Lizette and Cornelius are South African Canadians. South Africa has a large private game industry which led to an explosion of game on private farms and reserves. We are owners of Royal Roan Antelope at Schoongezicht game farm, close to Thabazimbi, South Africa.
We believe by placing a value on game and by farming with them, their survival and future prosperity will be secured. We explored options to be involved with game farming in Ontario. As the largest mammal in North America, bison hold a special fascination for us.
The decimation of Bison herds in the 19th century by humans motivated us to make our contribution to help restore this iconic North American animal. We joined the Canadian Bison Association and started our plan to farm with bison. Bison are unique animals that thrive in Canada's cold climate. Bisons' grazing habits improve grassland health and increase animal diversity of the landscape. Since bison prosper on the grasslands of the prairies we decided to focus on raising naturally grass fed bison with minimal intervention. We use rotational grazing methods with an emphasis on maintaining healthy pastures and ensuring the bison have sufficient grass to feed on.
Bison, Nature's Original Plant Based Protein©
With the very cold winters and pleasant summers in Canada, not all animals can survive the extremes of temperature. We believe in raising animals that belong in Canada's climate and have roamed these plains for hundreds of thousands of years. We chose bison because they belong in North America. We follow the Canadian Bison Association's Code of Practice for the care and handling of bison.
Our Commitment To Sustainability
Our farmland, previously cultivated, has now been turned into pasture. Returning the fields to their natural state and decreasing fossil fuel consumption formerly required to operate crop production machinery. The bison is a native and undomesticated species to North America and more in tune with the local ecosystem. Their ability to slow their metabolism during winter enables them to survive on a less energy rich diet than cattle. The bison diet is also less damaging to the plains environment and bison grazing in fact increases biodiversity in grasslands. Bison hooves cause less trampling and erosion damage than cattle and their feces is a natural fertilizer to the habitat. Bison is a hardier species and do not need shelter in winter. We are sensitive not to exceed our bison carrying capacity on Snowy Creek Bison, ensuring healthy pastures and healthy bison. In addition, as a new bison farm in Canada there are now a few more bison on the continent. We plan to continue to build our herd well into the future. We support the Bison One Million Project which aims to rebuild the bison population in North America to one million animals.
A Budding Ecosystem
Since the very start of our operation, we have noticed an increase in the bird population on our farm. This past summer we have seen several birds' nests lined with bison wool. Researchers report that bison wool contributes to an increase in the temperature of the nest which in turn increase the survival of newly hatched chicks.
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