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NDKID

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Hey guys. Im new on here and very curious in the cattle industry for my future. I am just curious if anyone on here has any info or experience at all on texas longhorns. I would some day like to own a herd of my own and was just wondering if I could get a little insight from a actual longhorn rancher. Ive been researching for about a year now and im stilll hooked and from what ive read that is what happens! I do not live on a farm but have relatives with a decent sized one with gelbvieh, angus, and charlois breeds there, which is what got me interested in the longhorn breed was watching my relatives cattle all day. So what im saying is I will be starting from scratch with my ranch. I really just want cattle, I dont like the idea of raising crops, so im wondering if it is at all possible to have an operating ranch with just longhorns to provide all the ranches operations. If anyone can help its greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone
 

Jim62

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About the only thing I know for sure about longhorns is that they have horns. That disqualifies them as far as me wanting to own any. Around here, they are raised, bought, and sold as pasture ornaments for them Houston folks with more money than sense, but I'm sure there must be some other uses for them.

Saw a few longhorn calves go through the sale barn a couple weeks ago, and they brought about 20% of what the typical beef breeds brought.

I likes my anguses (or would that be angii ??).
 

novatech

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I will be the first to admit that Longhorns have come a long way as far as a beef breed and may have some potential as to their use in cross breeding. Having said that, the market for Longhorn seems to be saturated. There only a certain number of weekenders that will still be buying into the novelty. Once they have them they are fighting the battle of how to market them.
Personally I see them going the way of the Emu, sooner or later.
 

mobgrazer

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Late summer every year everyone wants long horn here. But all the sales are for the people that rope them. From what I have been told by the guy that raises them says they need a lot of TLC for them to do well. He says that he can not find any that do well in our weather and grasses.
 

grubbie

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It may depend on your location. Around here to find a market for your longhorns you would have to haul them a looooong way. I have been using a longhorn bull for my first calf heifers, a few other ranchers here do the same. Other than that there really aren't any around here. The crossbred calves have been selling well for the last few years, but purebred longhorns don't have much of a market here at all. I suggest going with a beefier breed. The purebred longhorn market is largely a specialty market that you might have to work at to break into. There is money to be made there, but I believe location is going to be a big factor. Just my thoughts, good luck to you.
 

TXBobcat

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Welcome to the boards NDKID. We raise registered Texas Longhorns here in Central Texas. Longhorns have many uses from pasture ornaments to beef producing animals. They do not gain as fast as most other commercial cattle, but the beef is very good. In general, they can survive on less input than other breeds; however, they still need grass/hay, minerals, etc, like other breeds to maintain good body condition and raise a healthy calf. Personally, I believe one of the biggest benenfits of Longhorn cows is their calving ease. This also makes them good candidates for crossbreeding.
 

Earl Thigpen

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Funny you should bring up Longhorns today. I just visited a registered Longhorn ranch yesterday and my opinion has not changed. And the owner of the cattle and ranch confirmed my feelings on the breed. They are novalties, pasture ornaments (mentioned before), dangerous, hard to work (need special facilities), meat is really not all that good and, believe it or not, fairly expensive to buy. I believe they are much like the ostrich and emu craze of a few years ago. Everybody was looking to make a fortune with them only to resort to turning them loose to run free after a few years.

Horns and bleached heads will bring some money and I suppose the meat might be OK for hamburger. So from that perspective, go for it.

So before all the longhorn folks jump on me, this is my opinion and I'm entittled to speak it.
 

backhoeboogie

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For most deer hunters, it is all about length of horn these days. The mature bucks with a lot of horn are safe around me.

Longhorn cattle do well in this climate. Cold climate breeds do not.

I'd take LH's over the most popular breed but I opt to run something with a lot of ear instead.
 

