Courtenay, BC | 185 km from Lower Mainland
Water buffalo became an important part of our farm after we purchased 15 young females from Fairburn Farm in Duncan, BC and a male from the Ontario Water Buffalo Company in Stirling, ON in December of 2010. We designed and built a barn which was completed in the fall of 2011 and retro-fitted an older building to become our milking parlour. The milking parlour was completed the night of March 7th, 2012 and our first buffalo baby was born the morning of March 8th, 2012 and we started milking! In the past 3 years, our herd has expanded to a total of about 50 water buffalo and we have learned a lot! We strongly believe that our animals deserve to be cared for with kindness and respect and we strive to provide a healthy, natural, stress free environment for them. During the spring and summer months, roughly from April through until October, the water buffalo are on grass pasture. We bring them in to be milked twice a day, but the rest of the time, they are free to graze in the fields. During the winter months, the water buffalo are housed in a loose, sawdust pack barn. We group them in small, social groupings as they form strong bonds with their herd mates and mixing unfamiliar animals is very stressful. They prefer to sleep huddled together, often with their heads resting on each others backs. By using a sawdust pack barn, they are able to rest comfortably and lie down together. We feed a mixture of grass silage and non-GMO corn silage during the winter. Water buffalo have been domesticated in Asia for thousands of years. They are incredibly docile, curious, and friendly animals. Both the males and females have horns. Water buffalo have a gestation length of 10.5 months and can live up to 25 years. Their milk is pure white, mild tasting, high in milk fat (our herd is about 7.5%), protein and calcium but lower in cholesterol than cow’s milk. It is more easily digested and makes excellent yogurt and cheese."