Calves are weaned at one year and become independent shortly thereafter. Wild calves are initially brown in colour, and only later develop the darker adult hair. Females generally give birth for the first time at three or four years of age,[19] and reach their peak reproductive fitness at around six years. Yaks may live for more than twenty years in domestication or captivity,[4] although it is likely that this may be somewhat shorter in the wild.

The yak (Bos grunniens and Bos mutus) is a long-haired bovid found throughout the Himalaya region of southern Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. Most yaks are domesticated Bos grunniens. There is also a small, vulnerable population of wild yaks, Bos mutus.[2]

Last week we’ve received a shed load of books to be added to our existing selection of knitting and crochet publications. These cover a wide range of topics and techniques, and knitters of all levels should find something suitable to their own experience.   At the moment most of these books are solely available in store but many of them Read the full article…

We know many of you will be happy to hear that we finally filled up our stocks with some Crazy Sexy Wool by Wool and the Gang. With its yardage of 81 meter per 200 gr and an average gauge of 8 stitches per 10 cm, the Crazy Sexy Wool definitely falls into the category of Read the full article…

The diet of wild yaks consists largely of grasses and sedges, such as Carex, Stipa, and Kobresia. They also eat a smaller amount of herbs, winterfat shrubs, and mosses, and have even been reported to eat lichen. Historically, the main natural predator of the wild yak has been the Tibetan wolf, but brown bears and snow leopards have also been reported as predators in some areas, likely of young or infirm wild yaks.[4]

The English word "yak" is a loan originating from Tibetan: གཡག་, Wylie: g.yag. In Tibetan, it refers only to the male of the species, the female being called Tibetan: འབྲི་, Wylie: 'bri, or nak. In English, as in most other languages that have borrowed the word, "yak" is usually used for both sexes.

The species was originally designated as Bos grunniens ("grunting ox") by Linnaeus in 1766, but this name is now generally only considered to refer to the domesticated form of the animal, with Bos mutus ("mute ox") being the preferred name for the wild species. Although some authors still consider the wild yak to be a subspecies, Bos grunniens mutus, the ICZN made an official ruling in 2003[5] permitting the use of the name Bos mutus for wild yaks, and this is now the more common usage.[1][4][6]

Thubten Jigme Norbu, the elder brother of the 14th Dalai Lama, reported on his journey from Kumbum in Amdo to Lhasa in 1950:

Compared with domestic cattle, the rumen of yaks is unusually large, relative to the omasum.[citation needed] This likely allows them to consume greater quantities of low-quality food at a time, and to ferment it longer so as to extract more nutrients.[13] Yak consume the equivalent of 1% of their body weight daily while cattle require 3% to maintain condition.[citation needed]

There is something quite special about autumn and winter knitting, in the making as much as in the resulting product. It makes those cold rainy days somehow more meaningful, the act of creating giving them a new purpose. If you’re lucky to have knitting socials in your town or simply enjoy meeting up with friends Read the full article…

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There is only two days before the screening of YARN: the movie,  at the Komedia. We are already a little bunch of knitters who’ve planed to attend the event and we’d love to see as many people as possible joining us for the charity KAL. As we already explained in our previous post, items knitted during the KAL Read the full article…

Contrary to popular belief, yak and their manure have little to no detectable odour[16] when maintained appropriately in pastures or paddocks with adequate access to forage and water. Yak's wool is naturally odour resistant.[17]

Train of pack yaks at Litang monastery in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China.

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In parts of Tibet and Karakorum, yak racing is a form of entertainment at traditional festivals and is considered an important part of their culture. More recently, sports involving domesticated yaks, such as yak skiing or yak polo, are being marketed as tourist attractions in Central Asian countries, including in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.

Yaks belong to the genus Bos and are therefore related to cattle (Bos primigenius species). Mitochondrial DNA analyses to determine the evolutionary history of yaks have been inconclusive.

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The yak may have diverged from cattle at any point between one and five million years ago, and there is some suggestion that it may be more closely related to bison than to the other members of its designated genus.[3] Apparent close fossil relatives of the yak, such as Bos baikalensis, have been found in eastern Russia, suggesting a possible route by which yak-like ancestors of the modern American bison could have entered the Americas.[4]

A  blanket is a lovely project when someone you know if expecting a baby. If we rarely hesitate to knit a tiny blanket for a new born, some of us might think twice before starting something bigger like a throw or a bedspread as they require lot of time, yarn and commitment. However when you see what a Read the full article…

The primary habitat of wild yaks consists of treeless uplands between 3,000 and 5,500 m (9,800 and 18,000 ft), dominated by mountains and plateaus. They are most commonly found in alpine tundra with a relatively thick carpet of grasses and sedges rather than the more barren steppe country.[24]

Yak

Yaks are herd animals. Herds can contain several hundred individuals, although many are much smaller. Herds consist primarily of females and their young, with a smaller number of adult males. The remaining males are either solitary, or found in much smaller groups, averaging around six individuals. Although they can become aggressive when defending young, or during the rut, wild yaks generally avoid humans, and may rapidly flee for great distances if any approach.[4]

Wild yaks are found primarily in northern Tibet and western Qinghai, with some populations extending into the southernmost parts of Xinjiang, and into Ladakh in India. Small, isolated populations of wild yak are also found farther afield, primarily in western Tibet and eastern Qinghai as well as some parts near Huanglong, Sichuan. In historic times, wild yaks were also found in Nepal and Bhutan, but they are now considered extinct in both countries, except as domesticated animals.[1]

Gestation lasts between 257 and 270 days,[13] so that the young are born between May and June, and results in the birth of a single calf. The female finds a secluded spot to give birth, but the calf is able to walk within about ten minutes of birth, and the pair soon rejoin the herd.[13] Females of both the wild and domestic forms typically give birth only once every other year,[4] although more frequent births are possible if the food supply is good.

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Yaks in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India saddled for riding.

Except where the wild yak is considered as a subspecies of Bos grunniens, there are no recognised subspecies of yak.

Crosses between yaks and domestic cattle (Bos primigenius taurus) have been recorded in Chinese literature for at least 2,000 years.[4] Successful crosses have also been recorded between yak and American bison,[29] gaur, and banteng, generally with similar results to those produced with domestic cattle.[4]