HOME APPALOOSAS AUSSIES CATTLE CONTACT US DOG LINKS HORSE LINKS  

Longhorn History

 

Texas Longhorns

From Extinction to Distinction 

 

 

"Someone has said that civilization follows the plow.  West of the Missouri, the plow followed the cowboy and the cowboy followed a Longhorn from Texas"...J. Frank Dobie

The Texas Longhorn has followed a long trail to the 21st century.  Its ancestors came from shores of Spain, arriving with Columbus in 1493 at Santa Domingo.   In 1521, Gregorio de Villalobos brought the first cattle from Santa Domingo to Mexico.  Explorers, settlers and expeditions to establish missions then brought cattle into Texas.  These cattle, mingling with cattle lost by eastern settlers, propagated as they escaped, were scattered by Indians or abandoned.  Left on their own without benefit of man, these animals survived by their own ingenuity - developing through the years the traits of hardiness, disease resistance, longevity, fertility, and browse utilization.

During the dark days following the Civil War, the Texas Longhorn became the financial salvation of the Southwest.  Men returning home found that their only source of income was the thousands of Texas Longhorns wandering freely - worth next to nothing in Texas, buy hungered for by the residents of the North.  An estimated 10 million Texas cattle were trailed to northern markets between 1866 and 1895 bringing in the staggering sum of $200,000,000.

However, in the late 1800s, the hardy Texas Longhorn met with an enemy his natural instincts couldn't fight - the fencing of the open ranges and the importation of other beef breeds.  The number of Texas Longhorns dwindled until the true Texas Longhorn approached extinction.  As national concern grew, the U.S. government appropriated $3,000 in 1927 to acquire a herd of the old-time cattle.  After a 5,000 mile trip through South Texas and Old Mexico, Forest Service employees located 23 herd that became the foundation stock for the federal herd at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Cache, Oklahoma.

Through the years, interest in the Texas Longhorns increased, and in 1964, concerned breeders organized the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, now headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.  Through the efforts of those breeders, over a quarter million head of Texas Longhorn cattle have been registered.

Although recognized for its rich history and long horns, which average four feet and sometimes more from tip to tip, the Texas Longhorn is making a major contribution to today's beef industry.  The same characteristics that the Texas Longhorn developed through the years of neglect are in demand by the cattleman of the 21st century - calving ease, fertility, disease resistance, and longevity.

It is not unusual for Texas Longhorn cows to calve well into their teens, and more calves mean more dollars to today's cowman.  The breed is adaptable to any climate, doing as well in the hot steamy climate of the Florida coast as in the cold winters of the northern United States and Canada.  It also forages on minimum pasture and works extremely well in crossbreeding programs.

Despite the movie director's love of good stampedes, the Texas Longhorn is a very docile bovine and easy to work with as witnessed by the number of men and women who work with cattle on foot and by the number of youngsters who exhibit these long horned cattle in the show ring.

Another reason the Texas Longhorn genetics are in demand in today's beef market is the lean beef they provide.  With the public's concern today about fat, it is a relief to know that there is a breed of cattle that can provide naturally lean beef.  Research from Texas A&M University has shown that Texas Longhorn steaks have 30% less muscle fat and 15% less saturated fat than steaks from a British beef breed.  However, the marbling, quality grade and flavor are similar.  Shouldn't you ask for Longhorn Lean the next time you are in a restaurant?

Truly the Texas Longhorn has come from "Extinction to Distinction".

Taken from a leaflet provided by the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America
2315 N Main ~ Ste 402 ~ Fort Worth, Texas 76016
817-625-6241 www.tlbaa.org 

 

Cattle Sales ] Herd Sires ] OBR Santa Gertrudis ] Longhorn Characteristics ] Longhorn Cooking Tips ] [ Longhorn History ] Trail Drives & Cowboys ] Wildlife Refuge ]

 Home ] Appaloosas ] Appaloosa Heritage Articles ] Appaloosa Historical Photos ] Australian Shepherds ] Longhorns ] Candid Photos ] Services for Hire ]

 

The O'Bryant Ranch web site is an informational web site, this information is subject to change without notice. Any use of, or actions taken based upon any of the information contained on this web site is done entirely at your own risk.   O'Bryant Ranch expressly prohibit you from republishing or redistributing this content without first receiving my written consent. By using this site, you agree not to hold me liable for any errors or delays in this content, or for any actions that you take in reliance thereon. This site contains links to other Internet sites. These links are not endorsements by me of any products or services in those sites, and I have not endorsed or approved any information in those sites.

This page was last updated 03/26/09

Copyright 2000 - 2014
Show Horse Promotions
All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy