5 Non-traditional Types of Ranch Animals

Browsing through ranches in Wyoming may have you wondering what animal you want to raise. Most people will go with the typical cattle ranch. Cattle provide a large quantity of meat, leather, and other products.

Cows, however, are not your only option when it comes to ranching. The ideal choice would be an animal that is profitable. Here is a list of some non-traditional animals that can be raised on a ranch.

Five Non-traditional Types of Ranch Animals.


Emus are flightless birds that are native to Australia, where they are common and spread to nearly every part of the continent. Emu ranching is not particularly common in the United States, although it is picking up steam.

Emus are great animals for ranching because nearly every part of their body can be used. They are a source of oil used in cosmetics, which is their main source of profitability. Emu meat and leather can also be sold.


Ostriches are the African relative of the emu. These birds are also flightless, and they are the largest living species of bird on the planet. Ostrich ranching, much like emu ranching, has been growing in popularity over the past decade.

While ostrich meat is low in fat and high in many nutrients, it is still not popular in the United States. The most valuable parts of the ostrich are the feathers and leather. Ostrich feathers are mostly used in feather dusters, whereas ostrich leather is considered to be the strongest in the world.


While browsing ranches in Wyoming and researching the state in general, you cannot help but notice the American Bison. It is on the state flag, and it is the American national mammal.

Bison are popularly raised in Wyoming and other states thanks to their beef, which is growing in popularity. Bison beef tastes similar to cattle beef but is generally healthier, with lower fat content. The animal’s leather is also commonly used throughout the United States.


Alpaca are often confused as llamas, but they are actually two separate and related species. The alpaca is smaller and generally used for its fur, whereas the llama is mostly used as a pack animal for transportation.

Alpaca are great for their fiber, which is similar to wool. In comparison to a sheep’s wool, alpaca fiber is softer, not as scratchy, and hypoallergenic. A great plus to alpaca fur is the fact that the animals have a wide variation of coloring with hundreds of different shades.


Sheep are some of the most common livestock throughout the world, but sheep ranchers are less common in the United States. Despite this, sheep ranching is a profitable industry thanks to the constant demand for wool.

Wool and mutton are the two main products that a sheep provides. Raising sheep can be a great form of supplementary income thanks to their high wool yield and the demand for wool in general.

All animals that are used for ranching come with their own traditions and requirements. However, thanks to the internet, all the necessary education can be learned easily and quickly. Ranches in Wyoming come with a wide variety of animals, and maybe you can get some neighborly expertise in your new home.


Posted on October 24, 2016, in Ranches for Sale. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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