LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

MONTOUR, Idaho -- Here in Idaho, keeping a few back-yard chickens, a handful of sheep, or even a rabbit or two is pretty common. That's because self-sustaining hobby farms are very popular these days, with many people growing the own food and raising their own meat. However, one Montour couple's longing for a local source of meat has led to something much bigger.

A herd of nine bison.

Five years ago, the recently-retired Gatfields who live just outside of Emmett near Montour, were preparing their first hand-fed buffalo for the butcher block. However, they quickly realized the personal time spent with the cute little animal soon led to a major attachment.

According to Delma Gatfield and her husband J, they purchased that first buffalo -- Buffy -- back in '07. She was only a week-old at the time.

You bottle fed her and played with her, but you were intending to eat her? Well, that was the start of the story, explains Delma.

That question soon became the beginning of something much bigger as the couple brought in Willy, who together with Buffy, gave birth to Teka. Then came Lady and Cindy, the mother of Jinger. They were followed by Cody and Snowflake, and finally the newest addition to the herd -- Bull Mater.

To say Delma Gatfield dotes on Bull Mater is an understatement. The loving grandma recently gave the baby bull his first birthday party, complete with balloons.

A lot of people go by and think I have a new grandson but I don't tell them it's just a new buffalo, Gatfield told KTVB.

Delma also says the couple is constantly asked about whether they'll sell their buffalo meat, but she's not quite ready to say 'goodbye' to any of them.

Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/06/30/11740959/