Texas Longhorn

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Texan longhorn

The Texas Longhorn is a breed of domestic cattle known for its distinctive horns. They can span a span of up to two meters and are slightly curved upwards at their ends. The bright red-brown coat color is also typical of the Texan Longhorn.


The origin of the breed is disputed. Probably the breed originated from an accidental cross between Spanish and English cattle in Texas in the 1820s and 1830s. Corriente cattle are also suspected . The breed became popular in the late 1870s. The large bison herds had by then disappeared and the Plains Indians had been forced into the reservations. This made it possible for ranches to spread more and more to the northwest. The animals of the Texan Longhorn breed were particularly well adapted to these living conditions. They had long legs and hard claws, which also allowed them to be driven north, where they were processed into meat products. About 9 million cattle of this breed were the Chisholm Trail and similar cattle drives to the railroad and in the big cities and especially in the Union Stockyards , the slaughterhouses of Chicago spent.

The breed's decline began in the late 19th century. The introduction of the barbed wire and the improved transport possibilities allowed a more selective breeding of cattle. The very lean longhorn meat was also no longer in demand. The ability of the cattle to thrive on areas with inferior vegetation no longer played a role. The breed was threatened with extinction as early as the 1920s. She was saved by the United States Forest Service , who gathered a small herd to graze in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge from 1927 onwards . For the next few decades, therefore, only maintenance breeding was carried out. Today the breed is valued for its longevity, disease resistance, and ability to thrive on poor quality pastures. Some Texas ranchers have re-established herds of this breed because of its cultural and historical importance. The very lean meat is also in demand again, which means that the stock continues to increase.

The special shape of the horns inspired participants in the Texas Tech University expedition to the Shackleton Glacier in Antarctica (1964–1965) to name the Longhorn Spurs mountain formation .


The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site at Deer Lodge in Montana is a reminder of the days of the Open Range , when private ranchers let their herds graze unregulated on public land. Texas Longhorns were also kept and bred on the ranch from the late 1870s. Federally owned, administered by the National Park Service , and operated as an active ranch since 1972 . Visitors can experience late 19th-century cattle farming and take part in living history demonstrations.

Web links

Commons : Texas Longhorn cattle  - album with pictures, videos and audio files