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Bison Information

Damen Wells is one of the founding members and Vice President of the American Bison Association of Australia.  Formed in 2012, our aim is to find all owners and breeders of American Bison here in Australia. We would like to share news and information that could assist ranchers with everyday farming or training techniques and for the overall health and wellbeing of these marvellous creatures. There is also a need for a national data base where we can find out exactly how many we have and where they are originally from. It will be beneficial to the industry by doing genetic studies. Breeding healthy Bison will be the key to getting this great meat out there.

Bison is the fastest growing land mammal from eating grass alone in the first 3 years of their life!  They are known to have less calving problems than cattle, eat more species of grass than cattle and more efficient digestive system.  They do not over graze and survive of less feed.  Bison meat is high in iron, protein and vitamin B12. Low in carbohydrates and calories and tastes great. Much the same as normal beef, it is not gamey and it is easy to cook.

 

The Story of our White Bison

 

Our special white bison baby was born on Friday night the 7th or early morning on the 8th of October 2011 during a pretty wild thunderstorm. I knew we were close to calving so I had asked the neighbor to keep an close eye on the herd for me. I woke to a phone call early Saturday, to him saying “congratulations mate, you’ve had your first calf. A healthy orange little Bison.” Since it was born during the storm I decided to call it Thunder. 


Not long after I’d hung up the phone it rang again. This time he said he was about to go and pick up what he thought was a white plastic bag laying over by the fence. It turned out to be a tiny white Bison with mother nowhere in sight. It was really small and weak but I told him to try and save it anyway. Little White Lightning.


He took her straight into our local vet in town. They tube fed her and gave her some IV fluids. She couldn’t stand up so they layed her down in a large dog crate at the back of the surgery. The vet said if she could drink over the next day or two we would be right to bring her home. He thought she looked 4-6 weeks premature. She was able to sit up that day and took the next two feeds. But unfortunately he went into the surgery at 1:30 am Sunday morning only to find her dead. 

We kept the her in the chiller while I found a good Taxidermist. There are not many in Australia, it’s a bit of a dying art so we thought it would be hard. But when I did a google search we found Sacha Smith. She had won first place 3 times at the ‘World Championships of Taxidermy’ 2011, 2009 & 2007. When I called she was only to happy to help.


We drove 12 hours out passed Coonabarabran to deliver the precious frozen cargo. Sascha and Danny were really lovely people and we spoke for hours. I gave her what photo’s I had and we left the next day.
The next year the Bison cow gave birth to a healthy little bull on the 17th of November. We received her white calf back just before new years eve.