How Do I Raise A Pet Bison?


Dear Gerald:

I am going to buy a bison as a pet but before I do I need
to get all the information I can on raising, caring, etc.  Can you help me?

Thank you  


Dear Tara:

I am not sure of what you mean by having a bison for a pet. Bison tend to make poor pets. Although they have been domesticated, they retain a lot of their wild instincts. They can be tamed but  hen they are frightened they usually resort to their "flight or fight" response in order to save their skin. They are difficult to  ame to a level that I would consider a pet.

Some people have done it with bottle raised bison but even then lots of bison still don't trust people. I know of about 3-4 bison that have been tamed to the point that people can pet them and be around them safely. I also know of a lot of bottle raised bison that are still fearful of humans even after the bottle raising experience.

The other aspect of bison that makes them poor pets is that they  are an animals with strong herd instincts. They don't like to be alone. They feel safer in the company of other bison. They may go through fences looking for a herd to be with. It is better to have a few bison rather than just one.

If your plan is to keep a few bison as "pets" you can get information from our website in our "Resource Library". We  have quite a bit of information on raising bison. Check out the "Bison Basics" section. If you have any specific questions, give  us a call or e-mail. There is also a book called the "Bison Breeders Handbook" available at The National Bison Association

Gerald Hauer
Bison Centre

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