How about yaks???

  Our water buffalo (planned, not here yet) will not
> do for transportation 20 miles each way on a regular basis.  

  How about a yak?  Our yaks can provide so much more of our needs.  In
their native Tibet they are used for milk, meat, hide and in addition
they also have a long flowing hair and a thick soft under wool.They are
used to pull plows, to RIDE, as fantastically surefooted pack animals
carrying up to 300 pounds. The yak's long hair is used to make ropes,
slings, sacks, blankets, and yerts.  The underdown is collected to be
woven or felted into soft clothing. The hide is of course used to make
leather, or left with the hair on to make rugs.  Yak dung is burned as
fuel, and the soot from the burned dung is made into ink! 
 Yaks thrive in the cold!  Yaks are extremely hardy.  The also do well in
the summer. Yaks have been kept successfully in the subtropical
environment of the Rio de Janeiro Zoo with it's summer temperatures of
   The reason we started keeping yaks was because we wanted an animal that
was truly multi-purpose and even more importantly, an animal that was
extremely hardy, that could survive on poor forage, were disease
resistant, were easy calvers, and were excellent mothers.  We believe
things in America are going to get a lot worse before they get better. 
Yaks can survive just about anything: the hardest times, worst weather,
and poorest feed.
   If we can answer any more questions abou yaks, let us know.

Jim and Linda Rawles   rawles@oro.net