Cattalo —A New Animal from the North (Dec, 1931)

Cattalo —A New Animal from the North

“Cattalo steak, sir? Nice and tender today.” You may hear that in dining-cars and hotels in the near future.

The “cattalo” is the result of crossing the buffalo and Hereford cow, and has been bred by the animal husbandmen of the Canadian Department of Agriculture with a view to transforming the Arctic prairies into a profitable ranch. Blessed with the hide of the buffalo, this new animal is capable of rustling for a living in the most severe climates. At the same time it inherits the docility of the domestic cow and can be easily herded. Recent tests show that the meat is equal, both in quality and texture, to the finest beef. To overcome sterility, the Yak, of Tibet, was introduced into the breeding experiments. For years the male hybrids have evidenced the violence of the first cross by being sterile, but persistent cross-breeding has overcome this difficulty.

  1. Sean says: September 2, 20118:16 am

    A friend of mine raises a few dozen “Beefalo”, as they ended up being called. Farmed organically, the meat fetches a great price.…

  2. fluffy says: September 2, 201111:20 am

    Aw, they’re also a lot cuter than cows or buffalo. I’m not sure I could actually eat them now.

    Who am I kidding? They’re tasty.

  3. Devak says: September 2, 20114:17 pm

    I like the beef that is grass fed. The fat is yellow and the meat is excellent. Corn fed beef fat is white.

  4. Hirudinea says: September 2, 20115:06 pm

    Well being able to better withstand the cold they can use range that cattle can’t, which means they’re not tasty but environmently friendly.

    @ Sean – So have they overcome the breeding problems?

  5. Sean says: September 2, 20116:10 pm

    @ Hirudinea

    They have, yes. I don’t know the full story on it, but there’ve been fertile males since the 60’s according to Wikipedia.

    Actually, I find them tastier. The meat is leaner than regular cattle. But then, I like venison which is about as lean as you can get.

  6. Hirudinea says: September 3, 20119:14 pm

    @ Sean – But I dont think they have gotten very far domesticatind deer (unless you count reindeer) so we’ll have to settle for what they have in stock (ha, pun! 🙂 ) Oh, on the meat topic, today, at the Ex (google it), I had buffalo, venison, camel and kangaroo! The only problem was it was all sausage so you couldn’t really tell the different tastes, except the camel, couldn’t tell you exactly how but it was different.

  7. John Savard says: September 4, 201112:34 am

    Looking up more information, I see that the term “Beefalo” originated in 1965, to describe a more successful bison/cattle hybrid. Previous to that, the the hybrids called cattalo, while they had some fertility, it was mostly limited to the cows, so a stable herd that wouldn’t revert to being almost pure cattle again after a few generations could not be kept unless you also kept bison, and repeated the initial hybridization.

  8. Toronto says: September 4, 20118:00 pm

    Hiru: were those meats all at the same jerky booth, perchance? (I was at the Ex yesterday.)

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