Meat & Milk – Firebird Farms

Meat & Milk


Yak is a delicious, primitive red meat alternative to beef. It has been likened to a combination of grass fed bison and elk, but with a more delicate, sweet flavor. It consistently wins in taste tests over beef and is juicier than the meat of game animals, without the gamey flavor.



The factors that led yak to evolve in the adverse conditions of the Tibetan plateau resulted in a superior meat animal. The meat has a higher iron and moisture content than beef and a similar fat composition to that of bison or elk. However, yak steaks are juicier and more flavorful. Because of a high myoglobin level in the cells, yak meat has a darker red pigment than many other red meats.

Yak are smaller than commercial cattle breeds and bison and are more efficient grazers. Their lighter environmental footprint makes them an ideal alternative for small scale farmers and ranchers, and a more ecologically viable red meat option for consumers.


A Nutrient-Rich Choice

Highly nutritious and lean, yak is an excellent option for people who are looking to diversify their diet, have sensitivities to other red meats, or simply want a lean, nutrient-rich protein source. Yak is a different bovine species from domestic cattle. Our customers who have protein absorption difficulties find yak to be beneficial. With a high iron content and healthy essential fatty acids, yak is not only healthy but delicious! Read more about our yak meat HERE.


Yak milk has a higher nutrient density and butterfat than domestic cow milk, and has sustained life in the Himalayas for thousands of years. Typically Tibetan yak herders milk half the available amount and save the rest for the calf. We look forward to practicing traditional milking methods used by nomadic populations in Tibet and Mongolia. Western milking methods may not be suitable for yak, although farmers and rancher are experimenting with this process. The viability of milking yak commercially is a great challenge. They typically produce much less than commercial dairy cattle and can be very unwilling to be milked unless fully trained. Their teets and udders are much more compact than domestic cattle, and hand-milking yak is an acquired skill.

For home milk production, yak is an excellent alternative dairy option. Like humans, yak produce A2/A2 beta casein milk. Many believe that this is more highly digestible than the widely available A1 type milk found in cattle breeds used in major dairies, such as Holstein cows. While there are breeds of cows, such as Jerseys, who can produce A2 milk, yak provide a more nutrient-dense product. Combined with their efficiency, smaller size and multiple products of value, a strong point can be made to train yak cows for milking in the US.

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