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Longhorn heifer

Rustler9

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Well, here's another one to check out. Bought this little heifer in Brookfield, MO back in September. She's out of a daughter of our big old 15 year old Butler bred bull-Virginia Gentleman and a Wyoming Warpaint son. Think she might have a nice set of horns by the time she's mature.

 

Lorenzo

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Roger,

Tell me a little more about the longhorn history. Where did they come from, what kind of habitat is best for them, which are their main advanteges, etc.

How you work with them ? with such big horns they cant go into the normal cattle facilities..

Thanks
Lorenzo
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Lorenzo i am sure the longhorn breeders on here can tell you alot more than i can. But i can tell you this they can live just about anywhere and survive on stuff that would starve any other cow to death. You would be very suprised where they can work those horns threw if you give them a little time to do it.
 

Ryan

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Lorenzo":ef26u2u1 said:
Roger,

Tell me a little more about the longhorn history. Where did they come from, what kind of habitat is best for them, which are their main advanteges, etc.

How you work with them ? with such big horns they cant go into the normal cattle facilities..

Thanks
Lorenzo

Longhorns are combination of cattle that survived, mostly of Spanish decent from the earliest days of Europeans coming to the Americans. Some even trace the original animals back to Christopher Columbus. They were required to live on very little, and in very harsh conditions early on. They can really thrive in any habitat, and are very resistant to disease. There are longhorns spread out all across the United States, Canada, some in Italy, New Zealand and Australia, even. Could be even more countries. The main advantages are that they are hardy, adaptable to most any climate, docility, can survive on very little (although they do need SOME nutrition), easy calving, longevity (i was at a show this past weekend where there was a 23 year old cow with calf at side), and they also have very lean beef.

Working them can be tough with conventional set ups (i.e. running them through a head gate and squeeze chute). Most people use just a squeeze chute, or some form of a Medina Hinge set up.

Hope that helps. Feel free to keep asking questions.

Ryan
 

Ryan

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Rustler9":2ggng56i said:

Roger,

Its very well documented that our programs and ideas of longhorns differ. Nothing wrong with that, just the way it is, and that is one of the biggest advantages of our chosen breeds. With all the differences within the breed, I am always looking to learn more about other breeders' selection criteria and goals. So, with that said, I was hoping you could help me learn more about your program, and ideals. What is it about the above heifer that made you select her for purchase, and addition to your herd?

Thanks,

Ryan
 

Nesikep

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well, you have a point.. Lean beef.. I sure didn't expect it to be too fat.. I can't get enough of the pics of these cattle around here.. I like em all
 

Rustler9

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Ryan,
I chose this heifer because of her genetics-she is a grand daughter of our old Butler bull combined with the genetics of Wyoming Warpaint-old Butler genetics combined with Owen McGill breeding. We are committed to breeding Texas Longhorns with breed character and we intend to keep the horn genetics in our herd. No, this heifer doesn't compare with the improved specimens of today's "show" type Texas Longhorns which I feel have gone way out of the range of the breed's characteristics. I believe you know how I feel about how these cattle have gone to the other extreme. I often ask myself why some breeders even choose to raise this breed when they have taken them and moved them so far out of the range of what the breed should look like. I guess my question is "Why not just raise Limousin, Simmental or some other beef breed?" Not that there's any thing wrong with these breeds, so any of you folks who raise these breeds please do not take offense to what I'm saying. I just don't understand why the Texas Longhorn breed needs to look like them.
For any of you reading this who aren't familiar with the Texas Longhorn breed maybe you need to understand that there's a great deal of diversity amongst the various types of animals within this breed. I'm not so sure that this is a good thing. Maybe it is, maybe not. Just like any other breed there have been individuals who have concentrated on one particular trait and bred for that trait. Some have bred for strictly horn and they have animals who can hardly hold their heads up because their horns are so big while keeping the bodies of these animals to a minimum. Others have concentrated on bodies only and have large bodied animals with very minimum horn growth. Then amongst these various breeders there have been individuals who have slipped other blood in to enhance these traits. Some have tried to include Watusi blood to get the horns larger. This usually shows up and is hard to breed out. Others have slipped the blood of other beef breeds in to get a larger conformation all the while sacrificing the horn growth of the animal.
Anyone on here who is a Longhorn breeder has seen this. People talk about this at the various sales, shows etc. I've seen it and continue to see it. There are bulls out there right now who are being marketed and pushed in the industry who show the evidence of other blood. The association was influenced under previous reign to stop blood typing animals to protect some of these people. All the while the asociation supposedly does not allow the infusion of other blood. The association used to have a cross bred class in their shows-this was dropped. The reason supposedly was to keep the numbers down at the shows-they were getting too large and took too long to conduct. I believe that the real reason was because folks were showing cross bred animals that looked just like some breeders "purebred" animals. We cross breed some, I've had half bloods and 3/4 animals that showed more breed character than some "purebreds".
The Texas Longhorn breed is comprised of approximately 80% Spanish blood (cattle who came over with the first Spanish explorers) and 20% blood infusions that came later with the settlers who either turned the cattle loose or they escaped and mingled with these cattle of Spanish ancestry. These breeds would have been the Hereford and Durham (Shorthorn) and even later some Brahman blood. I now see animals who certainly look like more recent infusions of other bloodlines who did not even exist here in the states at the time the Longhorn breed was developing. When this is allowed we change the breed, this breed doesn't need to change like that. There's nothing wrong with selecting the best individuals to breed within the breed but I certainly feel that in many instances the breed is going the in the wrong direction. I guess my goal is to keep the breed as it should be.
I'd like to see the breed character kept in this breed. I'm not breeding any of these other main stream breeds and I don't need my animals to look like them. If I felt this need I'd switch breeds. My two cents which in this economy is probably worth only 1/8 it's original value.
 

