Ganado de cuernos largos

Ganado de cuernos largos



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Los españoles trajeron el primer ganado de cuernos largos a América en 1493. Los descendientes de estos cuernos largos formaron la primera población de ganado en América del Norte. Algunos de estos escaparon a la naturaleza. Los primeros colonos europeos en Texas trajeron consigo vacas. Estas vacas se mezclaron con las razas españolas ya en Texas y pronto se convirtieron en manadas considerables. Se estima que al final de la Guerra Civil estadounidense había alrededor de seis millones de cuernos largos en Texas.

En la segunda mitad del siglo XIX, los vaqueros llevaron el longhorn de Texas a las ciudades vaqueras del ferrocarril de Abilene, Dodge City, Wichita y Newton. El negocio del ganado finalmente se extendió a Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, Nuevo México, Colorado y Arizona.

En 1867, Joseph McCoy arregló el traslado de ganado de Abilene a Union Stockyards en Chicago. Los cuernos largos, con sus patas largas y pezuñas duras, eran el ganado ideal para los senderos; incluso aumentaron de peso de camino al mercado.


Ganado Longhorn - Historia

El Texas Longhorn fue creado completamente por la naturaleza en América del Norte. Procedente de antepasados ​​que fueron el primer ganado en pisar suelo estadounidense hace casi 500 años, se convirtió en el producto final de la "supervivencia del más apto". Formado por una combinación de selección natural y adaptación al medio ambiente, el Texas Longhorn es la única raza de ganado en Estados Unidos que, sin la ayuda del hombre, está verdaderamente adaptada a Estados Unidos. En su libro The Longhorns, J. Frank Dobie afirma bien esta situación: "Si hubieran sido registrados y regulados, restringidos y provistos por el hombre, no habrían sido lo que eran".

Con la destrucción de los búfalos después de la Guerra Civil, los Longhorns se apresuraron a ocupar las Grandes Llanuras, un vasto imperio de hierba que los búfalos dejaron vacantes. Los ganaderos llevaron sus rebaños de cría al norte para que corrieran en las ricas tierras de pasto del oeste de Nebraska, Wyoming, las Dakotas y Montana. Por lo tanto, las Grandes Llanuras se llenaron en gran parte de estos "ciudadanos bovinos" del suroeste. Y los Texas Longhorns se adaptaron bien a su mundo en expansión. Habían alcanzado su apogeo histórico, dominando la escena de la carne de vacuno de América del Norte como ninguna otra raza de ganado lo ha hecho desde entonces. Sin embargo, la era romántica de los Longhorn llegó a su fin cuando su área de distribución fue cercada y arada y se trajo ganado importado con características de maduración rápida para "mejorar" las cualidades de la carne. El cruce intensivo casi había borrado el verdadero y típico Longhorn en 1900.


Foto cortesía de Dickinson Cattle Co. Inc. www.texaslonghorn.com
Afortunadamente, a partir de 1927, el Texas Longhorn fue preservado por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos en refugios de vida silvestre en Oklahoma y Nebraska. Además, algunos ganaderos del suroeste, convencidos del valor del Longhorn como vínculo genético y preocupados por su conservación, mantuvieron pequeños rebaños a lo largo de los años. El Texas Longhorn ha sido perpetuado aún más por miembros de la Asociación de Criadores de Texas Longhorn de América, que se formó en 1964. Por lo tanto, el Texas Longhorn fue rescatado de la extinción. Sin embargo, fue una lástima para la industria de la carne de res actual que la mayor parte del interés continuo en el Texas Longhorn se concentrara en sus aspectos históricos y académicos. Las perspectivas genéticas y el potencial económico del Longhorn se pasaron por alto casi por completo durante muchos años.

El longhorn ahora parece encaminarse a lo largo de otro nuevo e importante sendero. La carne magra y natural, que ofrece más nutrición por caloría, está en demanda, y el longhorn llena los requisitos. Aquellos que han probado la carne de cuernos largos la pronuncian tierna y llena de sabor.

Pero los cambios en la cadena alimentaria de EE. UU. No ocurren de la noche a la mañana. Se necesitan 107.000 cabezas de ganado cada día para satisfacer nuestro gusto por la carne de res, y los cuernos largos son sólo unos 100.000. Aunque pasará un tiempo antes de que podamos pedir "longhorn lean" en los supermercados, la perspectiva es optimista de que sus atributos singulares ayudarán a fortalecer otras razas y así revitalizar la industria.

Caracteristicas

El más espectacular de todos los bovinos, con matices y combinaciones tan variadas que no hay dos iguales, alcanzan el peso máximo en ocho o diez años y oscilan entre 800 y 1500 libras. Aunque tardan en madurar, su período reproductivo es dos veces más largo que el de otras razas. La mayoría de las vacas y toros de cuernos largos tienen cuernos de cuatro pies o menos. Sin embargo, los novillos maduros tienen una envergadura promedio de seis pies o más y la envergadura de los cuernos de un niño de 15 años alcanza hasta nueve pies.

No se necesitan de ocho a diez años para que los Texas Longhorns alcancen su peso máximo y de ninguna manera tardan en madurar. Se sabe que las vaquillas de Texas Longhorn conciben mientras aún amamantan a su madre y producen un ternero vivo sin ayuda antes de los 16 meses de edad. Esta no es una madurez lenta.


Foto cortesía de Dickinson Cattle Co. Inc. www.texaslonghorn.com
Los cuernos largos tienen una resistencia natural a las enfermedades y parásitos más comunes del ganado, incluido el peor enemigo del ganado de rango, el gusano tornillo. Poco después de que nace un ternero, las moscas azules depositan huevos en su ombligo y debajo de la cola de la vaca. Las vacas instantáneamente lamen los gusanos del ternero y de ellas mismas. Si los gusanos infestan alguna parte del cuerpo de un cuerno largo que no puede alcanzar, permanecerá durante horas en aguas profundas, ahogándolos.

El ganado Texas Longhorn come una variedad más amplia de pastos, plantas y malezas que la mayoría de los demás animales. Los propietarios de Texas Longhorn pueden utilizar pastos que requieren menos fertilizantes y herbicidas que los propietarios de otras razas de ganado.

El Texas Longhorn produce una carne de res muy magra (más carne menos grasa por onza). Los estudios en las principales universidades han demostrado que la carne de vaca de Texas Longhorn tiene un contenido de colesterol significativamente más bajo que otras razas de ganado de carne. Un Texas Longhorn's, que fue criado en pasto sin químicos ni suplementos, la carne tiene menos colesterol que una pechuga de pollo sin piel. El propietario de Texas Longhorn puede sentirse bien sabiendo que está produciendo un producto saludable para el corazón para el consumo. Su carne es muy sabrosa y de un color rojo bastante vivo.

El Texas Longhorn es el símbolo viviente del Viejo Oeste.

Estadísticas

  • Carne magra: la raza produce naturalmente menos grasa y menos colesterol para el público consciente de la salud de hoy.
  • Longevidad: los Texas Longhorns se reproducen hasta bien entrada la adolescencia. Más terneros vivos a lo largo de los años significan más dólares.
  • Exploración de utilización: se necesita menos alimento suplementario porque el ganado aprovecha el forraje disponible.
  • Resistencia a enfermedades / parásitos: una inmunidad natural desarrollada a lo largo de los siglos significa menos facturas veterinarias y menos mantenimiento para el vaquero de hoy.
  • Eficiencia reproductiva: las grandes aberturas pélvicas y el bajo peso al nacer dan como resultado terneros vivos. Los ganaderos ocupados pueden decir "adiós" a las noches de insomnio.
  • Docilidad: el ganado Longhorn es inteligente, fácil de trabajar y de manejar.
  • Adaptabilidad: la raza prospera en climas desde las regiones costeras cálidas y húmedas hasta los duros inviernos de Canadá.
  • Vigor híbrido: la calidad hereditaria mejora su raza actual y le brinda un nuevo grupo genético.
  • No hay dos Texas Longhorns iguales. Todos difieren en el patrón de color, tamaño, longitud del cuerno y personalidad.
  • Tradición y nostalgia: el Texas Longhorn es el símbolo viviente del Viejo Oeste. Dondequiera que se desee la influencia occidental (pastos delanteros, arreo de ganado o atracción turística), encontrará una demanda para esta magnífica raza.
  • Cuernos y piel: el Texas Longhorn vale dinero incluso después de que haya dejado de ser útil como productor de carne de res. Se pagan los mejores dólares por los cuernos, calaveras y monturas que se utilizan en la popular decoración del suroeste de negocios y hogares.
  • Puro placer: inteligente y fácil de trabajar, el Texas Longhorn se entrena fácilmente para exhibir en el ring de exhibición, liderar o conducir en desfiles, tirar de vagones y sí, ¡incluso para montar!

