This has been an amazing few months at the farm. We have been excited to welcome 8 new babies to our herd. The thrill of going out to the pasture and seeing a bright orange puff ball never gets old. It never ceases to amaze me that the bison are such a protective family. When it is birthing season, the whole herd is involved. When we drive out to the pasture, the yearlings come forward with our herd bull, Bruce. They are so protective of the birthing mamas. When it is almost birthing time, the cow will separate herself from the herd and another female will stand close by. Once the calf is born, the herd will come in to welcome the newest member. In our herd, we have kept the yearlings together with the herd. It is common to see the three generations keeping close together while grazing in the field. I guess even year old bison still need their mommy! We love that the animals have retained their natural instincts and still have the inborn protectiveness and close familial connections. It is easy to imagine these animals roaming in giant herds across North America, largely undisturbed by civilization.
Bison also are independent during the entire breeding and birthing process. They usually breed in the late summer or early fall. This is called "The Rut." Our bull, Bruce, is a very busy guy during this time! There is no artificial insemination in the bison herd. We just let nature take it's course. Gestation is just over 9 months. Then, birthing is independent too. Bison are strong, natural creatures that have been left to continue to grow, unchanged, for centuries.