Raising yaks maybe difficult for others, but he finds it easy since he learnt it as a child. He does acknowledge that it may be really risky for those who don’t know anything about it. Yaks have to be moved according to the seasons. If they are not moved to highland pastures in summer, they dies from the heat.
Yak herders need to know which forests have enough water and grass in which months, and which rivers and wetlands are infested with leech. They need to stay away from poisonous plants, and treacherous cliffs and landslides. Yak herders also need to know how to save their animals from snow leopards and wolves, and what medicinal herbs to give them when they fall sick.
In olden days, people who raised yaks and sheep were called ‘Baru’ (rich) because they earned income from selling milk, butter, cheese, churpi, wool, and calves. These days there are fewer yak farms in villages, but the products still fetch good prices.
“Mountain communities like ours need butter for rituals like birth, death, weddings, so the value of milk has increased because there are fewer yak farms,” Dindup adds.