Distribución

Los Texas Longhorn se están volviendo bastante populares y se distribuyen principalmente en Estados Unidos y Canadá, aunque algunas exportaciones de Texas Longhorn están ganando ritmo.

Referencias (la información anterior fue citada de los siguientes sitios)


¡Están de vuelta! Una historia del ganado de cuernos largos de Texas

A los exploradores españoles se les atribuye el mérito de traer el primer ganado de cuernos largos al Nuevo Mundo. Colón, en 1493, los llevó a Santo Domingo. Unos años más tarde, Cortez sembró ganado Longhorn en sus propiedades en México, y llamó a esa gran finca Cuerno Vaca, "Horn Cow".

En 1540, Coronado se llevó un engorroso número de ovejas, cabras, cerdos y al menos 500 cabezas de ganado español como alimento para su expedición para encontrar las Siete Ciudades de Cibola. Algunos de esos Longhorns fueron abandonados en el camino, dejados en libertad y veinticinco años después, se contaban por miles, disponibles para cualquiera que pudiera atraparlos.

Otras razas hicieron el largo viaje por mar a América del Norte, pero no sobrevivieron a su nuevo entorno. Finalmente, en Virginia, a principios del siglo XVII, los colonos británicos lograron mantener una raza de bovinos ingleses que más tarde se conocería como ganado nativo americano. Pero serían los animales españoles de las montañas andaluzas del suroeste de España los que eventualmente influirían en la historia del continente norteamericano y se convertirían en la piedra angular del ganado legendario de Estados Unidos, el Texas Longhorn.

En 1783, 1.400.000 pieles se enviaron a Europa solo desde Buenos Aires. Se sabía que algunos ganaderos mexicanos marcaban hasta 30,000 terneros al año. Esta raza del Nuevo Mundo de ganado español se conoció como criollo o "ganado del país".

Durante los siguientes 300 años, los Criollo, los antepasados ​​del Texas Longhorn fueron comprados, vendidos, robados y peleados. Algunos fueron criados selectivamente, mientras que al mismo tiempo miles sobrevivían muy bien por su cuenta. En la década de 1800, el ganado Longhorn abundaba en la cara occidental de Estados Unidos. Alimentar a la creciente población de buscadores de oro hizo que el precio de la carne Longhorn se disparara de $ 1,50 a $ 30,00 por cabeza en la región de San Francisco. 1,000 cabezas de ganado Longhorn fueron llevadas al sur de Alberta, Canadá en 1876, que se multiplicó a casi 40,000 cabezas en los siguientes 8 años.

El ganado de cuernos largos ha sobrevivido a un clima helado, inundaciones y sequías, incursiones indias, la Guerra Civil y condiciones difíciles en las que ningún otro ganado podría haber sobrevivido. La mayoría corría libremente, sin necesidad de que nadie los cuidara. Robusto, vigoroso e ileso por muchas de las enfermedades que afectan a otras razas, el Longhorn dependía entonces como ahora de la astucia intuitiva, la resistencia, la fuerza y ​​sus largos cuernos para protegerse a sí mismos y a sus crías.

Ya sea criado por ganaderos o reunido en la naturaleza, los Longhorns finalmente fueron llevados al norte en fenomenales campañas de ganado. Según la historia y las autoridades actuales, fue el Longhorn el responsable de abrir el mercado de ganado de Dodge City, Kansas. Los compradores de Nueva York a Wyoming llegaron temprano solo para ver el magnífico ganado de cuernos largos que se conducía a los corrales.

La fascinación del autor J. Frank Dobie por el Longhorn llevó a una intensa investigación sobre el tema y, posteriormente, a un excelente libro, The Longhorns, que detalla la historia de esta excepcional raza de ganado. Dobie escribe: «Después de 1888, la corriente de Longhorns que fluía hacia el norte se convirtió en un regate. En 1895, todos los senderos que salían de Texas estaban vallados o arados. Se había calculado con autoridad que diez millones de cabezas de ganado pasaron sobre ellos entre 1866 y 1890 ».

En la década de 1920, el ganado Longhorn se había convertido en algo raro. Seis familias ganaderas preservaron y criaron ganado puro de Texas Longhorn. Eran las familias Wright, Yates, Butler, Marks, Peeler y Phillips. Cada uno durante muchos años crió ganado sin ninguna relación con los demás rebaños. Sus esfuerzos, planeados o no, fueron el factor vital que evitó la extinción de la raza. En 1927, para asegurar su preservación, se estableció una manada del gobierno en el Refugio de Vida Silvestre de las Montañas Wichita en Cache, Oklahoma. Todos los criadores de Longhorn de hoy están criando descendientes directos de animales recolectados y protegidos por estas siete entidades.

Pero incluso a mediados del siglo XX, la difícil situación del ganado Longhorn era precaria. La edición de 1959 de la Enciclopedia Británica dice: '. ganado de cuernos largos que alguna vez fue numeroso en los rangos occidentales de los Estados Unidos. traídos a América por los españoles están prácticamente extintos ».

Durante más de 500 años, el ganado Longhorn hizo importantes contribuciones a la historia de este continente: alimentando a exploradores, pioneros, indios y ejércitos. Como una bestia de carga, tiraron más conestogas hacia el oeste que cualquier otra raza. Crearon riqueza histórica, salud y ahora una industria moderna que está prosperando nuevamente. Habiendo sobrevivido a la amenaza de extinción, el ganado Longhorn está aumentando una vez más en número, popularidad y rentabilidad. Conocida por su carne magra naturalmente, la carne de vacuno Longhorn es buscada por sus propiedades saludables. Las pieles coloridas y las calaveras de cuernos largos se han convertido en objetos decorativos populares y valiosos. Los novillos a caballo y los animales trofeo llaman la atención por su dulzura, sus coloridos pelajes y sus enormes cuernos.

En 2007, en la prestigiosa Texas Longhorn Legacy Sale, vacas seleccionadas con más de 70 pulgadas de punta de cuerno a punta, recaudaron más de $ 2,000,000 en 113 lotes premium. Cuando cayó el mazo sobre el animal más vendido, la oferta final fue de 82.000 dólares. En 2006, una vaca se vendió por un récord de $ 100,000. Ella mantuvo ese honor solo unos minutos antes de ser superada por una vaca que se vendió por $ 150,000.

En algún momento, el nombre Texas Longhorn se usó para describir este ganado español único y se convirtió en su nombre oficial. En las Américas, Canadá, México y partes de Europa, se está criando y criando ganado Texas Longhorn. Los ganaderos están ansiosos por mantener la herencia, la calidad de la carne magra y el legado de este animal verdaderamente increíble.

Para concluir esta lección de historia, parece apropiado citar nuevamente a Dobie. En su introducción a The Longhorns, afirma: “El Texas Longhorn hizo más historia que cualquier otra raza de ganado que el mundo civilizado haya conocido. . seguirá siendo la piedra angular sobre la que se fundamenta la historia del país de las vacas de América ”.


Ganado Longhorn - Historia

y copia a David M. Hillis, Rancho de doble hélice
Catedrático de Biología Integrativa
Universidad de Texas en Austin


L Brilliant Mary (una vaca Texas Longhorn) con un ternero recién nacido

He enumerado algunas de las preguntas que me hacen con frecuencia sobre el ganado Texas Longhorn aquí, junto con mis respuestas. Si su pregunta sobre el ganado Texas Longhorn no tiene respuesta aquí, envíeme un correo electrónico y le responderé yo mismo o buscaré a alguien que pueda hacerlo.

También puede buscar en mi página de enlaces enlaces a otros sitios web sobre Texas Longhorns, así como a páginas web de otros ranchos y sitios de ganado de Texas Longhorn.

¿Cuál es el origen de los Texas Longhorns?

A diferencia de la mayoría de las razas de ganado, nadie se propuso desarrollar el ganado Texas Longhorn como raza. En cambio, evolucionaron en América del Norte a partir de descendientes de ganado traído a América por los españoles a fines del siglo XV y principios del siglo XVI (el primer ganado se trajo a La Española en 1493). Sin embargo, el ganado no descendió directamente del ganado español. Más bien, el primer ganado importado por los primeros exploradores españoles fue de las Islas Canarias. Este ganado, a su vez, fue importado de Portugal, y los parientes más cercanos de Texas Longhorns entre las razas europeas existentes son las razas de ganado portuguesas (como Alentejana y Mertolenga). Estas primeras importaciones de ganado ibérico de las Islas Canarias pronto se volvieron salvajes en el norte de México (que incluía tierras que se convirtieron en la República de Texas en 1836 y parte de los Estados Unidos en 1845). Estos rebaños salvajes se sometieron a una intensa selección natural; el único ganado que podía sobrevivir era altamente resistente a las enfermedades, podía vivir en duras condiciones de distribución (a través de sequías, inundaciones, calor y frío) y podía defenderse y defender a sus crías de los depredadores.

