Monday, 17 March 2014

Couple introduce Himalayan yak to Britain

An enterprising farming couple believe they are first to introduce the Himalayan yak to Britain.

Helen and Matthew Worth have imported the fearsome looking bovid, usually found on the Tibetan plateau, to the rolling fields of rural Cheshire.

Unlike domestic cattle, yaks can be left out in all weathers, happily dealing with temperatures as low as minus 40C.

They also sport four foot wide horns, are very nimble on their feet and are quite capable of jumping a five bar gate if spooked.

Mr and Mrs Worth imported a bull and three female yaks from Germany and Holland. They have already produced two pure-bred calves and hope to produce another bull.

They plan to visit local gastropubs and farmers' markets to promote the meat- said to be incredibly lean and low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

Mrs Worth, a 38-year-old vet, said her fascination with yaks began when she discovered they had been bred for thousands of years in the Himalayas.

She said: "Families would have originally had a yak as their house cow to be used for things like milk and butter.

"Pure-bred yaks only produce enough milk for their calves however, so they started crossing them with cows. This resulted in a hybrid that produced enough for the family.

"Not only does breeding cows with yaks make the gestational period shorter but the meat itself is very lean and low in cholesterol."

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