Cynthia Hart-Button and her husband, Charles Button. It's one of the larger collections of white buffalos.
Buffalo usually are black or brown. White buffalo are produced when recessive genes trigger the unusual trait. They are not albino.
Some Native American tribes consider them sacred.
"The significance of the white buffalo has been recognized by all the tribes that are buffalo culture people," Jim Stone, a Yankton-Yanktonai Sioux, told The Oregonian. Stone is executive director of the Intertribal Buffalo Council in Rapid City, S.D., an organization created to restore buffalo to Indian nations.
The white buffalo's presence is a prophesy of spiritual rebirth - "an indicator of better times coming to tribal people," Stone said. "Historically, that has been the view."
The first of the Oregon herd was born in Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1997 into a small herd of black bison owned by Dena Riley and her husband, Jim. Hart-Button worked with the couple for a decade in Flagstaff.
Being in a single, small herd with the right genetic traits stacked the odds in favor of the unlikely white buffalo births, she said. "It's like winning a lottery ticket 11 times."
Hart-Button brought the herd to Oregon five years ago after Jim Riley died and a grieving Dena Riley decided to take a break from raising the buffalo.
(Excerpt) Read more at indiancountrynews.net ...
The friend who taught me to spin (the one who hates to ply) kept angoras until she got tired of the nasty disposition. Bad attitude must be one of the breed standards, LOL.
She still has a hundred head of ewes on her family farm, mostly Romney, with some merino, cotswald, lincoln, dorset and texel for variety. She keeps 7-10 bucks in a seperate pen and most of them are total sweeties.
Some old ladies collect cats, we collect sheep!
During breeding season, my breeders were nasty but only had 3 of them. With taking them down to trim hoofs, delouse and worm every 3-4 months we all knew each other. I could do all of the doe's and yearling bucks by myself, but it took me and hubby for the large bucks and neutered males...
I had one that had been a bottle baby and quite sickly when born, we bonded real good and I could let him out of the pasture and he would follow me around the farm. I would take him to the pond and he would trim up the weeping willows for me as far as he could reach. He would walk the farm with me even as an adult..
There were a couple of old nannies that I had to get tough with, but they were the six adults of our original 18 and not born on the farm....
But if you don't spent time with them, they can be cantankerous (usually the males)
But the breeders would be dangerous during breeding...I always eyeballed where the male was during that season before I went into the pasture. They would hurt you real bad. My largest breeder's horns were (somewhere between 44-46 inches from tip to tip) He had to turn his head sideways to get through the barn door....he learned to do that at a full run when I banged on the metal bucket at graining time....If they were at the back of the pasture, the whole flock came running like one big hairy flock...I got out of the way when they got close to the barn, but the grain was already in the feeder.
...hmmm, and to think that I have been so misinformed.
All this time I thought buffalo soldiers had dark curly hair ‘n’ stuff!
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