A principios del siglo XIX, se encontró ganado salvaje de cuernos largos en gran parte de Texas. Durante la Fiebre del Oro de California de fines de la década de 1840 y principios de la de 1850, hubo una gran demanda de ganado en California, y decenas de miles de ganado comenzó a ser conducido desde Texas para satisfacer la demanda. Esta práctica fue interrumpida por la Guerra Civil de los Estados Unidos, así como por el fin de la fiebre del oro de California. Los tejanos que regresaron a Texas después de la Guerra Civil tenían pocas fuentes de ingresos, pero había mucho ganado salvaje en Texas y quedaba poco ganado en el este de los Estados Unidos. Los tejanos comenzaron a juntar el ganado y llevarlo a las terminales de los ferrocarriles en Kansas, donde fueron enviados a las ciudades de la costa este para satisfacer una creciente demanda de carne de res. Se establecieron muchos senderos famosos para el ganado, como el sendero Chisholm y el sendero Goodnight-Loving, y muchos millones de ganado (entonces llamado & quot; ganado de Texas & quot) fueron conducidos por estos senderos para su envío hacia el este.

A fines del siglo XIX, comenzaron a establecerse grandes ranchos en Texas. Se construyeron vallas, se capturó y contuvo el ganado y se acabaron los días del ganado en libertad. Aunque estos ranchos originalmente tenían Texas Longhorns, la mayoría pronto se dedicaron a importar razas de ganado europeas "mejoradas". Las razas europeas producían mucha más grasa que los Texas Longhorns, y el sebo era la principal fuerza impulsora de los precios del ganado en ese momento. Sin embargo, varios ganaderos mantuvieron rebaños del ganado original de Texas, ya sea por nostalgia o porque apreciaban las habilidades y cualidades de este ganado. En la década de 1920, el ganado de cuernos largos era lo suficientemente raro como para que el gobierno de los Estados Unidos pagara para reunir una manada de ganado de Texas en el Refugio de Vida Silvestre de Wichita en el suroeste de Oklahoma, para preservarlo de la extinción. Aproximadamente media docena de rebaños privados también se mantuvieron durante (o comenzaron en) la primera mitad del siglo XX, y la mayoría de los Texas Longhorns modernos se remontan a estas siete "familias" de longhorns (el Refugio de Wichita, Butler, Marks, Peeler , Phillips, Wright y Yates).

En 1964, se fundó la Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America (TLBAA) y se estableció un proceso de registro. Por lo tanto, Texas Longhorns se convirtió en una raza registrada. Hoy en día, los Texas Longhorns se crían y valoran por muchas razones diferentes. Su carne magra naturalmente ahora se considera una ventaja, y la capacidad de los Texas Longhorns para prosperar en condiciones de rango natural (sin el uso de antibióticos, hormonas agregadas o el uso de corrales de engorde) los convierte en los favoritos para la carne magra, alimentada en rango carne de res y mercados de carne orgánica. También son criados ampliamente por sus hermosos colores y cuernos, y por personas que aprecian la historia y las cualidades de la raza. Los toros Texas Longhorn se utilizan a menudo como toros de servicio en otras razas de ganado, porque los cruces producen menos dificultades de parto y terneros que crecen rápidamente y tienen pocos problemas de salud. En Double Helix Ranch, nos atrajeron los Texas Longhorns debido a su alta diversidad genética y alta aptitud asociada, además de su interés histórico y su belleza. Los rasgos que se destacan en Texas Longhorns son su resistencia natural a las enfermedades, gran longevidad, alta tasa de reproducción, facilidad en el parto, capacidad para prosperar en condiciones de distribución duras y capacidad para defenderse de los depredadores. Nunca hemos perdido un solo ternero de Texas Longhorn a causa de una enfermedad o depredación, y prosperan sin un cuidado extenso o alimentación suplementaria.

Para obtener información más detallada sobre la historia del ganado Texas Longhorn, recomiendo el excelente libro de T. J. Barragy, Gathering Texas Gold, además del libro clásico de J. Frank Dobie, The Longhorns. Véase también la serie de once partes de Alan Hoyt sobre la Historia de los Texas Longhorns (publicada originalmente en el Diario de Texas Longhorn).

¿Son difíciles de controlar los Texas Longhorns y pueden ser peligrosos?

La mayoría de los Texas Longhorns modernos son ganado suave y se encuentran entre las razas más fáciles de manejar y controlar. Su disposición gentil y apariencia llamativa los hacen favoritos como novillos, y su salud general y adaptabilidad los hacen ideales para los rancheros de fin de semana. Los Texas Longhorns que interactúan regularmente con las personas son fáciles de manejar como con cualquier raza, sin embargo, el ganado que rara vez ve a los humanos puede crecer salvaje y cauteloso.

Por supuesto, se requiere precaución entre los Texas Longhorns debido a los largos cuernos. Aunque nuestro ganado nunca ha atacado o dañado a un humano a propósito, puede usar sus cuernos para manipular objetos y rascarse el cuerpo, por lo que se debe tener un cuidado razonable alrededor del ganado para evitar el contacto accidental con los cuernos. Los Texas Longhorns también defenderán a sus crías contra los perros, por lo que tenemos cuidado de mantener a nuestros perros a una distancia segura de la manada.

¿Qué tipo de vallas necesito para mantener Texas Longhorns?

Cualquier cerca que contenga otras razas de ganado es suficiente para los Texas Longhorns. Preferimos usar cercas de alambre de púas porque han demostrado ser las más confiables para nosotros y los costos de mantenimiento son bajos. Sin embargo, muchos criadores usan cercas eléctricas simples de uno o dos hilos con gran éxito y, por supuesto, las cercas de tablones, tuberías y malla de alambre son más que adecuadas. Evitamos las cercas eléctricas porque pueden ser difíciles de mantener en largas distancias y porque están sujetas a problemas de puesta a tierra (generalmente creados por el paso de ciervos) y pérdida por rayos en nuestra parte del país. Sin embargo, si se pueden monitorear y mantener de cerca, las cercas eléctricas son efectivas para controlar a los Texas Longhorns. Si tiene cercas que mantienen a otro ganado o ganado dentro o fuera de su propiedad, entonces deberían ser adecuadas para contener la mayoría de los Texas Longhorns.

Al igual que con cualquier raza de ganado, algunos toros individuales no respetarán las vallas y las saltarán o las atravesarán. Sin embargo, hemos tenido más problemas para mantener a los toros de nuestros vecinos (de otras razas) fuera de nuestros pastos que para mantener a nuestros toros Texas Longhorn. Una vez tuvimos un toro que saltaba cercas, así que lo sacrificamos. Ahora seleccionamos toros en parte por su disposición, y rara vez tenemos problemas con nuestros toros cruzando nuestras cercas.

¿Los Texas Longhorns requieren mucha atención veterinaria?

No. Los Texas Longhorns tienen problemas de salud mínimos. Debe seguir el programa de vacunación estándar para el ganado en su parte del país, proporcionar pastos o heno razonablemente buenos, minerales adecuados según sea necesario para su área y una fuente de agua potable limpia y seguir un programa regular de control de parásitos según lo recomendado por su veterinario. . Si la calidad del heno o del pasto es deficiente, es posible que deba complementar su dieta según la temporada. Si los Longhorns reciben suficiente nutrición (incluidos los minerales) y han sido vacunados según las recomendaciones de su veterinario, los problemas de salud son bastante raros.

¿Los Texas Longhorns tienen muchos problemas de parto?

No. Nunca hemos tenido problemas de parto con ningún becerro Texas Longhorn, y los problemas de parto son prácticamente inexistentes en la raza. Esta es una de las razones por las que muchos ganaderos comerciales utilizan toros Texas Longhorn como toros de servicio con vacas de muchas de las razas europeas. Los terneros resultantes nacen sin dificultad, y el ganado mestizo generalmente aumenta de peso muy rápidamente.

¿Cuáles son los mercados para los Texas Longhorns?