MR3

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Roger, that heifer is going to have a nice set of cloudstabbers! :nod: For me I like to see horns, milk and a traditional sloped assed easy calver.
Not all of us ranchers are blessed with good productive land. My dry land doesn’t produce what it takes for most breeds to perform. I have some traditional Longhorns on it that performs well.
We have more customers asking for lean meat each year and I enjoy raising them. I liked your bull and cow too!

Rod
 

Rustler9

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Thanks Rod, I like her alot. She definitely has the horns and she is a nice feminine heifer. Alot of folks don't realize the assets of this breed and too many try to make them into something else. That's when I feel like alot of the good traits such as easy calving, low birth weights and low maintenance will go away. And oh yeah, we're getting more and more requests for lean beef. I really think there's alot that Longhorn breeders can do to promote their beef.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Rustler9 made some good points. There's a lot more to Longhorns than just one or two traits, etc.

Breeding Longhorns to "look like" round commercial cattle while minimizing their historic traits is, to me, doing a disservice. There is a reason Longhorns are called "Longhorns"...lol.

There needs to be a balance: well-nourished bodies along with a nice rack of horns.

With all the "uses and applications" of Texas Longhorn Cattle, there is a significant market for lots of color, long horns, excellent temperaments, and moderate body condition. True, "Judges" tend to either go for either round fat bodies (or) traditional designs of Longhorns. To each his own. For a lot of breeders, and front pasture bred attractions, customers don't really want a "commercial cattle" body with a small set of horns. At Running Arrow Farm we breed for a balance of body and a very nice set of lengthy horns. We have several in the 70 to 80" range for total horn. We also strive to produce good toplines and underlines. Some of our cows are in the 1100 to 1400 lb range. We also have some cows in the 850 to 1000 lb range that are producing excellent calves with fuller bodies. It all boils down to selective breeding.

On a sidebar, we have converted to a "natural grass fed program". We have been able to maintain and improve body condition by feeding hay with 10 to 14% CP (plus supplementing with alfalfa) along with quality minerals. We no longer have to feed range cubes or sweetfeed (or other grains) to obtain condition (just look at some of our animals on our website). With our program, we have significantly reduced the cost of supplements as well as labor to dispense the supplements. Even with our hay costs increasing about 250% since 2002, our monthly average feeding costs per animal unit has only increased about 22%. Our management program, along with the natural ability of a Longhorn to convert forage/hay into their body, has been improving each year. We do not fatten our Longhorns for the Show Judge...we feed them to enhance their natural 500+ year heritage in the USA.

;-)
 

bigbull338

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you sure know how to pick the heifers with alot of horn an great breeding behind them.i bet she has alot of horn as she matures.
 

DOC HARRIS

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Rustler9, Ryan, Running Arrow Bill-

...and all of you other Longhorn breeders on the Forum. This thread is very interesting. I have had a little experience with Longhorns in the past, and at that time the breeder's were just beginning to veer off and attempt to go their separate ways insofar as the characteristics of the Longhorn breed were concerned. It seems that with the L-Horns, the breeders just can't stand prosperity - the same divergent attitudes that seem to strike EVERY breed sooner or later. They can't leave well enough alone insofar as the ORIGINAL characteristics are concerned. They were designed by GOD to serve a specific purpose in a specific area of the World, and they seem to do that very well - UNTIL man begins to think that he can CHANGE God's purposes - - NOT improve upon them!

