IDAHO FALLS – A local farm’s baby yak is becoming a star on TikTok.
Melissa Bade works for a small hobby farm in Rexburg called HB Farm Cooperative. It recently purchased a Longhorn heifer, which workers later learned was pregnant.
“It was an unexpected surprise, a bonus with purchase,” Bade tells EastIdahoNews.com.
The calf was born on March 1, which she named Copper. It didn’t take long for Bade to realize Copper was a little different than a typical calf. The cows previous owners apparently had some yaks in close proximity and one of the bulls unbeknownst to them had bred with the cow Bade and her crew bought.
“He runs so fast and he does things that I’ve never had a calf do,” she says. “He is a calf that doesn’t quit, runs with his atypical fluffy tail straight in the air … and has brought us such joy. Watching him every day is better than a Netflix subscription.”
When she discovered it was a cow-yak hybrid, she took to social media to share the news.
“I posted videos of him being born and his first poop … but nobody paid any attention until I posted a video (describing him as a ’45 day old farm terrorist),'” says Bade, which you can see in the video below.
@missyrtumabade Copper Chaos daily. Farm terrorist makes everyone insane. #madcow #crazycalf #funnyfarm #Idaho #Yak #longhorn ♬ original sound – HB Farm Cooperative
The video shows Copper running and jumping around the corral like a dog, rolling around in a dirt pile and growling like a bear.
Since it was posted on April 13, the video has gone viral, garnering more than 2.8 million views, as of Monday afternoon.
“It was an overnight sensation! Copper went viral like Covid,” Bade writes in an email.
And followers have continued to voice their approval, with comments like, “He’s turbo-charged,” “speedy little hamburger patty,” and “Looks like he got a hold of a Red Bull.”
Bade says she never anticipated this type of response from people.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, she feels lighthearted entertainment like this is exactly what people are looking for and she’s happy to see “the world embrace our boy and get such happiness out of watching his antics.”
“I’m a grandma. I’m not savvy at (social media),” Bade explains. “I just wanted to take stupid videos to show my friends.”
With millions of views, Bade now has the option of monetizing the video. That’s never been her intent and she would rather see people support them in other ways.
“We’re in a drought. We didn’t even get our third crop and we got half of our hay last year so we’re buying hay at crazy prices. I’m all for people (buying hay or grain from us) or sponsoring a salt block,” she says.
Bade says raising yaks is fairly common in China and in higher elevations, and the animals are typically raised for the meat. Kent and Susan Sutton of Rexburg reportedly own one of the largest yak herds in North America.