The Unique Characteristics of Texas Longhorn Cattle
Texas Longhorn cows and bulls were early settlers in North America’s Old West, but it has certainly not been all plain sailing for these magnificent animals!
After flourishing for many years, they were near extinction by 1927.
Thankfully, today they are in good health and increasing in numbers. This is largely due to dedicated Texas Longhorn breeders, ranch and farm owners as well as individuals who simply adore them.
The number of Texas Longhorns now in existence is certainly healthy and it is extremely pleasing to know that their numbers are continually growing.
For those interested in Texas Longhorn cattle for sale this means opportunities galore.
Characteristics that make these cattle so special
We will take a look at some of the major characteristics of both Texas longhorn cows and bulls. It should quickly become obvious just why they are increasing in popularity and easy to see just why the Texas Longhorns for sale market is currently bubbling.
Coloring – No two are the same!
Texas longhorn cows and bulls are certainly unique when it comes to their color. Their shading and combination of colors means that no two are exactly alike!
Colors include different shades from light to dark and everything in between. You will see brown, black, red, white, yellow and orange. There are also some which are colored Lavender or Mulberry!
Three of the beautiful ‘mixed’ colors are:
• Brindle: This is a striped color. Usually red or brown with black stripes.
• Dun/Yellow: Texas Longhorn cows and bulls can range from grey/gold, through tan, onto all shades of yellow.
• Grulla: This is the Spanish word for a grey crane. This bird is colored slate-grey and Texas Longhorn breeders will often see a range of colors between pale, Smokey silver to a dark mouse color.
• Fleabit: A far more appealing color than it sounds! This color is mostly white with underlying dark specks on the skin.
Don’t try and guess the color of newborn calves!
If you are looking at Texas Longhorn cattle for sale, please don’t think that just because you choose your Texas Longhorn cows and bulls in a particular color that this is what their calves will grow up to be. Indeed, they often turn out to be quite opposite.
Part of the fun is waiting to see exactly what color these youngsters will grow up to be!
Calves change color! You should also be prepared for your Texas Longhorn cows and bulls to change their coat color after they shed their baby hair (first coat).
How much do they weigh?
Anyone looking for Texas Longhorns for sale should know what they are buying into when it comes to size.
Weights below are estimates/averages, but they should give you a guide in terms of what to expect.
• Longhorns are about 56-61 pounds when born. They do not stay that way for long!
• When fully grown:
Bulls weigh in around 1,400-2,200 pounds.
Cows come in around 700-1,400 pounds
Steers range between 1,400-2,500 pounds.
Th average height of Texas Longhorns is between 4 and 5 feet from hoof to shoulder.
Horn shape & size:
We would be extremely remiss if we did not mention the most obvious characteristics of Texas Longhorn cows and bulls.
Their stunning, majestic horns certainly set them apart from any other breed of cattle.
Both Texas Longhorn cows and bulls sport these magnificent horns. They range from being flat and wide to having various twists and turns. These horns grow from the base not the tip.
Their horns begin to grow when they are around 3 weeks old. From here they grow quite rapidly and bulls reach about 50% of their eventual tip-to-tip measurement when they reach their 1st birthday.
Cows are a little later, their horns reach half-size when they are around 15 months old.
By the time they are 4 years old, bulls’ horns will be around 95% of their full size. For cows it takes another 1 to 2 years to reach this length.
Average horn lengths are between 55-65 inches – So, somewhere in the 4.5 to 5 foot plus region, but exceptional lengths are known.
Some cows and bulls reach 70-80 inches tip-to-tip, some superior Steers up to 120 inches!
Hardy and disease resistant:
This is a major plus for anyone looking at Texas Longhorns for sale. These hardy animals are extremely tough. They can survive in just about any environment from freezing cold, wet terrain right through to scorching desert heat.
They also have a natural resistance to parasites and the majority of common cattle diseases.
What does this mean for anyone looking at Texas Longhorn cattle for sale?
Whether they are purchased for breeding purposes or to keep as part of the extended family you should have far less need of health maintenance intervention.
Do they need a special diet?
Another joy of these intelligent, easy to work with cattle is the fact that they eat a wide range of food. Different grasses, plants, cactus, brush and weeds all come into their diet.
This means that Texas Longhorn breeders, or those caring for them are able to use pastures of every type. They will not need so much fertilizer or weed killer, the Longhorns will help keep these pastures cropped!
Can they be ridden?
Those looking for Texas Longhorn cattle for sale can be assured that their purchase will reap rewards in terms of being able to ride them.
They can also be easily trained when it comes to exhibiting them in the show ring. You can proudly lead or drive them during local parades, and they have no problem when it comes to pulling your wagon!
It is true that many Texas Longhorn breeders produce these animals for the extremely lean beef produced (you get far more meat and less fat per ounce than from other cattle). But if you are looking for ‘family friends’ with a long lifespan then saddling up and heading out for a ride is the way to go!
Are you looking for Texas Longhorns for sale?
If you are interested in Texas Longhorn cows and bulls then you will be pleased to know there is a good selection of ethically-sound breeders out there.
Not only will they be pleased to sell you exactly what you are looking for, they are sure to give tips, advice and recommendations on how to look after them.
Another perfectly good reason to purchase Texas Longhorn cows and bulls – They are the living symbol of America’s Old West!