1. Ganado reproductor (venta de convenios privados y subastas especializadas)
2. Toros para toros de servicio
3. Novillos para montar y nostalgia occidental
4. Stock para rodeos (cuerdas)
5. Ganado para la venta de carne orgánica, carne magra y carne de vacuno alimentado en rango (según corresponda para el programa de cría individual)
6. Ganado para el mercado principal de carne de vacuno (fácil de vender en los graneros de venta locales, pero normalmente al precio más bajo)

¿Qué tan rápido crecen los cuernos de Texas Longhorns? ¿Cómo crecen?

En un artículo publicado en Diario de Texas Longhorn en diciembre de 1999, Malcolm Goodman sugirió que los toros Texas Longhorn alcanzan aproximadamente el 50% de su medida final de cuerno de punta a punta alrededor de un año de edad (en promedio). A los cuatro años de edad, han alcanzado aproximadamente el 95% de su longitud máxima. Los cuernos de la vaca Texas Longhorn promedio alcanzan el 50% de su medida eventual de punta a punta un poco más tarde, aproximadamente a los 15 meses de edad, y alcanzan el 95% entre los cinco y seis años de edad. Continúan creciendo, pero por lo general se ralentizan considerablemente con la edad. Estos son solo promedios, por supuesto, y hay una gran variación según la forma de los cuernos. Los cuernos de los novillos continúan creciendo a un ritmo razonable durante toda la vida, porque los bajos niveles de testosterona en los novillos permiten que la placa de crecimiento del núcleo óseo interno permanezca sin adherir.

Los cuernos crecen desde la base, no desde las puntas, y se pueden ver "anillos de crecimiento" cerca de la base de los cuernos de las vacas más viejas. Las vacas producen un nuevo anillo en asociación con cada ternero que producen, aunque estos anillos de crecimiento pueden acercarse bastante en los animales más viejos. Los cuernos consisten en un núcleo óseo, rodeado de carne y sangre, y luego una capa exterior de queratina. En muchos animales (especialmente animales con cuernos de color claro que crecen rápidamente) se puede ver el color rojizo del suministro de sangre debajo de la capa de queratina, particularmente cerca de la base en crecimiento.

¿Cuáles son los cuernos más anchos de vacas, toros y novillos de Texas Longhorn registrados?

Ésta es una pregunta difícil de responder, porque a lo largo de los años se han realizado muchas afirmaciones que son difíciles de verificar. Además, hay al menos dos formas comunes de medir cuernos. La medida de punta a punta es la más fácil de reproducir: es simplemente la medida en línea recta de una punta de cuerno a la otra. El & quot; cuerno quottotal & quot o medición de la encuesta intenta medir los cuernos a lo largo de su curva, para obtener una medida de la longitud total de los cuernos. Esta medida es mucho más difícil de replicar con precisión, pero es un mejor reflejo de la longitud total del cuerno. La medición de punta a punta asigna valores más largos a los cuernos laterales rectos que a los cuernos curvados hacia arriba de la misma longitud total.

Dadas las dificultades de comparar mediciones hechas por diferentes personas, la mejor respuesta que puedo dar a esta pregunta es señalar la competencia anual Horn Showcase realizada por la Asociación de Criadores de Texas Longhorn de América. Obviamente, esta competencia no incluye a todos los Texas Longhorns vivos, pero los dueños de los animales de cuernos más largos tienden a estar muy orgullosos de su ganado, por lo que los ganadores se encuentran al menos entre los Texas Longhorns de cuernos más largos. Aunque hay algunas anécdotas de novillos con cuernos más largos en el pasado distante, la selección reciente de cuernos muy largos significa que los Texas Longhorns que están vivos hoy en día probablemente se encuentran entre los animales de cuernos más largos que alguna vez hayan formado parte de la raza.

En el Horn Showcase de 2006:
1. La vaca Texas Longhorn con los cuernos más anchos (medida de punta a punta) era la Feisty Fannie de Day, con 82 & quot
2. La vaca Texas Longhorn con los cuernos más anchos (medida total del cuerno) fue
Sunrise Hope, en 97 3/8 & quot
3. El toro Texas Longhorn con los cuernos más anchos (medida de punta a punta) fue Superbowl, con 76 & quot
4. El toro Texas Longhorn con los cuernos más anchos (medida total del cuerno) fue Wyoming Warpaint, con 96 1/4 & quot
5. El buey Texas Longhorn con los cuernos más anchos (medición de punta a punta) fue Watson 101, con 101 & quot
6. El buey Texas Longhorn con los cuernos más anchos (medida total del cuerno) fue Gilbralter con 126 1/2 & quot

¿Cuáles son los requisitos de marca para los Texas Longhorns registrados?

Los Texas Longhorns registrados deben tener una marca de explotación (la marca del rancho o propietario individual), así como con un número de rebaño privado único. La marca se puede hacer con marcas de fuego o marcas congeladas. Los diseños de marca deben registrarse tanto en la asociación de razas como en su estado, condado o provincia de residencia (de acuerdo con las regulaciones locales de registro de marcas). En Texas, las marcas de ganado deben estar registradas en cada condado donde opera un rancho. El registro se realiza en el Palacio de Justicia del Condado (y se renueva una vez por década).

¿Dónde se pueden criar Texas Longhorns? ¿Requieren un clima cálido y seco?

Los Texas Longhorns se crían en toda América del Norte, así como en algunos países europeos y en Australia. Prosperan tanto en climas cálidos como fríos, y todo lo demás. Hay criadores de Texas Longhorn de gran éxito en toda América del Norte, en todos los lugares donde se cría ganado. Prosperan donde otras razas tienen dificultades para vivir, pero no requieren un clima cálido y seco. También prosperan en Canadá, en el noroeste del Pacífico, en las llanuras del norte, en el noreste y en los estados del sureste.

¿Qué comen los Texas Longhorns?

Como todo el ganado, los Texas Longhorns comen principalmente pasto y forbes. Sin embargo, los Texas Longhorns pastan (y ramonean) en una variedad más amplia de plantas que la mayoría del ganado. Al utilizar una variedad más amplia de plantas, hacen menos daño a los pastizales (ya que no solo se dirigen a unas pocas especies favoritas) y pueden prosperar en una variedad más amplia de condiciones.

¿Se pueden mantener seguros los Texas Longhorns con caballos?

Mantenemos nuestros caballos en un pastizal con Texas Longhorns, al igual que muchos otros criadores, y no hemos tenido ningún problema. A menudo se recomienda el pastoreo de ganado y caballos juntos para mantener la calidad del pasto y reducir la carga de parásitos tanto del ganado como de los caballos (ya que los parásitos internos del ganado no pueden sobrevivir en los caballos y viceversa).


Decodificando la historia genética del cuerno largo de Texas

El ganado Texas Longhorn tiene una ascendencia global híbrida, según un estudio realizado por investigadores de la Universidad de Texas en Austin publicado esta semana en el procedimientos de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias.

El estudio del genoma del Longhorn y las razas afines cuenta una fascinante historia mundial de la migración humana y el ganado. Se remonta al segundo viaje de Cristóbal Colón al Nuevo Mundo, la invasión árabe de España y la antigua domesticación de los uros en el Medio Oriente y la India.

"Es una historia real de Texas, una historia estadounidense", dijo Emily Jane McTavish, estudiante de doctorado en el laboratorio del profesor de biología David Hillis. “Durante mucho tiempo, la gente pensó que este ganado del Nuevo Mundo estaba domesticado a partir de un linaje europeo puro. Pero resulta que tienen una ascendencia más compleja, más híbrida y más global, y hay evidencia de que esta diversidad genética es parcialmente responsable de su mayor resistencia a las duras condiciones climáticas ".

Para reconstruir la historia genética de los Texas Longhorns, McTavish, Hillis y sus colegas de la Universidad de Missouri-Columbia analizaron casi 50.000 marcadores genéticos de 58 razas de ganado. El análisis de este tipo más completo hasta la fecha, fue financiado en parte por Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Conservancy, que ayudó a los científicos a obtener acceso a las muestras utilizadas por los ganaderos.

Uno de los hallazgos fue que la raza Texas Longhorn es descendiente directa del primer ganado en el Nuevo Mundo. El ganado ancestral fue llevado por Colón en 1493 a la isla Hispaniola. Viajaron el resto del camino hacia el continente en 1521 en los barcos de los colonos españoles posteriores.

Durante los dos siglos siguientes, los españoles trasladaron el ganado al norte, llegando a la zona que se convertiría en Texas a finales del siglo XVII. El ganado escapó o se soltó en el campo abierto, donde permaneció en su mayoría salvaje durante los siguientes dos siglos.

“It was known on some level that Longhorns are descendants from cattle brought over by early Spanish settlers,” said Hillis, the Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor in the College of Natural Sciences, “but they look so different from the cattle you see in Spain and Portugal today. So there was speculation that there had been interbreeding with later imports from Europe. But their genetic signature is co mpletely consistent with being direct descendants of the cattle Columbus brought over.”