Rustler9

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NDKID,
You'll probably see from the earlier replies on this thread that the Longhorn breed is a minority on here. Most folks want black cattle nowadays. It's hard to tell what breed you're looking at since so many have bred black into the different breeds. The Longhorn breed is a very hardy, low maintenance breed. Lean beef, calving ease are two of their best traits. I suppose there are some bad tempered individuals but the same can be found in any other breed. We have a large herd of Longhorns and don't have any problems with bad tempers or handling them.
Unless you want to get into registered cattle, you might want to start out with some commercial, non registered stock to see if you really like them. They cross very well with other beef breeds and raise a good beef calf on less than alot of other breeds. They don't usually do well as sale barn cattle, as a matter of fact when I have a customer come to the farm for the first time interested in our cattle I always ask what they want the cattle for. I have actually discouraged a few people from buying Longhorns if they tell me that they want something to sell calves at the sale yard. Unless you plan to cross breed them. We sell registered breeding stock, roping calves and lean beef. This is a breed that you have to develop a niche market for and have to work a little harder to market your cattle. We do a small amount of crossing for beef calves and replacement heifers. Some farmers have learned the value of having 1/4 to 1/2 blood Longhorn females for mama cows. Then you have some who just don't know anything about them and are afraid to find out.
Most of us have seen a few poor, rangy Longhorns go through the salebarn after they've been half starved, roped to death and neglected and of course that helps to feed the misconceptions about them as well. There are pros and cons to each and every breed and this one is no exception. After breeding them for almost eleven years I'm still sold on them. Check out some local operations if there are any in your area and maybe go to some registered sales and talk to other breeders before jumping in. Feel free to email me if I can answer any other questions for you.
 

2barmcattle

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"Check out some local operations if there are any in your area and maybe go to some registered sales and talk to other breeders before jumping in."

Exactly.......any of the reputable breeders can show you first hand the benefits of raising longhorn cattle. I like ALL cattle and..........love my longhorn cattle. Go to some shows too. :tiphat:
 
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NDKID

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Thanks everyone. Im glad there are many different cattle ranchers on here so that I see the many different aspects of each breed. Well I live in North Dakota and I only know of 2 longhorns around my area. They are both cows that are being crossbred each year with an angus bull. I visit them everyday Im down at the farm.....haha. I live in the eastern part of ND so its mostly commercial cattle around here and out west Ive seen a few more Longhorns than we have around here so that is why I do most of my research and where I attain most of my knowledge is on the internet because I do not know any LH breeders in this part of ND. But I am dead set on the breed I would like to raise and that is Texas Longhorns. Even if my cattle ranching days do not ever reach me I will one day have a hobby farm and raise a nice herd of the great Texas Longhorns. BT Farms, You will most likely be getting some emails from me. I hope you do not mind?? Thanks alot everyone!!
 

Running Arrow Bill

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novatech":2yao29b2 said:
I will be the first to admit that Longhorns have come a long way as far as a beef breed and may have some potential as to their use in cross breeding. Having said that, the market for Longhorn seems to be saturated. There only a certain number of weekenders that will still be buying into the novelty. Once they have them they are fighting the battle of how to market them.
Personally I see them going the way of the Emu, sooner or later.

The market isn't saturated by a long shot! Longhorns, like the other breeds, have slowed down in sales due to the economy...surprise, surprise!

The largest sales of Longhorns are for breeding stock. Only a small portion are purchased as pasture ornaments. The longhorns have been in USA for over 500 years! I don't see them going the way of Emus or Ostriches by a long shot. With the current trends for leaner, grassfed beef and avoidance of all of the pumped, steroid enhanced feedlot cattle by a growing number (be it small) of consumers... They are a multi-billion dollar business the USA for thousands of breeders and customers that have been in the serious business of raising Longhorns since the 1930's.

Maybe you have Longhorns confused with Alpacas! LOL! ;-)
 

Running Arrow Bill

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mobgrazer":3uvexjty said:
Late summer every year everyone wants long horn here. But all the sales are for the people that rope them. From what I have been told by the guy that raises them says they need a lot of TLC for them to do well. He says that he can not find any that do well in our weather and grasses.

Maybe the guy doesn't know how to raise Longhorns?? Like any "beef" (not dairy) breeds, they need proper nutrition, minerals & salt, water, vaccinations, de-worming, and forage or hay. Longhorns are found the World over in most all climates (except perhaps North & South Pole, Siberia, lol.). Yes, a Longhorn or any other breed raised on marginal food and nutrition will not "do well". This all goes back to the old thing that ANY animal should only be kept in an environment that it can flourish in...(you don't try to raise heavy coated Yaks or Highlands in the Southern heat/humidity locales). They are very well suited to Range Conditions, unlike some of the other pampered breeds.
 

Ryan

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NDKID":1d2wa4tj said:
Hey guys. Im new on here and very curious in the cattle industry for my future. I am just curious if anyone on here has any info or experience at all on texas longhorns. I would some day like to own a herd of my own and was just wondering if I could get a little insight from a actual longhorn rancher. Ive been researching for about a year now and im stilll hooked and from what ive read that is what happens! I do not live on a farm but have relatives with a decent sized one with gelbvieh, angus, and charlois breeds there, which is what got me interested in the longhorn breed was watching my relatives cattle all day. So what im saying is I will be starting from scratch with my ranch. I really just want cattle, I dont like the idea of raising crops, so im wondering if it is at all possible to have an operating ranch with just longhorns to provide all the ranches operations. If anyone can help its greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone


You can run an operation of Texas Longhorns. But just like an operation with any other breed planning and preparation is the key. Getting facilities in order, researching the breed, defining a goal(s) for your herd/operation, and so forth are keys to developing a successful cattle operation.

