Friday, May 21, 2010


Longhorns are a breed of cattle that was invented in Texas so that the University of Texas would have a nice design for their t-shirts.  Hahahaha!

But seriously, Texas longhorns came from some cattle that the Spanish brought with them in 1493, and also they might have got mixed with some British cattle from the 1600s.  And then some of these cattle got loose and ran around being wild.  But they didn't need fancy grass and stuff to eat, so they got by pretty well on whatever they could find to graze on.

So when people were settling Texas in, like, the 1820s and 30s, they mostly had longhorns because these cattle did okay eating the grass there, which was not as green and yummy as the grass in places like Wisconsin.

Then the ranchers in Texas drove big herds of cattle to places like Abilene, Kansas, where there was a railroad, and they sold the cattle so that people could make beef out of them.  But I don't know how a bunch of longhorn cattle could be together in a herd without stabbing each other with their horns.  That is the part I really don't understand, because if you measure from the tip of one horn to the tip of the other horn, it can sometimes be 7 feet, which is really wide.

Anyway, after a while, people started to like fatter cattle, so ranchers stopped raising longhorn cattle.  In fact, the longhorns almost went extinct.   But then in 1927, some people in the U.S. Forest Service put together a herd of longhorns in Oklahoma and started breeding them.  And then some other people started keeping small herds of them in Texas state parks.

And after a while, ranchers realized that longhorns were good to have because they didn't get sick very often, and they weren't fussy about what they ate, and also the cows could just go off and have their calves without any problems.  So ranchers started keeping longhorns again, or at least they bred them to their cattle so they could get some of the good qualities from the longhorns.  And also they just liked to have them around because they reminded them of the Old West.

Oh, and guess what!  You can actually ride a longhorn, just like you would ride a horse.  But I'm not sure why anybody would want to do this.

Also I will mention that the baby longhorns don't have any horns when they are born, which is good, because otherwise they would stab their moms when they are nursing.

We did not see any longhorns when we were in Texas visiting Aunt Cheryl and Hank, but I'm sure there there were some around somewhere.  There just didn't happen to be any in Aunt Cheryl's back yard.


  1. Dear Piper,
    Thanks again for a very informative blog today. I would like to add that I have found Longhorns very tasty. Mom buys her beef from Betsy who raises longhorns and then she makes muttloaf for us dogs. Sometimes she also makes burgers for herself and dad, but it's okay if I have to share a little of the beef, after all it's good to keep mom happy. Anyway, you should see if there's a Betsy that lives near you so you can try some longhorn beef. It is very lean and healthy.

    Your friend,
    Zest, superstar in training

  2. Dear Zest,
    Thank you for the information about the yumminess of longhorn beef. I would like to try it sometime, so I will look for a Betsy here who raises longhorns. Mom does not usually feed us dogs beef because two of my brothers are allergic to beef, but I am not allergic to it, so maybe Mom will get some just for me to eat.
    Your friend,

  3. I would ride a longhorn.

  4. I think that riding a longhorn could be fun, but I would not do it because I do not have opposable thumbs to help hold the reins. My mom says she would much rather ride a horse than a longhorn. She has funny opinions about stuff sometimes!