The study reveals that being a “pure” descendant of cattle from the Iberian peninsula indicates a more complicated ancestry than was understood. Approximately 85 percent of the Longhorn genome is “taurine,” descended from the ancient domestication of the wild aurochs that occurred in the Middle East 8,000-10,000 years ago. As a result, Longhorns look similar to purer taurine breeds such as Holstein, Hereford and Angus, which came to Europe from the Middle East.

The other 15 percent of the genome is “indicine,” from the other ancient domestication of the aurochs, in India. These indicine cattle, which often have a characteristic hump at the back of the neck, spread into Africa and from there up to the Iberian peninsula.

“It’s consistent with the Moorish invasions from the 8th to the 13th centuries,” said Hillis. “The Moors brought cattle with them, and brought these African genes, and of course the European cattle were there as well. All those influences come together in the cattle of the Iberian peninsula, which were used to stock the Canary Islands, which is where Columbus stopped and picked up cattle on his second voyage and brought them to the New World.”

Once in the New World, most of the cattle eventually went feral. Under the pressures of natural selection they were able to re-evolve ancient survival traits that had been artificially bred out of their European ancestors. Selection for longer horns allowed them to defend against wild predators. They became leaner and more able to survive heat and drought.

“The Longhorns that were in the area when Anglo settlers arrived almost looked more like the ancestral aurochsen than like modern cattle breeds,” said McTavish. “Living wild on the range, they had to become very self sufficient. Having that genetic reservoir from those wild ancestors made it possible for a lot of those traits to be selected for once again.”

McTavish said it’s possible the indicine heritage in particular helped, because the climate in India and Africa tended to be hotter and drier than in Europe.

The Longhorns remained wild on the range, or very loosely managed, until after the Civil War, when Texans rounded up the wild herds and began supplying beef to the rest of the country. Since then the fortunes of the Longhorns have waxed and waned depending on how their unique genetic profile intersects with the changing needs of American consumers.

“The Longhorns almost went extinct starting in the late 19th century,” said Hillis. “A lot of the value of cattle at that time had to do with the fat they had, because the primary lighting source people had was candles, made of tallow, and Texas Longhorns have very low fat content. Ranchers began fencing off the range and importing breeds from Europe that had higher fat content. That’s when Americans began developing their taste for fatty beef, so then the other cattle became valuable in that respect as well. The only reason the Longhorns didn’t go extinct was because half a dozen or so ranchers kept herds going even though they knew that these other breeds were more valuable in some sense. They appreciated that the Longhorns were hardier, more self-sufficient.”

Hillis, who raises Longhorns of his own out at the Double Helix Ranch, said that the winds of history now seem to be blowing in the Longhorns’ direction. They can survive in hotter, drier climates, which will become increasingly important as the world warms. They provide lean and grass-fed beef, which is seen as healthier by many consumers. And their genes may prove valuable to ranchers, who can use the increasingly sophisticated genetic information to selectively breed the Longhorns’ toughness into other breeds of cattle.

“It’s another chapter in the story of a breed that is part of the history of Texas,” he said.


TEXAS LONGHORN CATTLE BREED OF CATTLE QUICK PROFILE OVERVIEW

CATTLE ⇒ COW BULL
Breed Color: Speckled hides of various colors but most commonly a golden brown Speckled hides of various colors but most commonly a golden brown
Breed Weight: 272 to 545 kgs 272 to 545 kgs
Breed Height: Unclear Unclear
Horns: Long lyre-shaped horns Long lyre-shaped horns
Temperament: Docile, active and intelligent Docile, active and intelligent. All bulls should be handled with extreme care and caution.
Matures at age: 6 to 8 months or 9 + months 6 to 8 months or 9 + months
Puberty Age: 6 to 15 months 9 to 1o months
Breeding Age: 13 to 15 months 1 año
Breeding Traits: See Cow breeding & Milking Info Cover 25 to 30 Cows in 1 season

The Wild History of the Texas Longhorn

What a difference a century makes. Today Texas longhorns are celebrated as living flags, rugged icons of the American Southwest. But a little more than 100 years ago, the big beasts had an image problem.

During the era of open ranges and extended cattle drives, longhorns thrived. Yet as industrialization took hold, they fell out of favor. With extinction looming, the breed was saved at the eleventh hour by organized conservation efforts — and a burst of Old West nostalgia.

Colonial Cattle

A 2013 genetic analysis found that Texas longhorns are descended from ancient lineages of both Middle Eastern and Indian cattle. Those two groups eventually came into contact in north Africa, resulting in hybrids who made their way to southwestern Europe.

Enter Christopher Columbus. On his transatlantic journey in 1493, the explorer took along several mixed-lineage bulls and cows acquired from the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco. With these animals, Columbus introduced domestic bovines to the Caribbean — and by extension, the New World.

Other Spanish travelers arrived in the region with cattle from the same general stock. In 1521, the beasts spread into mainland Mexico. And as Spaniards colonized present-day Colombia, Venezuela and Texas, their livestock tagged along.

It didn't take long for Texan cattle to start going native. The San Francisco de los Tejas Mission established one of the area's first domestic herds in 1690. By 1710, what we now know as eastern Texas — where the mission resided — was teeming with feral cattle.

Survival of the Fittest

Wild cows and bulls in those days would've faced many of the same challenges as their ranch-reared counterparts. The area that is now Texas was full of predators, droughts were common and some native plants were poor in nutrients. Natural selection favored long-horned animals (of both sexes) because they had an easier time fending off wolves and coyotes. Likewise, lean cattle with a tolerance for extreme temperatures were more likely to survive in this harsh environment.

Early in the 19th century, a fresh wave of immigrants diversified the gene pool. At the invitation of Spain and Mexico, thousands of Anglo-American settlers came to the area. The transplants were accompanied by herds of cattle descended from northern European breeds.

As these bovine latecomers mingled with the wilderness-hardened natives, an all-new breed emerged. Originally called the "Spanish cattle," "mustang cattle," or simply the "wild cattle," it came to be known as the "Texas longhorn" after the American Civil War.

No matter what you call them, full-grown Texas longhorns are intimidating animals. On neutered bulls, or "steers," the eponymous horns often measure 7 feet (2.1 meters) across from tip to tip. The Guinness World Record-holder is a steer named Pancho Via who currently resides in Alabama. From end to end, his super-sized horns are a jaw-dropping 10 feet, 7.4 inches (3.2 meters) across!

Changing Priorities

Such weaponry presents logistical challenges. Jean Norman, the owner of Our Heritage Guest Ranch in Sioux County, Nebraska is an experienced rancher. She and her family have kept longhorns for many years. Norman recalls that one heifer her late father purchased was quite the escape artist.

"Her horns arched and curled forward," she says in an email. Using these, the animal plucked staples from a number of fenceposts, "thus freeing the barbed wire." Occasionally, the offending cow would join forces with other longhorns to create sizable holes in the fencing.

Barbed wire fences almost doomed the breed. There was huge demand for western cattle after the Civil War. Back then, most ranchers west of the Mississippi allowed their animals to graze freely instead of fencing them in.

Self-reliant Texas longhorns didn't need much supervision and they could subsist on all kinds of wild plants. So the breed was a good fit for this "open range" approach to ranching. Furthermore, lengthy cattle drives over vast distances became a common sight by the 1850s. Longhorns had the physical stamina to survive the treks.

But the spread of railroads made prolonged cattle drives obsolete. At the same time, the popularization of barbed wire fences in the 1880s basically killed the open range era. Cowmen were now expected to confine their animals with sturdy fencing.

Texas longhorns had a reputation for being standoffish. It was an attitude that served them well out in the wilderness, but enclosed ranches created a demand for more docile breeds — and fattier ones to boot. Another strike against the longhorn was a national panic about Texas Fever, a historic disease linked to cattle from the Lone Star State.

An American Comeback Story

At the dawn of the 20th century, it looked like the breed's days were numbered. And then a funny thing happened. With the longhorn population plummeting, romantics started to eulogize the animals. They were compared to the American bison, another victim of modernization and railroad expansion. Songs like "The Last Longhorn" used the beasts to remind listeners of a — supposedly — simpler time when the West was considered wild.

The University of Texas further mythologized the breed in 1906, when the school's athletic teams became officially known as "the Longhorns." The current live mascot goes by the name Bevo XV.

Twenty-one years later, U.S. Forest Service Rangers scored federal funding to raise a (real) longhorn herd in Oklahoma's Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Combing the Southwest, the activists assembled 37 cattle. By 1929, the protected herd had expanded to 54 animals. Other herds were soon established in Texas state parks while private ranchers organized an ambitious breeding program.

