THE PERFECT CATTLE FOR THE WEEKEND RANCHER
If you live in a city like Houston, Texas and only visit your ranch on weekends like we do, the Texas Longhorn was made for you.
Of all cattle, the Texas Longhorns do the best job of taking care of themselves when the owner is not around. Cattle are not native to the Americas. They were brought to the new world by European settlers. The original ones came on Columbus’ second voyage. Some of the cattle got loose and roamed the wilds of Northern Mexico and Texas for 300 years. They developed into a very self-sufficient and hardy breed with longer than normal horns. When the cattle were re-domesticated by Texas settlers in the early 1800’s they were named Texas Longhorns. The cattle drives of the late 1800’s were made up of Texas Longhorns and they made famous the unique lifestyle of the Texas or American Cowboy.
Texas Longhorns are known for their ease of calving and 97% of “first calf” heifers deliver healthy calves without the assistance of man at or before their 2nd birthday. This is not true of most other cattle breeds. Many other breeds require assistance, especially cows having their first calf. This necessitates owners to be present during calving season. If you only get to ranch on weekends this unique Texas Longhorn characteristic is very important.
Texas Longhorn mothers are naturally attentive and protective of their calves. Loss to predators is minimal. Many owners of other breeds of cattle run a Texas Longhorn with their herd to help protect the calves from predators.
TEXAS LONGHORNS ARE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Raising Texas Longhorn cattle can be profitable because of the low overhead in maintaining a Texas Longhorn herd. Texas Longhorn cattle eat a wider range of grasses, plants, and weeds than do most other cattle. Texas Longhorn owners are able to use pastures that require less fertilizer and weed killers than owners of other breeds of cattle.
Many owners of other breeds of cattle fertilize their pastures and spray weed killer yearly to maximize their grass/beef production. Many Texas Longhorn owners fertilize their pastures every second or third year and more than a few never fertilize. Once you know what it will cost you to fertilize and spray weed killer on the property you own, you can understand how this reduced need for chemicals can add to your bottom line. Fertilizer is also hard on wildflowers, If you like Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes, and other Texas Wild Flowers you find they grow better in unfertilized pastures.
The Texas Longhorn is naturally hardy, disease resistance, and their hide is thicker to better resist biting pest. For these and other reasons they require less veterinary care. This savings adds more to your bottom line and saves your time.
The Texas Longhorn produces a very lean beef (more meat less fat per ounce). Studies at major universities have shown that Texas Longhorn beef is significantly lower in cholesterol than other breeds of beef cattle. A Texas Longhorn’s, who was raised on grass without chemicals or supplements, meat is lower in cholesterol than a skinless chicken breast. The Texas Longhorn owner can feel good knowing he is producing a heart healthy product for consumption. Their Meat is very tasty and a pretty bright red color.
Texas Longhorns have, like any other breed of cattle, an easy market as beef at the local sale barn. Wild game or exotic animal owners do not. In addition, Texas Longhorn owners can sell or lease young calves as roping stock for rodeos or team roping competitions. Prices vary, but the Texas Longhorn owner can generally expect a few dollars more from the recreational market than he would get at the local sale barn. The Roping market is not available to owners of other cattle breeds because their cattle do not have the horns that the cowboys rope. The Texas Longhorn will grow horns beyond the end of their ears at 8-10 months, the perfect length for roping stock. Correnties (a longhorn cousin from Mexico) take 18 to 24 months to reach the same horn size. Texas Longhorn owners can sell their roping stock at a younger age leaving their pastures free for more brood cows. Some Texas Longhorn owners lease cull calves to ropers or cutters and upon return, sell the larger more mature calves at the local sale barn to maximize profits. Higher quality Texas Longhorns can always be sold as breeding stock. Many people utilizing a computer now work from home and soon realize home can be a ranch in the country. As these folks and other families acquire rural properties to enjoy the Western experience and historic lifestyles, the demand for Texas Longhorns increases. Every year several Texas Longhorns with spectacular sets of long horns sell in the five figure range. Most were raised by weekend ranchers. (In April 2002 The Texas Longhorn cow Day’s Feisty Fannie sold for $59,000 at public auction. Articles about this historic event at The Red McCombs Sale appeared in Texas Monthly and the New York Times ).
Many weekend ranchers enjoy guests and visitors from the city. City dwellers are always impressed by the color patterns and the horn spread of these magnificent cattle. The Texas Longhorn is a walking work of art hand painted by God. The varied colored patterns of their hides make calving time like an Easter egg hunt. Visitors stand for hours admiring and taking pictures of the cattle. Other breeds of cattle that are solid colored and de-horned do not provide this type of visual pleasure to visitors, guests, or owners.
Visual pleasure, easy maintenance, multiple markets, the true Western experience, and owning a piece of history are just some of the things that makes Texas Longhorns the perfect cattle for the weekend rancher.
Half the fun of owning Texas Longhorns is showing them off !!!