LH & General Cattle Care

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Hi. I am about to get my first cow - a 3 y.o. Longhorn. Have had horses many years, but know NOTHING of cattle! Just starting my research to prepare for her arrival. I want to know about vaccinations, parasites, feed, hoof triming, etc..Can anyone suggest a good basic cattle care (Do's & Dont's) book? thanks. JJ

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Welcome to the Longhorn arena! One "general" reference (loose-leaf thick notebook) is the Texas Beef Cattle Management Handbook, published by Texas A & M University. A good introductory book is "Storey's Guide to Raising Beef Cattle."

Longhorns, being beef cattle, have been in USA for around 500 years. Survivors and very hardy, tolerant of all climate types. Easy unassisted calving. Two breed associations: <A HREF="http://www.itla.com" TARGET="_blank">www.itla.com</A> and <A HREF="http://www.tlbaa.com" TARGET="_blank">www.tlbaa.com</A> have very good information on them.

Feeding: eat anything other cattle eat. Vaccinations: Usually spring and fall with multi-purpose serum, such as 7-Way. De-worming twice yearly: Injectible Dectomax or Ivomec. Longhorns are generally easy-keepers. As with any cattle, fencing is related to the amount of "security" and peace and quiet you are willing to tolerate. I personally use 5-1/2 foot high 6 & 7 barb wire fencing. Even a 1% chance of one of our registered foundation stock getting out is too much grief for me at my age. They like to frollic and play at times and can jump and buck when bored or introduced to a new pasture. Love to check out for weak spots in fences when they first arrive at your place...then settle down. Most longhorns are peaceful, docile, excellent mamas, and very people-friendly.

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Thanks for responding Running Arrow Bill! I will try to get those books you mentioned. I did go to those websites also. I was surprised I didn't find any real "beginner" info. But I will continue to educate myself. My family thinks I'm crazy- grew up in the suburbs right outside Wash, D.C. Here I am in the VA countryside now - excited with the prospect of getting my first Longhorn! I don't know what I'll do with her just yet, but I understand they are pretty smart and train well. Thanks again. JJ

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The TLBAA has many members in Virginia. If you contact the TLBAA's office they can get you in touch with many breeders that will be happy to help a new breeder.

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Welcome to the world of Longhorns-I started out with one, now have about 80. I don't have any books to recommend but they are very easy to care for. Running Arrow Bill gave good advice. If your cow is registered you may already be a member of one of the Longhorn associations. As a member of the TLBAA I have learned alot and met so many nice folks in the six years that I've had my Longhorns.The TLBAA has just updated their directory and you will be able to look up breeders in your area if you are a member or want to become a member and get one of the new directories. I live in Tennesse but have met several breeders in Virginia through our affiliate shows and sales. Best of luck and I hope you get hooked like I did. Who knows? Maybe we'll see you at some Longhorn events somewhere down the trail.

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>Hi Gale, I'm in Prince William County. Used to be the country, but quickly becoming the suburbs. Any suggestions on owning a LH will be received openly. Thanks. JJ

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>" Welcome to the world of Longhorns-I started out with one,now have about 80."

Oh My! I can't imagine having 80 - but I bet you know each and every one of them! Isn't it hard to part with them at some point? How much land do you have to support 80 head? There is a well known breeder near me that I've heard about over the years - I suppose I'll get over to his place one of these days. Thanks for the response. JJ

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We don't really have alot of land-now this is including cows, calves and four breeding bulls. Two of these bulls are for sale right now. Of course not all of the calves will stay either. We do know them all by name and each of them has their own personality. It's getting easier to part with them when you know you can't keep every one of them. But we also sell some to other breeders, so for the most part we know where they are going. They are the most interesting cattle I've ever raised-I was born and raised in the beef cattle business. Spring calving time is like an easter egg hunt-you never know what you're going to get. You can breed a black and white cow to a black and white bull and get a red calf. It's alot of work but also alot of fun.

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Oh, well you aren't too far from us...can't imagine working around those looonnnggg horns...the dexters' horns are big enough for me...but I wish you the best with this venture....Gale

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Well, I got my LH heifer this weekend! She's not registered, so I'm not sure how that will work if I want to breed her. It was sort of a rescue situation..she was supposed to be a pet. But I think the kids were tormenting her instead of treating her right. She's not as friendly as I was led to believe. She was in a pen so small she could hardly turn around. Whether I was ready for this venture or not - I took her home!

I think she's about a year old(?). Is there a way to tell? Her horns are about 6" long and peeling. Is that due to bad nutrition? Her coloring is so interesting it's hard to explain...a little bit of everything. The most interesting part is her head; it's black with two exact mirror white markings over eyes. Sort of like eyebrows.

Here we go! JJ

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I don't know how you would tell exactly if she's a year old. Do you know about how much she weighs? She should probably weigh somewhere between 500 and 600 lbs at least. As far as the horns peeling-I have some that do that as they are growing so I wouldn't worry at all about that. You know as far as her not being really friendly-alot of that may be due to kids picking at her and also she may be irritated about being cooped up in a small pen. The easiet way you can gentle her down is to start giving her some sweet feed twice a day. In a week she'll be greeting you like a dog when you go out to give it to her. I've bought cattle that probably never saw a person but a couple of times a year-maybe they were out on an open renge and weren't used to being around anyone-I put them in a smaller pasture or barn lot and start the sweet feed. Before long they're eating out of your hand and you can touch them. I usually buy the sweet Horse and Mule feed (here it's called Sweet 10) and 14% pellets and mix with crushed corn. It will get them into good condition and also once they start eating it they're hooked. You can still breed your heifer to a Longhorn bull. If you breed to a registered one and you decide that you want to register the calf you would have to register it as a Longhorn cross breed, as long as you get the registration information on the bull she was bred to. AT least it's that way with the TLBAA, I'm not familiar with the ITLA's policies but I would assume that it would be similar. Good luck with the heifer.

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>Thanks. That makes me feel better about her horns. I would guess she weighs about 500-600#. Her horns are longer than I first wrote - more like 10-12" long. I am feeding her 2x a day - a sweet feed & oat mix (recommended by a friend who has owned cattle before). She's still standoffish, but I have been able to pet her head and neck as she plows into the bucket. But she won't let me get that close other than when feeding. I'll keep working on her.

The flies have been so bad here this summer Any recommendations to give some relief? She has a big shade tree, but she still looks miserable at peak fly time.

Thanks again. JJ

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We use Durasect Pour-on about every 10-14 days...it helps...I try to get a bit on their heads too (not always possible). Watch out when you put it on them; you can get a face-full of Durasect when they swish their tails and you're standing close to them. Might help also to keep the pasture mowed to avoid eye irritations from the flies and tall grass (pink-eye, etc.)

> The flies have been so bad here
> this summer Any recommendations to
> give some relief? She has a big
> shade tree, but she still looks
> miserable at peak fly time.

> Thanks again. JJ

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