By 1988, there were 125,000 registered Texas longhorns. Since then, this figure has risen to more than a quarter-million individuals. One thing that helped the breed stage its comeback was an emerging health food market in the 1980s, weight-conscious consumers developed an appetite for lean, low-fat meats — and longhorn beef fit the bill.

Even NASA got in on the action. Visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and you'll find some magnificent steers grazing within a few hundred yards of a Saturn V Rocket. Launched in 1996, the Johnson Space Center Longhorn Project has set aside 60 acres (24 hectares) of grassy land for dozens of the iconic cattle. Here, grade school students lend a hand in both raising top-quality animals and showcasing them at livestock conventions.

Rocketry and longhorns. It doesn't get more Texas than that.

President George W. Bush hosted two Texas longhorns at his presidential inaugurations: the University of Texas' live mascot Bevo XIII at his first inauguration and Bevo XIV at his second.


Categorías:

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Donald E. Worcester, &ldquoLonghorn Cattle,&rdquo Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/longhorn-cattle.

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History of the Texas Longhorns Part Eight: Dodge City Citizens 'Welcomed' Longhorn Drives

As the railroads and quarantine laws steadily moved westward, they left in their wake towns that the Texas Longhorns had built and established into prosperous entities. But as the cattle trade left, these towns settled down to quiet farming communities, usually glad to get rid of the 'hell-raising' cowboys that had made them prosperous. Along with the reasons for westward movement previously mentioned, the annihilation of the buffalo was a major cause for the opening of the limitless grasslands in the West.

When the white man had first seen the Great Plains, it appeared to be one big pasture of buffalo that ranged from South Texas to Canada. Sometimes, herds hundreds of miles across covered the earth like a slowly-moving brown quilt. In spring, the buffalo moved northward across Kansas, close-cropping the grass as they went. Most cattlemen knew that where the buffalo had ranged, the pastures would be spoiled for two years.

Everyone except the Indian seemed to want to wipe out the buffalo, for one reason or another: the soldiers wanted destruction of the herds as a means to keep the Indian on the reservations the railroads, deeply hurting from the depression of the seventies, were glad to haul meat, hides and bones to eastern markets freighters and merchants loved the business that came from buffalo hunting.

The Treaty of Medicine Lodge in 1867 gave the Indians the right to hunt buffalo in Kansas, but no white man could hunt south of the Arkansas River, which was then the southern boundary of Kansas. The Army never made any attempt to enforce the law, which highly upset the Indians.

In 1870, J. Wright Mooar asked the Commandant of Fort Dodge what might happen if he went hunting below the line. Officer Richard I. Dodge laughed and said, "Boys, if I were hunting buffalo, I would go where buffalo are."

Several efforts were made to save the buffalo, but they were turned down immediately. In 1872, the Kansas State Legislature passed an act to 'prevent the wanton destruction of buffalo,' but was countered with an executive pocket veto. Congress also tried in 1872 and 1874 to prevent 'useless slaughter of buffalo,' but were also vetoed. Meanwhile, the killing went on, setting the stage for the Texas Longhorn to take over the vast prairies being left vacated by the buffalo. During the heyday of the big hunts, one newspaper stated that a hunter from Dickinson County, Kansas, had killed as many as 658 buffalo in one winter. At seeing this, the editor of the Dodge City Times couldn't pass up the chance to prove the prowess of Ford County hunters: "Oh dear, what a mighty hunter! Ford County has twenty men who each have killed five times that many in one winter. The best record, however, is that of Tom Nixon, who killed 120 at one stand in forty minutes, and who, from the 15th of September to the 20th of October, killed 2,173 buffaloes. Come on with some more big hunters if you have any."

Finally, by 1877, Colonel Dodge wrote, "The buffalo is virtually exterminated. no legislation, however stringent or active, could now do anything for or against the trade of the 'buffalo products'." Colonel Dodge also believed that there was an Indian-dressed robe sent in for every five rawhides. In fact, during the years of 1872 to 1874, Dodge found a total of 1,215,000 buffalo killed by Indians compared to 3,158,730 killed by white men. In addition, because of fear that legislation would be passed to preserve the buffalo, the railroads conspired to keep secret the actual number of buffalo hides shipped over their lines. So with the buffalo exterminated and a majority of the warring Indian tribes 'loose-herded' on reservations, the Western United States was fair game for anyone wanting lush rangeland.

It is said that 'civilization follows the plow,' but if that is true in the western United States, then the plow followed the cowboys and the cowboys followed the Texas Longhorn steers. To understand the hardships endured by the Longhorns, along with their ability to endure just about anything, one must also understand the life of the American cowboy and the western cowtown. After all, it would be impossible, let alone unthinkable, to separate the cow from the cowboy in any historic narrative. Therefore, we will look at the hardships encountered by both the cattle and the men that drove them, along with the cowtown of all cowtowns----Dodge City.

Dodge City was different from the other cowtowns. It had been a boom town for buffalo hunters and bullwhackers for half a century. The men that followed the Santa Fe Trail were there. so were the soldiers from Fort Dodge. Everyone had a gun, in addition to excess of money and an abundance of liquor. The only thing on short supply in Dodge was women.

But from the first, the "citizens" of Dodge City were cattle-minded. As early as 1872, 19 year-old D.W. "Doc" Barton drove two thousand head of Longhorns to Dodge City. Because of Indian scares, he took a route through New Mexico and Colorado to the Arkansas River, following it downstream to Dodge City. At that time, there were no loading pens in Dodge, so he moved the herd on to Great Bend. It wasn't until 1875 that cattle started to be shipped out of Dodge on a regular basis. Then the town began working on her world-wide reputation as the Cowboy Capital. Many of the early citizens of Dodge were veterans of the other, earlier cowtowns: gamblers, gunfighters and prostitutes. Many of these were well-acquainted by the time they reached Dodge City, so they worked out a way of life that all could agree upon. As one historian said, "They knew how to raise hell and make it pay."

One summer day in 1876, a wagon train heading west came to Fort Dodge and camped on the prairie nearby. That evening, U.S. Army Surgeon, W.S. Tremaine and several other officers walked out to get the latest news from the travelers. They found the wagons deserted, with bullet holes and arrowheads stuck in their sides. Passing the wagons, they found the settlers kneeling with bowed heads, while their minister prayed: "Oh Lord, we pray Thee, protect us with Thy mighty hand. On our long journey, Thy Divine Providence has thus far kept us safe. We have survived cloudbursts, hailstorms, floods, strong gales, thirst and parching heat ----as well as raids of horse thieves and attacks by hostile Indians. But now, oh Lord, we face our gravest danger ---- Dodge City lies just ahead, and we must pass through it. Help us and save us, we beseech Thee. Amen."

This pretty well summed up the outsiders' view of Dodge City, also known as "The Deadwood of Kansas," "the rip-roaring burg of the West," "The Beautiful Bibulous Babylon of the Frontier," "Hell on the Plains." Dodge ---- a synonym for all that is wild, reckless and violent where was outfitted every expedition against Indians, horse thieves, outlaws where a saloon could be found for every fifty residents and where the only public buildings ever locked were the jail and the church.At first, Dodge had consisted of tents, small shacks and dugouts. Nearly everyone in town sold whiskey or opened a restaurant, but the town grew rapidly. A row of one-story frame buildings was built on both sides of the east-west railroad, forming the Plaza or Front Street. The nearest law was in Hays City, seventy-five miles away, with every imaginable danger between the two points.

Of course, not all of the residents or transients in Dodge were trigger-happy gunmen, gamblers, and "ladies of the evening." The majority of the citizens had come there to establish a new life and better themselves through farming, merchandising or ranching. But the public's imaginations was captured worldwide and forevermore by the American cowboys and the cattle they drove.

By the time Dodge City was established as a cowtown, the world's attention was on the massive cattle drives coming up from Texas and the Indian Territory. Most trail herds averaged twenty-five to thirty-five hundred and normally moved about 10 to 15 miles a day.

The Texas cattle didn't much resemble a 'modern' beef steer, which could never travel a thousand miles at that rate and gain weight at the same time anyway. Historian and author Stanley Vestal described the trailing Longhorns: "The Longhorn was wild, fierce, and sensitive, of mighty stamina, and muscled like a stag. There was nothing logy about him. He had narrow shoulders, a sharp backbone, tucked-up flanks, and a sway-back. There was more horn, hoof and bone to him, though he could get rolling fat. Most cattle get up slowly, hind end first, but the Longhorn ---- like the buffalo ---- seemed to spring up all at once, like a jack-in-the-box. He had a long tail, long legs, and was built to travel."

