How Many Bison Can You Raise Per Acre?

The bison is one of the most famous animals in North America, it got along well with the nature of its climate and topography. It had a great place as its pictures were painted on flags and official government seals and in historical books all over North America and in the United States in particular.

Bison are not domesticated, but they are among the world’s largest grazing mammals. However, nowadays, they are experiencing a large shift towards domestication. [1] It is native to South Dakota, and it was grazed in large numbers throughout the ages, but its numbers declined in the nineteenth century. And it continued to decline over the next several decades. After that  it began to recover to a large extent, and now it has become highly valued, and greatly in number and popularity.

Bison do not require much care and depend on roaming and grazing for food. It is not possible to worry about them. They have a high degree of self-sufficiency that makes them good at searching and finding water sources with the least capabilities (such as eating snow).

As we mentioned, the bison is not domesticated like other types of livestock. But it is a wonderful opportunity and a great source of income for large landowners. They are robust and blend well into pastures. It tolerates the changes of the seasons well.

How Many Bison Can You Raise Per Acre?

one brown bison

Bison cannot be raised on a small-scale farm like other livestock. The land on which the bison graze is the most important factor when considering bison farming. The more space you have for grazing, the better results you will have from bison. So when Starting to grow bison, you must provide a large plot of land.

The exact area required for each bison cannot be accurately determined, as it depends on several factors such as the type of soil and water quality, the herbs in it and the age of the bison. Adult bison need more grazing places than young ones, just as lactating bison need more grazing places that have more food than needed by non-lactating bison. But in general it can be said that it takes about 5 acres to raise 1-2 bison. And the average distance needed by a herd of twenty bison can be said to be raised in a pasture of about sixty acres.

Remember that space is very essential to minimize disease and parasite issues. It is also necessary to avoid fighting. As bison do not like crowding, Bison become more nervous and excited in crowded spaces. The presence of large numbers in one pasture may lead to quarrels and fighting between bison members, so if you have the possibility of providing a larger pasture, do so.

Some Tips To Help You When You Start Raising Bison

Here are some considerations to make when considering bison breeding for successful and profitable bison breeding:

What They Eat

Grasses, sedges, and seasonal grasses are a favorite food for bison.

Bison have lower incisor teeth and a hard upper plate. They are able to eat a large number of grasses and provide themselves with food by browsing woody plants and other plants when their favorite grasses are not available.

Therefore, you can not worry about their food, as they are very resourceful in providing food for themselves.

Grazing Behavior

Bison have different grazing habits than cattle, as the cattle graze in a specific area and do not move from it quickly before farming in it extensively. On the other hand, the bison grazes slightly but extends over a larger area. The more space the better the bison herd.

Prefer To Stay In Groups

Bison is a very social animal. Therefore, it is not preferable to raise bison alone without establishing a herd. Bison do not feel safe when they are alone and may try to escape and jump over the fence to get to places with animals.

This insecurity also affects the quality of the meat produced by bison. As the quality of meat decreases dramatically when bison are raised alone! So when you think about raising bison, you should prepare a budget sufficient to raise at least five bison animals to form a suitable herd.

High Fence

The bison needs high quality fencing to protect it from escape. Therefore, a solid fence must be installed before grazing bison. Although bison are not usually attacked by other animals, (wolves and grizzly bears can do).

However, they love to roam far away, and ordinary wooden fences did not prevent them from doing so. They do not feel afraid of a simple wooden fence. They continue to cross this fence without hesitation. So there must be a strong fence (you can use a combination of electric fence and barbed wire). The most important thing is that the height of the fence is not less than 6 feet to protect the bison from jumping.

Nutritional Supplements

The grasses in the pasture may not be enough to feed the bison herd. You may have to supplement the diet with some fodder and grains for the bison to produce meat efficiently.

Fight Parasites

Bison are susceptible to parasites and worms. So precautions must be taken to prevent diseases from appearing on the bison. SafeGuard licking blocks can be used to reduce parasites. Worms can also be reduced by making sure the water is clean and pouring it daily regularly. Using an oral dose is also useful in getting rid of worms.


Are Bisons low maintenance?

Yes, bison are low maintenance because they depend mainly on grazing and are able to adapt greatly to various environmental conditions. They live long lives without health problems compared to other livestock. 

How profitable is bison farming?

Bison farming is considered a Meat Factory. It converts grass into high-quality, low-fat meat. Bison is used to obtain fresh meat and manufacture processed meat products. Bison can be marketed at livestock markets, animal feeder markets and slaughter animal markets.

Can bison and cattle be raised together?

No, it is not recommended to raise bison and cattle together. As the bison needs grazing in large areas, unlike the cattle that can be raised in closed pens.

There are also some diseases that can be transmitted from bison to livestock, such as brucellosis, which can cause severe symptoms in livestock, such as abortion.

How many acres is 20 bison?

Well, it’s really hard to say. It’s highly correlated to that quality of your land, but generally, we can say that you will need more than 30 acres. (depending on the ratio of 5 acres per 2 bison)

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Doaa Salah
The shy one (too shy to put her photo) and the only girl in our team! Doaa is a veterinarian who is passionate about writing content. She knows a lot about animals and birds, as she has been studying them for many years now. Her goal? She is researching and learning to convey to you all the knowledge she have and what's new about farming.