The Texas Longhorn is a cattle breed which is distinguished by its exceptionally long horns and its ability to survive in hot, sparse terrain with little supplemental feed. The Texas Longhorn was developed in southern Texas in the early 1800's,
and is a descendant of Spanish, English and Mexican cattle.
According to the International Texas Longhorn Association (iTLA), "Although "Mexican" cattle of the long horned variety provided the basic strain, historian J. Frank Dobie documented that an infiltration of cattle of mongrel American blood contributed to the evolution of the Texas Longhorn. Dobie estimated the Texas Longhorn evolved as 80% Spanish influence and 20% mongrel influence."
Today, the Texas Longhorn is favored for its hardiness, easy birthing, lean meat, high fertility, docile temperament and nostalgic link to American history. The Miniature Texas Longhorn is just 1/3 the size of normal Texas Longhorns, and has its own breed registry.
Appearance / health:
Texas Longhorns are medium to large cattle characterized by the horns on both sexes. Steers can grow horns averaging 4 feet long from tip to tip. Horns on some cows and bulls grow up to 86 inches long. Horns come in different sizes and shapes, including flat, curved, and double or triple twisted. Texas Longhorns are also known for not having uniform colors or 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.
majestic presence, looooong horns, exceptional foragers, beef producers
intimidating, lean animal
cholesterol, great Riding Steers, mesquite trees, willing attitude, colder climate
If you're going to ranch in Texas, you have to have a Texas Longhorn.
Our small herd of Longhorns was started simply for the fact they’re Longhorns. We didn’t plan to raise them for meat or milk production but did wind up using them for meat production as well as building the herd. The meat is leaner and lower in calories and cholesterol than many other beef producers.
They’re easy to maintain as they’ll graze and search for food and they genuinely like to be alone in the pastures. They birth fairly easily and are very protective of their calves.
The biggest problem we had was one particular bull. He’d come with some land we’d purchased as the original owner didn’t want to sell his Longhorns at auction. This bull was out to breed every heifer in Texas. He was always breaking through fences, tearing down gates, and he’d even swim under water to get under the fence line that hung 3 ft into the water level of the creek. He was un-stoppable; I’ll bet we had to go get him every other day. We had a number of Hereford – Longhorn crosses due to him. We finally had to have him cut. We hated to do it because he was a beautiful Longhorn bull but he just wouldn’t stay in his pastures. After he was cut he stayed home.
I'm always going to recommend a Texas Longhorn..
From TexasNana Mar 16 2013 8:39AM
Longhorn Cattle - an Angus alternative?
Having raised both pure-bred Longhorn, and also cross-bred Longhorn/Angus as cow/calf, I find a few interesting items of interest, for the potential buyer.
As a matter of disclaimer, our ranch is located in a colder climate of the Northwest. Nestled in the mountains of Idaho, it's common for us to have 6 months of snowfall. Why then, would I consider the 'Texas Longhorn' breed?
Most commonly known for their distinctive colors, shapes, and of course, the LONG HORNS, there are some items that you may not have considered...
1.) The longevity of the animal.
Longhorn cattle are very versatile. They have been bred for hardiness. Rather than mere meat quantity/fat content as that of the Angus. The Longhorn is less susceptible to disease, infections, and natural causes of death. It's a stronger animal in it's foundation. Immune system for example.
2.) They don't mind the cold!
The long-horn also has long-legs... It's common for our longhorn cattle to trip through several feet of snow, in search of forage. Our Angus won't do that! They handle our sub-zero temps just as well, if not better than other breeds.
3.) The natural flavor of the Beef
Naturally very lean, Longhorn cattle produce excellent grass-fed, organic, or natural beef. And the flavor is excellent.
Consider the Texas Longhorn. There really is, so much more!
As my photo depicts, we're hardly Texas!.
From cloverthegolden Oct 18 2014 8:28PM
Longhorn cattle aren't exactly a pet, though our family has kept one cow as a pet. She was rejected by her mother at birth and bottle raised. After that, she spent most of her time running with the dogs. She comes to her name when called and is affectionate. This is a wonderful trait and surprising in a cow, but you have to remember affection in the swinging form of a head with sharp horns isn't always welcome.
The primary reason to own longhorns is for their meat, which is a nice source. However, you must always be mindful of their horns. The pros to owning this breed are that the require very little outside of adequate feeding grounds, and they can tolerate a large variety of temperatures. Their horns are the largest downside, as it can be difficult to get close to them. The males can also be very aggressive. We had a problem with one bull who would break many of the gates we tried. He was extremely strong and would cause a good deal of structural damage when he got out--whether to fences, the barn, or vehicles near the barn.
If you aren't looking for beef cows, longhorns would not be the best choice..
From Livmass Jan 8 2015 5:59PM