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In addition to the colours black, brown, grey and white Yak cattle are also pied, especially with a back blaze. The area surrounding the mouth is always bright and the torso is covered with long hair. The abdominal mane is particularly pronounced. The tail is hairy all over its length and the mouth is covered with hair. Yaks only have a tiny muzzle. The shoulders are hump- like, high and the limbs are firm, strong, hairy and short. The horns are widely spread and occasionally one finds polled animals.

Christian Moser

Direction of use

Yaks are well suited for farming in high altitude areas between 3,000 and 6,000 m above sea level. The milk is partially processed into butter, cheese or sour milk and the meat is dried or smoked over a fire. The coarse wool of these animals is made into blankets, tent tarpaulins and ropes. Also, the animals are suitable as riding and pack animals and they can carry loads up to 100 kg. In Tibet the people are largely dependent on Yaks.

Statistics & Distribution

  • Austria: 400 animals
  • Breed proportion in Austria: 0.02%

The wild form is nearly extinct in Tibet but you can find animals of the domesticated type in China, Nepal, Kashmir, Bhutan, Mongolia, Siberia and North America. Individual animals are kept in other countries. Larger herds can be found in Germany, Southern Tyrol and Switzerland. Here, however, no milk production takes place.


Ø Beef performance:

  Daily weight gain (g)
  200 days 365 days
M 616,7 318
F 356,3 425

Control farms (Herds): 3

Height (cm, Ø): 120

Weight (kg, Ø): 300

Animals in control farms: 102

Registered cows: 25

Origin: Himalaya, Tibet


The Yak is descended from the wild Yak but not from the aurochs. This breed was domesticated more than 3000 years ago and the size of the domesticated cattle is much smaller.