Bulls In Rut
At the end of the summer, bulls on the farm enter the fall rut in preparation for the breeding season. Heightened aggressiveness and impressive dominance displays characterize bulls in rut. The famous charging and head-smashing occurs during this time of year between males vying for breeding privileges. The bone jarring collisions between these massive animals are a much-anticipated event. Two males will engage in a ritualized display designed to intimidate each other, including pawing at the ground, walking stiff-legged, and aggressively swinging their massive horns.
Following the displays, the bulls will face-off and back up 100 feet or so before charging together at speeds close to 35 miles per hour. The head smashing may continue up to a dozen times before one bull quits and submits to the other.
Several separate harems are formed in the fall. Each harem consists of one bull and a selected group of cows. Breeding lines are chosen for genetic diversity, to promote qiviut production, and enhancing docile traits. Following approximately six weeks in harem, the cows are moved to a separate pasture and monitored throughout their eight month gestation.
Calves are born anytime from late April to mid-May, and may weigh between eighteen and twenty-five pounds. They are born with a full coat of qiviut and a boundless supply of energy. The calves are the main attraction on opening day at the farm, Mother's Day, when hundreds of visitors flock to witness these adorable and spirited creatures explore their new surroundings.