The Texas Longhorn is a breed of cattle known for its characteristic horns, which can extend to 7 feet (2.1 m) tip to tip for steers and exceptional cows, and 36 to 80 inches (0.91 to 2.0 m) tip to tip for bulls. Horns can have a slight upward turn at their tips or even triple twist. Texas Longhorns with elite genetics can often fetch $40,000 or more at auction with the record of $170,000 in recent history for a cow. Due to their innate gentle disposition and intelligence, Texas Longhorns are increasingly being trained as riding steers.
The history, early Texas settlers obtained feral (stray) Mexican cattle from the borderland between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande and mixed them with their own eastern cattle. The result was a tough, rangy animal with long legs and long horns extending up to seven feet. Although this interbreeding was of little consequence to the makeup of a Longhorn, it did manage to alter color. The varieties of color ranged from blue; and all hues of “yellow”; browns, black, red and white. both cleanly bright and dirty-speckled. The leaner longhorn beef was not as attractive in an era where tallow was highly prized, and the longhorn’s ability to survive on often poor vegetation of the open range was no longer as much of an issue. Other breeds demonstrated traits more highly valued by the modern rancher, such as the ability to put on weight quickly. The Texas longhorn stock slowly dwindled, until in 1927 the breed was saved from almost certain extinction by enthusiasts from the US Forest Service, who collected a small herd of stock to breed in Lawton, OK. A few years later, longhorns were gathered in small herds to keep in Texas state parks. They were cared for largely as curiosities, but the stock’s longevity, resistance to disease and ability to thrive on marginal pastures quickly revived the breed as beef stock. Today, the breed is still used as a beef stock, though many Texas ranchers keep herds purely because of their link to Texas history.
In other parts of North America this breed is used for much more. Longhorn cattle have a strong survival instinct and can find food and shelter during times of rough weather. Longhorn calves are very tough and can stand up sooner after birth than other breeds. Longhorn cattle can breed for a long time, well into their teens. There have been cows that have bred for up to thirty years. Some ranchers keep Longhorns for their easy calving. A Longhorn cow will often go off on her own to a safe place to have the calf then bring it home. They are also known to hide their calves in safe places to avoid predation, sometimes causing difficulty for ranchers, who may need to work on the animal.
Most breeds of cattle fall into either beef or dairy. The Texas Longhorn is a beef animal and is known for its lean beef, which is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than most beef. Texas Longhorns are also used to add hybrid vigor and easy calving when crossed with other breeds. Moreover, they continue to represent the romance of the American Old West and are often retained for their beauty and intelligence.
At TnT Ranch Tom and Traci Davis offer beef from Longhorn and Longhorn cross steers – we feed them a nice grain mix and finish them on grass for nice flavor. we have all natural beef with no hormones or growth supplements. When we slaughter out beef is hung at a USDA plant and packed and frozen for long shelf life. You can not beat home grown meat!!
We also have longhorn steers that are NOT for slaughter but are for fun! We enjoy riding them and love to share the fun with others! Great deal right now — come to TNT and spend some time with Texas history!! CLICK HERE — When in Texas do as the Texans do!! Ride a longhorn!!