Buyers and owners reached Dodge well in advance of the herds. As soon as the brakeman on the slowing train shouted out "Dodge City," buyers from Wyoming to New York hurried across Front Street to either the Dodge House or the Alamo, where they immediately registered, then began talking about nothing but Longhorn steers, brands, cattle markets back East, cocktails and toddies.

The herds had started north as soon as the grass was high enough to feed them. Depending on their point of debarkation, they would reach Dodge City after 30 to 100 days on the trail.

For ten years, Dodge City was not only a cattle shipping point, but the greatest cattle market in the world. Many of the herds driven north to Dodge went straight on to Wyoming, Colorado, the Dakotas, Montana, and various Indian Agencies throughout the West.

Of 164 droves coming up the trail in 1880, 33 were herds of breeder cattle headed for the northern and western ranges. By the end of August 1880, 287,000 head of Longhorn had reached Dodge. In 1881, of 153,000 expected, over 100,000 had arrived by June 12. In the second half of that year, 100 railroad trains, made up of around 3,000 cars, each with a capacity of 20 head, carried 60,000 cattle out of Dodge.

In 1885, the last big year of the cattle trade, forecasts started to be made about the size of the Texas drive for the following season before the winter had even ended. Invitations were sent south to attract the cattlemen, and Dodge merchants got together to reduce prices on items in which the cowboys were interested.

While all of this was being advertised in Texas and the Indian Territory, Dodge went on it's annual cleanup campaign painting stores, replacing boards in the sidewalks (if they could be called that), and stocking up on supplies of every imaginable item. Cattle usually began to arrive around April and by May, a steady flow of Texas cattle and cowboys were blanketing the surrounding grasslands and the saloons (and even churches) of Dodge. By the middle of July, usually about 70 percent of the year's drive had been bought and sold.

But cattle would keep trickling in until mid-September, while cowboys who had been hired to drive "breeder herds" on to the north and west would be stopping back by to visit Dodge as late as October. So Dodge merchants found themselves catering to eastern buyers and speculators, northern ranchers, Texas cattlemen and drovers, and the ever-present shrill whistle of the locomotives about ten months out of the year. During the peak season, one thousand to two thousand cowboys would be found in and around Dodge. Many of these men would be busy branding, cutting out, and holding cattle for more fattening consequently, they might hang around Dodge for several months at a time.

Since these drovers received six month's to a year's pay as soon as the cattle were shipped out or sold, many of them worked off the boredom and hazards of the trail with liberal amounts of liquor, gambling, dancing with the saloon girls, or just plain having fun. The editor of the Dodge City Times, of course not knowing what these men had been through coming up the trail, wrote about the gun-toting Texas cowboy: "A gay and festive Texas boy, like all true sons of the Lone Star State, loves to fondle and practice with his revolver in the open air. It pleases his ear to hear the sound of this deadly weapon. Aside from the general pleasure he derives from shooting, the Texas boy makes shooting inside the corporate limits of any town or city a specialty. He loves to see the inhabitants rushing wildly around to 'see what all the shooting is all about,' and it tickles his heart to the very core to see the City Marshal coming towards him at a distance while he is safe and securely mounted."

"The program of the Texas lot then, is to come to town to bum around until he gets disgusted with himself, then to mount his pony and ride out through the main street, shooting his revolver at every jump. Not shooting to hurt anyone, but shooting in the air, just to raise a little excitement and let people know he is in town."

But the people of Dodge City seemed to put up with the minor hellraising by the cowboys, and even tried to protect them from gambling thieves, as is shown in this article from the Ford County Globe: "We believe that what is known as 'square games' are among the necessary belongings of any town that has the cattle trade. We don't believe there are a dozen people in Dodge who seriously object to this kind of gambling so long as this is a cattle town, but we appeal to our city officers 'to set down on' all showcase and other bare-faced robbing concerns. Keep them away from our town. They create more bad blood among both cattlemen and citizens than anything else. They are no good to any class of people in the community and they are even despised by gamblers themselves."

The common picture painted by television and Hollywood of the trail-drivin' cowboy has always been one of total independence, ruthlessness, rowdiness, drunkenness and extreme bravery, along with the willingness to shoot anybody down that got in his way or looked at him wrong.

A very few were that bad, but the majority of these men possessed qualities known primarily to mountain men, pioneers, and trailblazers. Their unflagging loyalty to their employer, to the point of dying to save the herd during Indian raids and floods, endeared him to all adventurous persons. Although the cowboy usually had little formal education, his "horse sense" more than made up for that. Like the tough Texas Longhorns he drove, he had found it most necessary to adapt to a wild and rough life, where danger could threaten his existence at any moment.

After being on the trail for months, then getting paid in Dodge City, the majority of these tough men (and the 15 to 18-year-olds which quickly became men) bought new duds, ammunition, possibly a new gun, and then got drunk until their money ran out or they had had enough of the high times of the wildest cowtown in the West. But these men, like the Longhorns, had adapted to the treacherous life of the Old West or they died trying.

James H. Cook, cowboy, plainsman, and author, described the role of the cowboy and plainsman in the West: "I desire to record one fact regarding those who made a success as good 'cowhands' or plainsmen or mountaineers, and who really aided, by their various activities, in paving the way for settlement in the West. Such men had to be known as men of deeds, men of action. No person, as far as I know, has ever accused Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, 'Bigfoot' Wallace, Jim Bridger, or others of their type whose names will remain indelible in the history of the West, of being either loafers, dance-hall artists, or desperadoes.

"The majority of the cowboys of the West were not a drunken, gambling lot of toughs. It required riders with clear heads, brave hearts, and strong bodies to do the work which was required in handling either the great trail herds or the cattle on the ranges. A drunken man riding one of those great herds of wild cattle was a sight I never witnessed. One could as well imagine a man being allowed to smoke cigarettes in a powder factory. A large percentage of the men who lived the life of the open chose and followed that life because they loved it."

One cowboy named Burt Taylor described one instance in which alcohol and cattle didn't mix: "There was another ferry that ferried across the Arkansas River a short ways back from the mouth before it emptied into the Virdigris. This ferry was run by Mrs. Lake Brewer, a Cherokee woman. After crossing the river, the trail from the ferry to Kansas was known as the Baxter Springs Road. Mrs. Brewer would at times, when the river was high, ferry cattle across the river on the ferry boat."

"One winter after I'd taken over the ferry, the river froze over real thick it had begun to thaw and the ice was slipping. Jeff and Floyd Nevins went to Ft. Gibson and bought a bunch of jake came back to the ferry pretty drunk. They got about a third of the way across the river, but because of the noise they were making, all the cattle got in one end of the ferry. Once there, the end the cattle were on, sank, throwing the other end away up out of the water. All the cattle drowned except one brindle steer."

"There was one man on the ferry that could not swim, the others had to hold him on the upper end of the ferry to keep him from jumping into the river as he got scared and lost his common judgment. All the men aboard got soaking wet a skiff was taken out to get Jeff and Floyd, on the way back to the bank, the skiff run upon a large snag and sank."

This same cowboy told of his experiences of swimming cattle across rivers, and the problems involved. "When the river was low, it wasn't much problem getting the Longhorns across, but when the water was high, it was a mightily hard job. The way we handled them when the water was high was, we would start two or three of them into the water, and after they got to where they had to swim, we would pull up beside and get on their backs. We had a stick, and when the steers tried to turn back or go in the wrong direction, we would beat them on the side of the head and make them go straight, after we got the first few started, the others were easy to make follow. A lot of times when the water was real high, it would take us three weeks and longer to get them across. Quite often, we would start a large bunch across the river, lose control of them and they would come out anywhere from one to two miles down the river on the same side we started from. We would ride the steers' backs, jumping from one to the other, we had to leave the steer we would be riding before he got to the bank for if we rode them out onto the bank they would turn and charge us. They were surely the old long horned Texas steers."

While researching this series of articles I drove thousands of miles to sift through court records and newspaper articles, and talked with people who let me glance through crumbling pages of the diaries of their cattle-driving forefathers in search of interesting materials which told of the ways of life--and death-- of the frontier cattlemen and their Texas Longhorns. These stories could be summed up into the dry "high school history book" style, but I would much rather use them in their entirety so as to preserve the colorful narrative that expressed the spirit, stamina, and the close-knit relationships between cowboy and cow.

