Friday, April 17, 2009

Texas Longhorns

Something I've noticed in the last few years is that we have seen a lot of new people raising Longhorn Cattle. Now when I was young we seldom saw a real Longhorn, people wanting beef want Herefords, mostly. And lately there are a lot of Angus, some Charolais and, of course our Santa Gertrudis. There were always some of the old Longhorns hiding deep in the thickets of south Texas and a few of our wealthier types kept some around but commercially they've been out for over a century.

The smaller, more compact Hereford has knocked the old champ out of the ring. There are some obvious reasons, the Longhorn is a big, rangy animal, with far less beef for the size of the critter than some of the other breeds.

And then there are the horns. A Longhorn in a bad mood is quite a critter. Those horns can span ten feet and have points like swords. The stories of cowboys and cow ponies killed by mean steers (and cows) as well as bulls are legion.

Most of the Longhorns being raised are now large family pets. Now some Longhorns are just plain mean, kind of like Dem Congresscritters. Most, though can become quite tame. We see small herds of Longhorns these days, not like the days of Shanghai Pierce and Chisolm, Loving and Goodnight.

The Longhorn is done as a commercial thing, they walk off too much beef. A longhorn next to a Hereford looks like a cow on stilts. They only reigned for a few years. The Longhorn will only come back as a commercial proposition if the doom and glooomers about water are right. A Longhorn can thrive in country that no Hereford can survive.

Anyhow we are three and a half miles from the nearest Farm To Market Road that takes us to Quinlan or Wills Point. We have two small herds of Longhorns between us and the "big" road. Neither small herd is on a humongus ranch. I usually forget to take their pictures, actually when I have the camera they are mostly too far away. This time I got a couple of nice pics. As always, click them to embiggen them.

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