I don't know anything about your Association regulations, but it seems to me that when you select JUDGES for your shows you can establish some 'ground rules' for what you wish them to emphasize and feature in their judging protocols. If the Judges whom you select for the shows don't wish to capitulate to your particular style or type of Longhorn 'Traits and Characteristics' which you desire to specify - - just thank them politely - and use some Judge who WILL concede to your wishes. If other L-Horn breeders want to feature 'Blocky, chuggy Terminal Meat Wagons' for their particular corner of the breed - fine! But you should have the privilege and right to raise what you wish for the reasons you choose. You are not obligated to sit back and let 'interlopers' (if you will) dictate to you what you want to raise and the purposes for which you raise them!

Just my Politically Conservative Dogmatic Opinion concerning Freedom of Actions and Will!

DOC HARRIS
 

novatech

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I like to look at both sides of the coin on this. I agree there must be some preservation of the original Longhorn but on the other had there are a lot of New type longhorns that may be more likely to be chosen for crossbreeding. I do however agree that if they are to be crossed or infused with other breeds it should be noted on their pedigree and judged accordingly. Maybe you could just open up a cheaters division. :lol:
 

Ryan

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DOC HARRIS":28ptisiq said:
Rustler9, Ryan, Running Arrow Bill-

...and all of you other Longhorn breeders on the Forum. This thread is very interesting. I have had a little experience with Longhorns in the past, and at that time the breeder's were just beginning to veer off and attempt to go their separate ways insofar as the characteristics of the Longhorn breed were concerned. It seems that with the L-Horns, the breeders just can't stand prosperity - the same divergent attitudes that seem to strike EVERY breed sooner or later. They can't leave well enough alone insofar as the ORIGINAL characteristics are concerned. They were designed be nice to serve a specific purpose in a specific area of the World, and they seem to do that very well - UNTIL man begins to think that he can CHANGE God's purposes - - NOT improve upon them!

I don't know anything about your Association regulations, but it seems to me that when you select JUDGES for your shows you can establish some 'ground rules' for what you wish them to emphasize and feature in their judging protocols. If the Judges whom you select for the shows don't wish to capitulate to your particular style or type of Longhorn 'Traits and Characteristics' which you desire to specify - - just thank them politely - and use some Judge who WILL concede to your wishes. If other L-Horn breeders want to feature 'Blocky, chuggy Terminal Meat Wagons' for their particular corner of the breed - fine! But you should have the privilege and right to raise what you wish for the reasons you choose. You are not obligated to sit back and let 'interlopers' (if you will) dictate to you what you want to raise and the purposes for which you raise them!

Just my Politically Conservative Dogmatic Opinion concerning Freedom of Actions and Will!

DOC HARRIS

Thank you. I agree with this completely. When people ask me if I am going to a show, I always ask them who the judge is. That is one of, if not the biggest determining factors of us going to a show. I know what the ranch I am employed by is striving for, as far as the type of cattle is concerned, and it makes no sense at all for us to go to a show that has a judge that has different ideals for the Longhorn breed in mind. If the judge really prefers big horns, there is no way around it, our program is not going to do well. So there is no need for us to go to a show to get buried. HOWEVER, I love the fact that each show has the RIGHT to pick a judge who DOES place a heavy emphasis on horn. Just because I don't raise animals that excel in that trait, or I don't agree with it, does NOT mean that they are wrong. Its funny/sad/a shame when a Longhorn breeder touts the diversity and adaptability of the breed as one of its strongest traits, then runs down/bashes/belittles another breeder for raising a style of Longhorns that is different than theirs. "Freedom of Actions and Will" not only make this country GREAT but also makes the Texas Longhorn breed great. Breeders are FREE to breed animals that fit their ideals, goals, environment, market, etc...

I have a degree in Animal Production, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp of the functions and purpose of cattle. The breed of cattle I raise is Texas Longhorn. THEIR HISTORY IS BEEF. NOT HORN GROWTH. That is what got them where they are today. They were adaptable animals that were able to make the trip from Texas to the north on the cattle drives. YES, I grant their horns helped them survive, but so did their immune system and instincts. Now that they are not out on the range or in the wild there is a less of a need for their horns. Now, I'm not saying they are not an important of their history. I am not saying they are not an important part of their marketability and future. However, it is a FACT that their survival is not dependent upon their horns. If you look in past issues of industry magazines from as recent as the 1980's you will find that the Long-Horned bulls were in the mid to low 40"s. Texas Lin was thought of as one of the longest horned bulls of his time (late 70's into the 80's) and he matured out at 42". What I am getting at, is LOOOONNNGGG horns is NOT the history/heritage/past of the Texas Longhorn breed. That is something that has been really pushed the last 20 years or so. The history of the Texas Longhorn is 750 - 1000 pound cows with 30" horns that could survive on very little, raise a healthy calf in rough environments, and do that for 20 years. Trying to tout LONG horns as their history is INACCURATE.