I would once again like to quote cattleman and author James H. Cook, whose narratives captured the spirit and dangers encountered by the drovers: "I think I can understand how men whose spirits are fired by patriotism in time of war will stand all sorts of privations and hardships, as well as the most intense suffering, such as was endured at Valley Forge, and at times during the War of the Rebellion but what spirit fired and sustained the boys who drove the trail herds during the times of which I write is more than I can explain. I remember hardly an instance, and I think there were actually very few if any, in which men proved themselves to be quitters. To hold onto the stock seemed to be the first consideration with all engaged in the work."

"There are rough spots in the lives of all who have lived in the open, whether the life be that of a soldier, sailor, or plainsman but I think the wild and woolly 'cow waddie' received about as many rough knocks as anybody living on the sunset side of the Mississippi."

"During the storms, the cattle and horses would stampede, and to stay with them, we had to ride as fast as a horse could run. Sometimes it would be so dark that a rider could not see his horse's head. Then a flash of lightning would come, and we could see the cattle tearing madly along and locate their position. The next moment one would again be blinded by the flash. Many were the hard falls the boys had to take when a horse went down while running after stampeded stock on those dark and stormy nights."

"Many were the poor old 'leather-breeches' who came dragging themselves into camp the morning after a bad night, either with broken bones or carrying their saddle on their backs, because their pony had fallen and broken his neck or a leg. And I know personally a few of the boys who were crushed to death and had to be left by the side of the trail to wait for the call of the great trumpeter, Gabriel, because of those terrible runs at night."

The Texas cowboy had to endure hardships greater than any other type of frontiersman. Hunters, trappers, and soldiers could usually find some shelter from storms, tornadoes, and Indians, but the drover had to brave the elements in order to stay with the herd. The real cowboy would stay with the herd come 'hell or high water' because he had to. Many unmarked graves lie along the great trails because drovers froze to death in the saddle, were trampled by cattle stampedes or attacked from ambush by Indians. Others met their demise in the cowtowns by gamblers very efficient with their six-shooters, who oftentimes just for sport, prodded the proud cowpuncher into a fight he had no chance of winning.

Author's note: In the last part, I mentioned some investigation being done into the possibility of 'long-horned cattle' existing on the North American continent as early as the fifth century A.D.. Scientists are constantly searching for archaeological evidence to find out what type of life was here first. Some of the newest stories concern a Chinese legend found in the Llang Dynasty, telling of a Buddhist monk who discovered a land he called Fusang, about 13,000 miles east of China. Some persons researching this legend say this would have put the ancient explorers somewhere near southern California. Similarities between the empire noted by the monk and the highly developed civilizations of the fifth century Yucatan's in present Mexico do exist, but according to Professor of Geology, Stephen C. Jett, of the University of California at Davis, there is no substantial evidence to indicate these 'long-horned cattle' were indeed cattle. The animals might have been found to substantiate any claim that true cattle existed in America until Columbus brought that first small group on his second voyage in 1493 -- and those were Spanish cattle.

LONGHORN CATTLE

Longhorn are a breed of cattle descended from cows and bulls left by early Spanish settlers in the American Southwest. They are named for their long horns, which span about four feet (over one meter). By the end of the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) these cattle had multiplied and great numbers of them roamed freely across the open range of the West. Americans found the beef of longhorns stringy and tough. But ranchers in Texas bred the longhorns with other cattle breeds such as Hereford and Angus to produce better quality meat. As beef was in demand in the eastern United States, shrewd businessmen capitalized on the business opportunity, buying cattle for three to five dollars a head and selling them in eastern and northern markets for as much as $25 to $60 a head. Ranchers hired cowboys to round up, sort out, and drive their herds to railheads in places like Abilene and Dodge City, Kansas, which became famous as "cow towns" (raucous boom towns where saloons and brothels proliferated.) After the long trail drive, the cattle were loaded onto rail cars and shipped live to local butchers who slaughtered the livestock and prepared the beef. For 20 years the plentiful longhorn cattle sustained a booming livestock industry in the West: at least six million Texas longhorns were driven across Oklahoma to the cow towns of Kansas. However, by 1890 the complexion of the industry changed. Farmers and ranchers in the West used a new material, barbed wire, to fence in their lands, closing the open range. Railroads were extended, bringing an end to the long, hard, and much glorified cattle drives the role of the cowboy changed, making him little more than a hired hand. Big business took over the industry. Among the entrepreneurs who capitalized on beef's place in the American diet was New England-born Gustavus Swift (1839 – 1903), who in 1877 began a large-scale slaughterhouse operation in Chicago, shipping ready-packed meat via refrigerated railcars to markets in the East.

Ver también: Barbed Wire, Cattle Drives, Cowboy, Cow Towns, Chisholm Trail, Open Range, Prairie

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Longhorn Cattle - History

TEXAS LONGHORN BLOODLINE LEGACIES

From Near Extinction To Distinction

By the turn of the 19th century demand for the Texas Longhorn beef began to fade. It took less than 40 years of fencing,plows and demand for the fat English breeds to drive the Texas longhorn closer to extinction than the buffalo. Six cattle families along with the United States Government are responsible for preserving the Texas Longhorn as a breed.

The Butler family: Named for Milby Butler, a pioneer cattleman who began raising Texas Longhorns in the early 1900's. His cattle trace back to the wild cattle of east Texas and the Gulf Coast. Most of Milby's cattle were butchered after he died in 1971 but the best were saved by several selective breeders. The Butler line is known for exceptional horn growth. Perhaps the most famous Butler cattle were Bevo and Beauty. This sire and dam produced the bull, Classic among others.

The WR (Wildlife Refuge) bloodline: The WR line of Longhorns is a result of selective breeding that began with the acquisition of breeding stock in 1927. That year, the Wichita Refuge searched for Longhorn cattle to preserve the breed from extinction. Refuge employees(Earl Drummond,Heck Schrader, Joe Bill Lee and Elmer Parker Jr.) viewed thousands of cattle and finally located and acquired 20 cows and 3 bulls that were of the Longhorn type. Several bulls and cows were added to the original herd through the years. The success of the breeding program has made the WR line one of the most popular today.

The Peeler family: Named for Graves Peeler. Mr.Peeler raised longhorns, a tradition established by his father starting in 1931, extensively after losing many heads of English-bred cattle in a blizzard. One of the most well known of the Peeler cattle was YO Carmela I, the first cow registered by the TLBAA.

The Marks family: Named for Emil H. Marks. By 1920, Mr.Marks noticed that longhorns were disappearing from the marketplace. He began holding back some of his best animals just to keep the breed alive. The Marks line was among the oldest of the Texas Longhorn bloodlines.

The Wright family: Named for M.P. Wright. The Wright line originated in South Texas where the family had a ranching and slaughter business. When ranchers would bring in longhorns for sale, Wright would select the better longhorns for breeding stock. His first 100 animals were acquired in this way. In 1965, the Wright herd consisted of 222 registered Texas Longhorns.

The Yates family: Named for Cap Yates. Mr. Yates interest in Longhorns resulted in a bloodline known for purity toward the original "old type" Longhorn. Yates began developing an eye for cattle while working as a ranch foreman in 1910, and bought many cattle from Mexico after World WarI. At his ranches in south and west Texas, the only breed of cattle that could survive on the desolate, harsh land were Longhorns.

The Phillips family: Named for Jack Phillips. Jack followed his father and grandfather in raising Texas Longhorn cattle. Phillips had raised Longhorns for 30 years before the TLBAA was formed in 1964. Phillips always looked for long legs, long bodies, slender heads, long bushy tails and good horns. He used the selection rules of conformation first, followed by horns and color traits. Texas Ranger JP is perhaps the best known animals from this bloodline. Known as the sire for size.

OTHER IMPORTANT TEXAS LONGHORN BLOODLINES:
Scott - Developed by Walter B. Scott of Goliad Texas. A blend of Peeler and Marks bloodlines.
YO - Charles Schreiner III developed a blend of "WR" and Peeler along with the bull "BOLD RULER".
SPEAR-E - Elvin Blevins of Wynnewood, Oklahoma started this bloodline in 1952. Primarily "WR" with "YATES" influence.
SHAHAN - James T."Happy" Shahan line of Texas Longhorns is the result of selective inbreeding from the Marks, Butler, Peeler and Stanger bloodlines.
WOODS - Grady Woods, great-great grandson of Joshua Westbrook homestead in Newton County east Texas. These cattle are descendents of stock brought to Santo Domingo and Mexico by the Spaniards.
BLR - Bright Longhorn Ranch. Arthur Bright of Le Grand California. "WR" based heard on the west coast starting in 1962.
Ox Yoke T - This line of cattle was developed by Ken Humphrey of Okreek, South Dakota in 1950, utilizing the Fort Niobrara Refuge cattle for 50% with 25% "Yates" and 25% "WR".


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