An Overview Of Texas Cattle Breeds
Texas cattle, like other modern cattle, evolved from a single early ancestor, the aurochs that were bred for meat, milk and labor. The auroch gave rise to many breeds. Though they are no longer used for labor. Texas cattle are still bred for meat and diary products, and can be divided into beef cattle and diary cattle. The Texas cattle are primarily bred for beef. No article pertaining to the Texas cattle industry can be written without a mention of the famous Texas cattle, the Longhorn. Texas was the original home of ranching and became the major blending pot for the evolution of the history-making Texas Longhorn breed of cattle.
The Spanish brought the first longhorn cattle to America in 1493. Descendants of these longhorns formed the first Texas cattle population. In modern times, this hardy breed is gaining popularity for its genes for high fertility, its easy calving, resistance to disease and parasite, its longevity and also because it can live on coarse forage without any problem. This makes it very valued by the cost sensitive beef industry, since it is economical and profitable. High fertility and easy calving is something that is appreciated by the beef industry since it boosts the herd! Most of the European breeds are not very fertile, and many face problems giving birth.
Perhaps the Texas Longhorn, since it has naturally evolved in Texas itself, is best suited for the land and its climate. Cattle breeders who are facing the inflation of all cost factors, the recession of cattle prices are naturally finding the Texas Longhorn a good option for profitability.
Brahman cattle from India have been bred with the Hereford and shorthorn cows since 1800 to produce diary animals more resistant to disease and insects. The hardy Brahman traits like their heat resistance and the muscular and flexible skin to shake of insects has been bred into native Texas cattle called American Brahman.
The first Angus Cattle were brought to the United States in 1873 from North Eastern Scotland. They are polled, black in color, well muscled, smooth and trim. These Texas cattle are valued for their beef. They are hardy, have very little calving problems and are resistant to some eye problems.
Another popular breed of beef cattle is Beefmaster which is a crossbreed between Texas cattle breeds like Brahman, Hereford and Shorthorn. These are primarily bred keeping the six essentials in mind Weight, Conformation, Milking Ability, Fertility, Hardiness and Disposition. They are good diary and beef producers, capable to sustaining themselves on coarse forage and little water.
The American breed which has the following breed composition: 1/2 Brahman, 1/8 Bison, 1/4 Charolais, 1/16 Hereford, 1/16 Shorthorn was developed by rancher Art Jones and the Texas A&M Immunogenetics Department. It is hardy and profitable and popular with Texas cattle ranchers for beef and diary.