Texas longhorn

Spaniards first brought cattle to Texas in the 1500s. Some of those cattle escaped or were released into the range. They are the first ancestors of the legendary Texas Longhorn.

“Feral herds of Texas Longhorns underwent several centuries of natural selection in Texas,” says David Hillis, professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin.

Early Texas cattle developed disease resistance, including immunity to the tick-borne “Texas fever.” Feral longhorns also developed longevity, ease in calving and thrived on native vegetation, all while surviving droughts.

And those horns – long, even spiraling racks that can span up to six feet.

“Long horns were important for defense against predators, so cows with long horns left more offspring than did cows with short horns,” Hillis says.

Wild longhorns began to mix with English cattle breeds in the early 1800s. By the 1850s, Texas cattle were following trails to markets in New Orleans and California. Cattle were first shipped by rail to Chicago from Abilene, Kan., in 1867. Longhorns gained weight on the trail north from Texas.

“Before the widespread availability of supplemental feed or water from windmills, the only cattle that could thrive in Texas were longhorns,” says Hillis, who keeps a longhorn herd at Double Helix Ranch.

According to the Texas Historical Association, 5 to 10 million longhorns were trailed out of Texas for about 20 years after the Civil War, which provided a huge boost for Texas’ economy.

However, the longhorn’s natural advantages became less of a necessity as Texas ranchers established artesian wells and managed grazing with barbed wire.

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Average horn spans on longhorns even declined in the late 1800s, likely from fewer older animals in the population, says Hillis.

Longhorns had nearly disappeared in the 1920s, when Congress established a national longhorn herd in Oklahoma, helping save the breed from extinction and preserving the
breed that was vital in launching the Texas beef industry.

Today, some Texas ranches maintain longhorn herds to provide stock for rodeos and meat that satisfies a new type of consumer who craves ultra-lean, “heritage” beef.


  1. Thank you for your Courage. Here is a small gift of the sacred words of a Jewish Warrior

    Blessed Is The Match

    Blessed is the match consumed
    in kindling flame.
    Blessed is the flame that burns
    in the secret fastness of the heart.
    Blessed is the heart with the strength to stop
    its beating for honor’s sake.
    Blessed is the match consumed
    in kindling flame.

    Hannah Senesh
    Sardice, Yugoslavia May 2, 1944

  2. Notice that spaniards were in Texas the 1500; the Mayflower sailed in 1620…so gringos, be nice to the mexicans? They were there first.

  3. I will explain in a moment the connection to cattle.
    I want to remind you that before the year 2000, Pope John Paul the 2 and the Roman Catholic Church signed the Joint Declaration of Faith with the Lutheran Council of Churches, accepting ” Salvation by ( the ) grace ( of God ) through faith ( in Jesus Christ )”.
    Which means that the RCC is coming back to the Christian Faith JP2 listed the 5 remaining differences, which the RCC has got to get to grips with. But Salvation is the first step. This is also the fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezequiel 37, the joining and coming back to life of the dry bones.
    Which means if you are religious or a Christian, welcome the new brothers in Christ! And help them to understand the Gospels and the living out of the Faith in the New Testament.
    Cattle are very visible in the Old Testament; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had a lot of cattle. There is no gospel of poverty; God wants to bless us, and our wealth, herds, to increase. So approach those around you that you trust and feel confortable with, and extent the hand of the Brotherhood of Men, under the Fatherhood of God.
    Viva cowboys!

  4. Shalom Paul,

    Israel Longhorn Project:
    It is Time to Stand Up for Israel’s Farmers
    I need your help with this. PLEASE SHARE

    I have been working on this for 6 very hard years and I am very tired not getting any responses from the Jewish, Israeli and American communities.

    The longer it takes to fund the Israel Longhorn Project, the more ranch land will be stolen, the more farmers and ranchers will go bankrupt and more families and ranchers will be murdered. Once the land is stolen it is almost impossible to get it back, once a life is taken it is impossible to get it back; this is the very land that you bought for Israel through the JNF.


    Israeli Ranches are being attacked, their land being stolen and their passive European cattle are being mutilated and killed by local Arabs and by natural predators, wolves and jackals. Israeli European beef cattle are incompatible with Israel’s desert environment. This has resulted in many problems including high calf losses, (as high as 30%). Israel needs desert cattle that fits its environment and can defend it’s self and it’s calves. That breed of cattle is Texas Longhorn.

    I like guns but for me they are just tools, a tool to protect the cattle and myself. But these cattle have something better, sharp horns. Texas Longhorn cattle can kill and it takes a lot less explaining afterwards then it does if I shoot the thief.

    Project supporters: The Israeli Border Police, the New Shomerim, Israel’s Agriculture Department and the Prime Minister’s office.

    Checks deposited directly into the nonprofit account at Wells Fargo Bank, Belmont, California.

    We are creating a self-sustainable herd of 300 head of pure breed Texas Longhorns and will support its self in 5 years.

    Israel Longhorn Project
    Robin Rosenblatt, M.Sc. Ex Israeli Soldier, past anti terrorist Agent
    Director – The Longhorn Project
    Nonprofit 501(c) 3 #74-3177354
    Tel: 650.631.9270 / 03.722.6108
    Address: 815 Hill Street, # 5
    Belmont, CA 94002

    It is depressing that so few will help with this.


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