Longhorn Breed Of Cattle | animalgals
Longhorns were brought by the Spanish via Mexico into Texas in the sixteenth century. After the Civil War (1861-65) there was an explosive increase in their population. Cattle intended for slaughter were driven slowly along the wide 'cattle trails', often taking two years to reach market in the more densely populated north east. In the extremely hard winter of 1885/86, up to 85% of the animals died in many areas. After the subsequent extremely dry summer and an unusually severe blizzard in January 1887, holdings completely collapsed and the importance of this breed was practically destroyed. In 1964, the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America was formed. At that time there were less than 1,500 head of genuine Texas Longhorn cattle in existence. The Texas Longhorn is the living symbol of the Old West.
2016 North Texas Longhorn Breeders Association
After the herds were slaughtered and the Plains Indians confined in the late 1870s, private and syndicate ranches spread northward to the open range and free grass on the Great Plains. Texas longhorns, accompanied by Texas cowboys, stocked most of the new ranches; the trailing era made the cowboy a universal folk hero. The " of 1886–87, together with the rapid spread of fences, brought an abrupt end to the open-range cattle boom and with it the dominance of the longhorn. Fencing made possible controlled breeding, and with the end of free grass it was economically advisable to raise cattle that developed faster than longhorns. By this time ranchers had begun crossing longhorns with shorthorn Durhams and later with , thus producing excellent beef animals. Longhorns were bred almost out of existence; by the 1920s only a few small herds remained.
Recreational: The recreational market provides a steady stream of customers for Longhorn breeders. Team roping, team-penning and cutting are reaching new highs in popularity all over the United States. Texas Longhorn cattle are perfectly suited to these sports due to body size, disposition and, of course, horns. There is also excellent resale value in these animals after their recreational purposes are completed.
The longhorn breed of cattle are the only breed that has evolved in North America. The Longhorn has bred into it the ability to withstand many weather extremes found in North America. As a product of over 500 years of evolution right here in North America, the longhorn breed possesses:Thanks to the wisdom of some very dedicated men, a national refuge was opened for the longhorn breed. The Goverment sent 2 agents to try to find the last remnants of the breed and put them on a refuge, known today as the Wichita Refuge, or WR. There were also 6 other families of Longhorns that survived, and every longhorn found today can trace roots back to one of these 7 families. The English, in colonizing North America, brought their native cattle in 1623. As they moved west, so did their cattle, pulling wagons and plows and providing milk. Meanwhile, Mexico, California, Texas and what was then the Louisiana Purchase were witnessing the evolution of the history-making Texas Longhorn breed of cattle.Seed Stock:The seedstock market gives serious breeders a reason to keep records and challenge their cattle to perform and progress. Among Longhorn breeders there's a constant trade toward the genetic improvement of purebreds. Breeders also have a ready outlet for their well-bred bulls and females to commercial ranchers. Consumer demand has created awareness that Longhorns can infuse the genetics which naturally produce lean beef.Mexico, Texas, and what was then the Louisiana Purchase became the major blending pot for the evolution of this history-making Texas Longhorn breed of cattle. So old-timers contend the big horns, speckled colors and body types were derived from importation to the States out of the Longhorn Herefords of England. Others believe the blue and roan speckled stock reflected early Durham (shorthorn) introductions. The Spanish influence was represented by drab, earth tone colors. In summary, all seven families are great cattle. Each has strong and weak points. A Longhorn program designed for the future that is profitable and successful will need to carefully consider which family lines to pursue. This decision will be the most significant any Longhorn breeder has to make if a profitable business is desired.
In the 1900s, “improved” British, European, and Indian breeds of cattle were imported to the region to boost beef production, and the Texas Longhorn breed declined in popularity. This influx of new breeds has very nearly caused the extinction of many of today’s heritage breeds. Fortunately this breed has always been connected with Texan identity, so that some ranchers always kept herds going. In the 1960s this effort was organized and expanded, but unfortunately the name “Longhorn” drove selection so much that purity became diluted, as selection favored horn growth at the expense of other traits. As a reaction to the perilous situation facing the traditional breed, a few breeders organized and began a quest for the old, traditional pure Texas Longhorn cattle. The Texas longhorn's coat shows a wide variation in color. One current trend for Texas Longhorn breeders (owners) is to breed for horn characteristics. Due to the variation in horn growth, with some cattle having almost flat horns while others have many twists and turns, there are three horn measurements that can be taken:Now let's take a look at the Texas Longhorn Breed. The Texas Longhorn breed has a lot to offer the commercial cattleman but our association and we as breeders have done a poor job of getting the word out about the true value of our cattle. When you speak with most commercial cattlemen about Longhorns they are quick to turn up their noses or shack their heads and say "those scrubby little things are all horn and no meat, their worthless." We all know that is not the case but perception is reality and we have to change that as we move our breed forward in the years to come. Now is the time that we need to start making the "profit making genetics" of the Texas Longhorn known to the commercial cattlemen and ranchers. With the depopulation of the US cattle herd due to the severe drought which has plagued a large portion of the US's ranching land now is the time for our association to start educating cattlemen about the benefits of using Longhorn genetics as they rebuild their herds. Longhorns can offer cattlemen the most affordable and efficient way to rebuild their ranching operation.They do live longer on average than other breeds and are often productive into their late teens and even later. We have a 20 year old cow who still produces a calf every year. Most of my neighbors cull their stock at 7 or 8 years. Most Longhorn breeders think nothing of buying a good cow who is 10 or 12.Pat Beach