Versatility is one of the greatest traits of Texas Longhorns. Not only are they versatile as far as climate, terrain and forage goes, but there is a great versatility in the market for Texas Longhorns. Cow/calf production, show stock, lean beef, crossbreeding (low input female & low birthweight bulls), big horned (trophy) animals, rodeo stock, roping stock, riding steers, etc... It sounds as if you have already been doing some pretty extensive research which is great. Although like others have said, your location is less than ideal, but with determination, proper planning, a desire to succeed, willingness to take the time to do what is necessary to be successful and a little luck you can have a successful operation based on Texas Longhorns. Getting the proper animals for your intended goals is extremely important. Like many have said, There is more variation within breeds, than in between breeds. Hunts Command Respect influenced animals are probably not best for show or beef production, RCR Scorpion's Stinger influenced animals probably aren't the greatest base to start with if you are chasing horns.

Personally, I have sold animals for ropers, bulls for use on first-calf heifers, females that will be bred to black or charolais bulls in crossbreeding operations, steers for riding, show calves, beef, tax exemptions, seedstock females, herd sires, and nostalgic pasture ornaments. Marketing your product, like any operation, is key. Anything from Craigslist and the newspaper to association magazines can be apart of a successful ranch operation.

Hope this helps some, feel free to ask me anything. I've been in the Texas Longhorn industry for 20 years, and have seen many fads within the breed.

Ryan
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Earl Thigpen":2j7ajvve said:
Funny you should bring up Longhorns today. I just visited a registered Longhorn ranch yesterday and my opinion has not changed. And the owner of the cattle and ranch confirmed my feelings on the breed. They are novalties, pasture ornaments (mentioned before), dangerous, hard to work (need special facilities), meat is really not all that good and, believe it or not, fairly expensive to buy. I believe they are much like the ostrich and emu craze of a few years ago. Everybody was looking to make a fortune with them only to resort to turning them loose to run free after a few years.

Horns and bleached heads will bring some money and I suppose the meat might be OK for hamburger. So from that perspective, go for it.

So before all the longhorn folks jump on me, this is my opinion and I'm entittled to speak it.

Responsible Longhorn breeders do not keep or knowingly reproduce Longhorns with attitude problems. If one turns out with an attitude they either go to Sale Barn or turned into Hamburger. Our Longhorns (and any number of other ranches) have mild-mannered cattle that you can easily walk amongst them and they respond properly to voice commands and hand signals. I'll talk my chances any day with a well bred Longhorn rather than a personality challenged other breed. As I said in another post...they have been in USA for over 500 years and are sold worldwide. The nitch trend now is for natural, grassfed LH beef for those wanting lean, hormone & steroid free beef. Not only are restaurants going with this, but any number of supermarket chains in the USA are offering LH beef along with organic beef at premium prices...and people are buying it!

No offense intended, but your visit to that ranch were you were not impressed was unfortunate. There are MANY LH ranches that have high quality "full-bodied" animals that are well cared for. Just like all the other breeds out there, the quality of ranch operations in on a scale from 1 to 10. All you have to do is to Google "Texas Longhorn Cattle" and visit some of the ranches. Also the Longhornsalepen.com is another place to visit any number of LH ranches.
 

Earl Thigpen

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Running Arrow Bill":32dpad7t said:
Earl Thigpen":32dpad7t said:
Funny you should bring up Longhorns today. I just visited a registered Longhorn ranch yesterday and my opinion has not changed. And the owner of the cattle and ranch confirmed my feelings on the breed. They are novalties, pasture ornaments (mentioned before), dangerous, hard to work (need special facilities), meat is really not all that good and, believe it or not, fairly expensive to buy. I believe they are much like the ostrich and emu craze of a few years ago. Everybody was looking to make a fortune with them only to resort to turning them loose to run free after a few years.

Horns and bleached heads will bring some money and I suppose the meat might be OK for hamburger. So from that perspective, go for it.

So before all the longhorn folks jump on me, this is my opinion and I'm entittled to speak it.