Ryan
 

Ryan

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novatech":rlhdw1zz said:
... I do however agree that if they are to be crossed or infused with other breeds it should be noted on their pedigree and judged accordingly. Maybe you could just open up a cheaters division. :lol:

I agree 100%. However, I think there is very very very very very very very very very little incidence of other breeds being crossed in or "infused" into the breed for the show. I would venture a guess that if an animal was found to be not pure longhorn, it would be a "horned" animal that has been crossed to increase the horn growth. I have been very active in the show scene of the Texas Longhorn industry for the past 20 years. I am not naive, I know there are animals out there that have been shown that are not 100% Longhorn. Someone fudged a bit. It happens. However, I do not feel that it happens on a regular basis. I have seen many of the programs that raise top-tier longhorns for the show ring first-hand. The VAST majority are honest, hardworking, determined breeders who strive for only the top quality. There are breeders have been raising show animals for as much as 30+ years. The people that do/would cross are the ones who do not want to take the time to acquire the animals of the necessary quality to compete. OR purchase animals of lesser quality, realize they what they've done, and instead of breeding better animals each year, or purchasing better animals they crossbreed to take the shortcut. I equate it to steroids in baseball, the majority of player who have tested positive for steroids have been minor leaguers who need that extra "umph" to get from AA to AAA or from AAA to the Majors.

I think crossbreeding/infusing other breeds is EXTREMELY minimal (might have 1 animal on the show circuit ever 4 - 6 years that is not 100% longhorn). And to blindly accuse others, without being active/involved in the show circuit, AND to have ZERO proof to back up that claim is highly inappropriate, and just not smart. Just seeing some animals, or pictures of some animals, or hearing about some animals, that have been on the Highest plane of nutrition with the Best breeding in the breed for theirs specific goals, and then calling the crossbred is a direct insult to the that animal, its owner, its owner's program and more importantly its owner's integrity. By calling an animal crossbred, especially with no proof besides what you "think" the animal should look like, is straight-up calling that person a liar. Many people take their cattle very serious, and their reputation even more serious. To call breeders out with no proof is wrong.

Ryan
 
A

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Thanks for educating all of us :D I think longhorns are beautiful, but have never been around them! Is there a big difference in longhorns and watusi?
 

Ryan

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show time":1mjsslhd said:
Thanks for educating all of us :D I think longhorns are beautiful, but have never been around them! Is there a big difference in longhorns and watusi?

YES.

Longhorns originated from Spanish cattle. Watusi are from Africa. Their native environments is the source of most of their differences. Longhorns are generally a very docile breed, whereas Watusi (if I am remembering all this correctly) are more of a wild (as in not-domestic, not crazy) breed because of their origins in the wilderness of Africa. So, the breeders look for a certain "alertness" in the females, as an indicator of their mothering abilities. Also the horns differ. I'm not sure of the composition of the horns of Watusi, however, I am pretty sure there are some differences. Also the attachment to the skull of a Watusi and Longhorn differ some.

Outside of being bovine, not solid colored (for the most part), and having horns, the Longhorn and Watusi are not that similar.

Ryan
 

Nesikep

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Running Arrow Bill":3fi4z9pp said:
Rustler9 made some good points. There's a lot more to Longhorns than just one or two traits, etc.

;-)

When I look at the pictures of the Running arrow farms website, the picture of "blue mountain jade" and "quincy rendezvous" strike me as being the type of longhorns I like, as well as the one that started this thread.. to me it's the look i'd go for
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Some interesting comments, pro and con on this thread!

Bottomlines:
  • 1. Longhorn Cattle ARE a beef breed
    2. Horns are an enhancement and visual "eye candy" to many people
    3. There can be a balance between the "historic" and the "current" models
    4. As with both cattle and horses, Judges have their preferences, right or wrong for breed "type"
    5. Variety in color patterns are part of the "eye candy attraction" for many buyers
    6. Good, bad, or indifferent any Longhorn can be eaten (except by Vegetarians...lol)
    7. Regardless of WHO the breeder/producer is, there are many breeders out there that offer variety

As with many cattle breeds, over the years there have been numerous "modifications" of phenotype to satisfy "current" trends, fads, and purposes.

No one breeder (or) his/her program has all the answers. Each breeder purports to satisfy his/her customer base. The ultimate test of anyone's program is SALES. Unsold inventories and/or show ribbons alone do not pay the bills. Guess this is basic business sense...
 

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