The museum maintains two bison herds, located on either side of Interstate 94. Both are visible from the interstate much of the time.
As living exhibits, our herds model a commercial ranch to the extent that is feasible. Like most other bison ranches, the number of animals we have in our herd is largely determined by the amount of grazing land we have. We want to strike a balance between the number of animals we have and the natural resources available to keep both animals and land healthy.
Together, our herds model a cow-calf ranching operation on a miniature scale. In this type of operation, calves are weaned and sold each year. Our North Herd is currently comprised of one breeding bull and five cows. During the spring and summer, the North herd should increase with the addition of up to five calves. At about six months old, our calves are weaned and moved to our South Herd, which is currently comprised of calves, yearling heifers, Rosebud (our 5-year-old orphaned freemartin who serves as lead cow), and Moose, (our performance tested breeding bull donated by Cold Creek Buffalo Company)
Each year, we will keep our most promising heifer calves to be bred. Those heifer calves can serve as replacements for our cow herd if needed. Otherwise, we sell our bred heifers and calves at production sales, which take place from November to March each year across the country.