As a longhorn breeder, I found it to be an excellent article in many ways.
They not only have smaller calves, and are good mothers - they are also loaded with personality. "Longhorn Breeders pull trailers, not calves" is very true. Commercial breeders might consider that more stronly for their first time heifers.
Lonhorns (registered) are not cheap animals, and as far as feed goes, well, what you feed is what you get. The beef is lower in cholesterol, leaner, and requires less cooking time. If you are into cattle, I recommend you try a longhorn on your cows.
We started breeding Longhorns in 2001. Started with 2 bred cows with calves at side. Now our herd is approaching 50 longhorns. We've sold over 60 to date.
Comparing our latest Longhorn 1 yr old bull that we put in the freezer this spring, with "The Beef Checkoff" page called "Angus Beef Chart", our Longhorn Bull did this:
Live Weight: 680 #
Hanging Weight: 360 # (53% of live weight)
Packaged Weight: 241 # (35 % of live weight)
(Note: we did not save any organ meats at all in our packaged weight).
Our bull was fed corn and sweet feed the last 2 months before slaughter as well as #1 bermuda hay and bermuda pasture. His BCS was a definite "5".
Our animal was enough to feed both of us beef for a year.
On a sidebar: "Longhorn Breeders Pull Trailers Not Calves" All of our females spit out their calf easily with calves alive, well, and healthy. We have not lost a calf in the years we have been raising longhorns (except one rare breech birth).
I have always felt that a great oppertunity was lost when the Longhorn was at its peak population, and nobody thought to select improved strains.
Consider the breeds we bred from native African cattle which are both environmentally adapted and sought after by the modern markets for their meat quality. The selection for better conformed Longhorns is resulting in some impressive adapted cattle, low maintenence adapted breeds are always a good basis for profitable crossbreeding programs, it will be interesting to see how the increased cost of feeding affects the demand for breeds capable of thriving off forage.
Yes, that is a good article. Alot of people could utilize the many good traits that this breed has to offer if they could only get past the fact that the breed has horns and comes in many colors other than black. They definitely have a place in the commercial cattle herd especially on first calf heifers and as low maintenance crosses.
The horns are not really a problem...they know EXACTLY where they are in relationship to things around them. If you doubt it, watch a longhorn flick off a fly from its back. Being that they are not aggressive, they are not an issue. Mine learned early that if they will be gentle and drop their heads, they can get scratches behind those horns...the hardest place for them to reach. It is odd to see a big ol bull drop his head on command to get his horns scratched! They are a functional part of the critter and a good indicator of their health....
I agree. I laugh when I see one of my 60"+ horned cows using the tip of her horn to scratch her rump. They know exactly how to maneuver their horns to get through a gate or narrow space. My comments were toward other people who are afraid of the horns or just don't like the horns or who think they don't like the horns because they've never been around them. Horns were one of the first things to draw me to the breed but I quickly learned to appreciate the other good traits that they have. That was about ten years ago when I started with one heifer and half interest in a bull-today we have over 200 of them.
Great article. Wish more people would put this kind of information out. If it comes strictly from a longhorn breeder they won't listen but let a Extension or an Ag agent or another brand of beef breeder say it and its is ok. Speak those that like longhorns for first time breedin purposes. We have one we will loan out and great natured.