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Stocking Exotics on Your Texas Ranch

Ruple Properties, November 5, 2014

Are you looking to add some diversity to your ranch? Exotic livestock are a great investment and an exciting hobby. Don’t be intimidated by the unknown. Exotics are easy to care for, and their benefits outweigh the extra work.

“Exotic animals,” are defined as a species of game not indigenous to the state. The first exotic game introduced were a group of nilgai antelope from India brought to south Texas in 1930. Some examples of popular exotics in Texas are red sheep, Axis deer, and blackbucks. You will enjoy all the perks of owning exotic game on your ranch.

Blackbuck are native to India, but thrive on healthy Texas ranches. | Photo Credit: Sumeet Moghe

Hunting Adventures

It’s the adventure of a lifetime: spending time in the great outdoors stalking that prized animal. Hunting enthusiasts no longer have to travel across an ocean to experience hunting exotic game. Texas has become a goldmine for ranches that carry these unique animals, and people will pay top dollar for the chance to bring home their unique trophy.

Hosting expeditions is one way to gain revenue for your ranch. Exotics don’t have a specific season, so hunting can happen year-round. Because of the lack of regulations, there are a lot of exciting things you can do during a wild game hunt that you wouldn’t be able to do with local game, such as hunting by helicopter.

Exotics For Dinner

You can also sell the game for meat, which is a great way to keep the population under control. Exotic game is full of healthy Omega fatty acids, and has less fat and calories than beef. Grass-fed game has no hormones or pesticides, so the consumer knows they are getting quality meat. Many high-end restaurants are choosing to offer options such as bison as an alternative to beef, and customers love the unique taste and health benefits.

There are companies that will butcher and process the meat for you right on your ranch, so you don’t have to worry about transporting. The meat can be turned into jerky, sausages, ground meat, or steaks. Usually, you can make about two dollars per pound.

Low Maintenance

Surprisingly, exotic game don’t require a lot of special attention or care. Most animals do fine mixed in with common livestock. Exotics take up less room too. According to ranchers at Heart of the Lonestar Ranch in San Angelo, you can have about five to nine exotic animals on the same plot of land you need for one cow and calf. Depending on the type of game, you will not necessarily need a special type of fence. Ask your local exotic game breeder for more information on recommended fencing.

Unlike domestic livestock, you don’t have to vaccinate exotic animals or perform worming and tagging. It is actually better to leave them alone as much as possible, especially if you using them for food, as the less “stressed” animals produce better meat.

Make Your Texas Ranch Wild

Raising exotic game is fun and rewarding! These unique animals will make your ranch a one-of-a-kind place to be, and provide the opportunity to help people make memories of an exciting hunt. It is a great learning experience, and will put extra money in your pocket.

Check with your local exotic game breeder to see how you can add some adventure to your ranch. Or, if you are interested in raising exotic game in Texas, but are still looking for the perfect piece of real estate, you can browse through some of the most beautiful Texas ranches online. Then, drop us a quick note or give us a call at 830-569-3500, and we’ll take you to see your future ranch in person.