uvma.org

The Benefits of Elk

1. Breeding Stock • North America will be in a stock-up phase for at least another five years. •Elk are a single offspring species; twinning is rare. •Selective breeding to enhance the benefits of the stock will always be in demand.

2. Velvet •Bulls produce velvet every year. An average two-year-old will grow approximately 9 lbs. of velvet. Generally, bulls increase velvet yields every year until maturity. Mature bulls (7-8 years old) may produce 30-40 lbs. of velvet. •A herd with an even distribution from yearlings to mature bulls will aver age 15 lbs. per head. •Velvet is a commodity which in the past 15 years has ranged from $25 to $110 per pound. • North America presently produces only a very small part of what the Oriental market demands. •There is an expanding demand for velvet products in North America . •It is a classic renewable resource.

3. Meat •Elk meat has long been considered the premier venison. •Since North America imports 150 tons of venison annually, elk meat enjoys a ready market. •It fits the needs of the modern consumer because it is lean, low in fat and cholesterol, and delicious. Plus, it is raised using no growth hormones or chemicals.

4. Recreation •Many enjoy hunting a trophy animal, a mature bull with a beautiful set of antlers. •People enjoy watching elk and will pay to visit them in a natural setting.

5 . Natural by-products •The leather is soft, yet durable. It is used to make boots, gloves, and other articles of clothing. •The antlers are used to make jewelry, pieces of art, and decorative accessories for the home.

The breeding stock market is driven by the need for top quality replacement and startup animals. Characteristics such as antler shape and weight, as well as the animal's size, temperament, color, conception and calving abilities are greatly influenced by genetics. Animals that possess the greatest potential for passing on these positive genetics are highly sought after and command the highest prices. The better the genetics and the deeper the pedigree the more valuable the animal. Artificial Insemination is commonly used in the industry. There is tremendous potential for innovative breeders to improve the genetic quality of elk. The elk industry is one of the most exciting fields of agriculture. Elk are delightful animals to work with and the strong diverse markets promise a great future for anyone involved.

Elks: Fast Facts

•  Calves develop brown coats at six months old

•  The older the cow, the bigger they appear when pregnant

More about Elks

Elk: Home

Other Major Markets: Elk

What is an Elk?