Responsible Longhorn breeders do not keep or knowingly reproduce Longhorns with attitude problems. If one turns out with an attitude they either go to Sale Barn or turned into Hamburger. Our Longhorns (and any number of other ranches) have mild-mannered cattle that you can easily walk amongst them and they respond properly to voice commands and hand signals. I'll talk my chances any day with a well bred Longhorn rather than a personality challenged other breed. As I said in another post...they have been in USA for over 500 years and are sold worldwide. The nitch trend now is for natural, grassfed LH beef for those wanting lean, hormone & steroid free beef. Not only are restaurants going with this, but any number of supermarket chains in the USA are offering LH beef along with organic beef at premium prices...and people are buying it!

No offense intended, but your visit to that ranch were you were not impressed was unfortunate. There are MANY LH ranches that have high quality "full-bodied" animals that are well cared for. Just like all the other breeds out there, the quality of ranch operations in on a scale from 1 to 10. All you have to do is to Google "Texas Longhorn Cattle" and visit some of the ranches. Also the Longhornsalepen.com is another place to visit any number of LH ranches.

Bill, when I say the animals are dangerous I mean in the context of five foot horns that are pretty darn sharp on the ends. I don't think you or anyone else in their right mind would want to be standing beside one of them when they swing their heads around swatting flys on their back. I didn't see any mean cattle in the herd at the place I visited. They ate cubes right out of your hand (through the fence). But they did swing their heads around just like any breed will and you better not be in the way.

As far as the meat is concerned how do you think LH meat would stand up against say, Angus or Limo or Charolais or even Gerts.

I was simply pointing out that if this gent wanted to get into the cattle business maybe LH's shouldn't be so high on the list of cattle to start with. Just something to think about when making a choice.

You know, maybe it's my personality but you didn't jump on anyone else that voiced a different opinion on LH's. HeII, I even got private hate mail over this.

You folks have a wonderful holiday and a good life. Hope you all make it through the "downturn". I'm out of here.
 

Ryan

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Earl Thigpen":hyt66ww4 said:
As far as the meat is concerned how do you think LH meat would stand up against say, Angus or Limo or Charolais or even Gerts.

Just like any other bovine (beef or dairy) it is largely dependent on environment. There are Angus, Limo, Charolais and Gerts that would produce a very unpleasant eating experience if harvested.

We have harvested 3 different Texas Longhorn bulls in the past few months. I have personally cooked and eaten hamburger and steaks from all three. Delicious. It was very juicy, tender and flavorful. All three were about 16 months old (give or take), 2 of which had been used for breeding. However, all three had been on feed on some level, since weaning. One of the three was a show bull, but the other three were raised similarly. What I'm getting at is, if raised, harvested and cooked properly, Texas Longhorns can be some of the best beef eaten, while still being a very healthy and lean meat. Also, when the hamburger meat was browned there was very little to no excess moisture/grease to be drained, and one customer called just to tell us how he noticed that the hamburgers did not shrink on the grill like what he was used to.

When it comes to Texas Longhorn meat, as they say, don't knock it 'til you try it.

Ryan
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Ryan":czhunrh6 said:
Earl Thigpen":czhunrh6 said:
As far as the meat is concerned how do you think LH meat would stand up against say, Angus or Limo or Charolais or even Gerts.

Just like any other bovine (beef or dairy) it is largely dependent on environment. There are Angus, Limo, Charolais and Gerts that would produce a very unpleasant eating experience if harvested.

We have harvested 3 different Texas Longhorn bulls in the past few months. I have personally cooked and eaten hamburger and steaks from all three. Delicious. It was very juicy, tender and flavorful. All three were about 16 months old (give or take), 2 of which had been used for breeding. However, all three had been on feed on some level, since weaning. One of the three was a show bull, but the other three were raised similarly. What I'm getting at is, if raised, harvested and cooked properly, Texas Longhorns can be some of the best beef eaten, while still being a very healthy and lean meat. Also, when the hamburger meat was browned there was very little to no excess moisture/grease to be drained, and one customer called just to tell us how he noticed that the hamburgers did not shrink on the grill like what he was used to.

When it comes to Texas Longhorn meat, as they say, don't knock it 'til you try it.

Ryan

Very true Ryan! We slaughter one each year. Our 2008 slaughter was a virgin bull about 18 mos old that we "reserved" for our own beef. He was grassfed on quality bermuda and some alfalfa. Meat was very tender (the best one we've done since 2002). It's all about how you cook it and how it was raised. It's a different taste from the "greasy feedlot finished cattle"; however, as you said "don't knock it 'till you try it.
:)
 
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