Beef Shorthorn Cattle

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Other common names: Scotch Shorthorn; Polled Shorthorn

The basics:
Shorthorn Cattle were developed out of Durham and Teeswater cattle in the 18th century in the north of England. In the 1950's, the Shorthorn Cattle breed was divided into two breeds: the Milking Shorthorn for dairy, and the Beef Shorthorn for meat. The Beef Shorthorn is frequently crossed with the Hereford and Aberdeen Angus for desirable and marketable qualities and characteristics.

According to The Shorthorn Society of United Kingdom & Ireland, "The breed was used in the early part of the 20th Century, primarily as a dual purpose breed, but specialisation for beef and milk led to the beef breeders starting their own section of the herdbook in 1958. Since that time the Beef Shorthorns have been developed as a separate breed. The dairy breeders also sought to improve the dairyness of their animals, and a blending scheme to introduce outside blood from other breeds was introduced in 1970. The importance of the Shorthorn breed in the development of other cattle breeds is enormous, and Shorthorn genetics have been used worldwide in the development of over 40 different breeds."

Appearance / health:
The Shorthorn are medium cattle that have horns, broad backs, short legs, wide and short heads, and long and hairy ears. They are mostly reddish brown in color but some individuals show white and red markings.

Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.

Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.

Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.

Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.

Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).

A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.

Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.


excellent temperament, meat quality, range environment, heavily muscled carcass, good efficiency


beatiful roan patterns, rugged looking animal, larger birth weights, larger quality calf

Helpful Beef Shorthorn Cattle Review

Beef Shorthorn Cattle

From shmac84 Mar 20 2013 2:43PM


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