Texas Longhorn Cattle Investments

Why Cross Bred Texas Longhorn Cattle?

Investing in a Texas Longhorn cross breeding program has its rewards!

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Are you a Seed Stock Producer?

If you raise registered/pure bred cattle the answer is YES.

 

What does it mean to be a Seed Stock Producer?

  • A Seed stock Producer is someone who is a producer of breeding stock for purebred and commercial breeders/buyers.
  • To produce superior quality animals that encompasses all the best traits of that breed. In most cases these traits are of value to breeders of other breeds of cattle for cross breeding or in an F1 Cross Program.

What is the purpose of producing Seed Stock Cattle?

  • The goal or purpose for producing a particular pure bred/registered breed should be to produce cattle that have just as great a value to the commercial cattleman as they do to another fellow registered breeder.
  • To raise purebred (aka registered) or genetically superior cattle to be used for breeding purposes by other seed stock producers and other cattle producers. The calf's original intent is to be raised to be sold for breeding at a cow-calf ranch, but they may also be sent to meat production.

 Who buys Seed Stock cattle?

The production from these registered cattle is sold/marketed to commercial cattlemen as seed stock. The goal of the registered cattle breeder is not to just sale to another registered seed stock producer so they can in turn sale to another seed stock producer and so on. Their goal is to produce cattle that have just as great a value to the commercial cattleman as they do to another fellow registered breeder.

1) Commercial Cattle producers are the number one purchasers of Seed stock bulls and females. They want to utilize the superior genetics of a particular breed for cross breeding in order to produce an animal with Hybrid Vigor.

2) Other Seed stock Producers

3) Hobbyist Ranchers

 

What has allowed other breeders of registered Seed Stock to survive and thrive?

Answer:

 The producers and the breed associations understand what it means to be a seed stock producer. The breed must prove it's self to be useful and viable outside of their own breed. A limited niche or hobbyist market can only provide limited success. F1 Crosses are one of the main Keys to the long term Survival for Seed stock Producers. The Brahman breed is a leading example.

 

Brahman Cattle

They are called the "Queen of Cattle Country"

Because of these genetic traits...

Size: They are intermediate in size among beef breeds. 

Birth Weights: 60-65 lbs.

Disposition: They are considered intelligent, inquisitive and shy. They quickly respond to the handling that they receive, good or bad.

Adaptable: They are thrifty, hardy and adaptable to wide range of feeds and climates.

Heat Tolerance: They show little effect from temperatures up to and beyond 105 degrees.

Skin Pigmentation: Helps protect from sun's rays and prevents cancer eye.

The goal of all pure bred/registered breeds should be to produce cattle that have just as great a value to the commercial cattleman as they do to another fellow registered breeder. A classic example of this can be seen with registered Brahman cattle. Brahman cattle are greatly utilized in F1 Cross breeding programs. Cattlemen will pay a premium for Certified F1 Brafords (Brahman X Hereford) and Certified Black Gold females (Brahman X Angus = F1Brangus). They have established that they have value outside of their own breed. These factors have been a key to the survival of the Brahman breed by increasing the profitability in raising registered seed stock Brahmans and by helping other breeds to be more profitable by creating F1 crosses. The Brahman Association has also stepped into help promote and market the crosses that are produced from Brahman cattle. Brahman cattle have been found to fill a unique place in American cattle production. The Brahman and cattle carrying percentages of Brahman breeding have been found extremely useful in the southern coastal area of the United States, where they have demonstrated their ability to withstand hot and humid weather and to resist insects. In more recent years Brahman cattle have spread considerably from their initial locations and are now found widely through the United States. They are also good mothers and produce a very satisfactory milk flow under conditions that are adverse for best performance of the European breeds. Cancer eye is almost unknown in the breed.

Breeds with Brahman blood:

Braford Cattle are 3/8 Brahman & 5/8 Hereford

Brahmousin cattle are 3/8 Brahman & 5/8 Limousin

Brangus cattle are 3/8 Brahman & 5/8 Angus

Santa Gertrudis cattle are approximately five-eighths Shorthorn and three-eighths Brahman.

Simbrah cattle are a cross between Brahman and Simmental

Charbray cattle are 5/8 Charolais and 3/8 Brahman.

Beefmaster cattle have Brahman influence. Today's modern Beefmaster have slightly less than one-half Brahman blood and slightly more than one-fourth of Hereford and Shorthorn breeding.

Red Brangus cattle are 3/8 Brahman & 5/8 Angus

 

Brahman Cattle "Queen of Cattle Country"

Really?

 

Why aren't Longhorns "Queen of Cattle Country"?

Longhorn cattle offer some of the same "profit making genetics" as the Brahman cattle but with several plus......

 

Now let's take a look at the Texas Longhorn Breed. The Texas Longhorn breed has a lot to offer the commercial cattleman but our association and we as breeders have done a poor job of getting the word out about the true value of our cattle. When you speak with most commercial cattlemen about Longhorns they are quick to turn up their noses or shack their heads and say "those scrubby little things are all horn and no meat, their worthless." We all know that is not the case but perception is reality and we have to change that as we move our breed forward in the years to come. Now is the time that we need to start making the "profit making genetics" of the Texas Longhorn known to the commercial cattlemen and ranchers. With the depopulation of the US cattle herd due to the severe drought which has plagued a large portion of the US's ranching land now is the time for our association to start educating cattlemen about the benefits of using Longhorn genetics as they rebuild their herds. Longhorns can offer cattlemen the most affordable and efficient way to rebuild their ranching operation.

 

Texas Longhorn Cattle

PROFIT MAKING GENETICS

  • Early maturity
  • Fertility
  • Calving Easy
  • Longevity
  • Forage Utilization
  • Disease Resistance
  • Parasite Resistance
  • Adaptability to all climates

Dr. Stewart Fowler, PhD professor of animal science calls the Longhorn a "Survivor of the Past - Bright Promise for the Future"

Dr. Fowler stated that "By utilizing the Texas Longhorn's unique genetic potential, several of the physical and economic problems confronting the rancher and feeder can be solved or greatly eased. This genetic potential includes genes for high fertility, easy calving, disease and parasite resistance, hardiness, longevity, and the ability to utilize the browse and coarse forage material on marginal rangelands more efficiently than most other cattle breeds. Under the harsh environmental conditions of many areas of North America, the existence of these traits, which have been strongly fixed by nature's culling in the Texas Longhorn, spell the difference between a comfortable profit and the cattle enterprise becoming a "story written in red ink!"

 

High Fertility

  • Dr. Fowler "High fertility" is the most important economic trait in the beef industry. Without a live calf with which to work, all other traits are purely academic! Unfortunately, many of the European breeds of beef cattle are not noted for high fertility, and several are plagued with real difficulties at calving. During a long period of survival of the fittest, however, a Texas Longhorn strain evolved which virtually assures that every healthy cow will present a new addition to the herd each year. This extremely high fertility, which is built into the Longhorn, could perhaps boost the low calf crop percentage found in many beef herds."

Genetic Goldmine

  • Dr. Fowler "After seven years of closely observing and studying Texas Longhorns, I am convinced that these cattle may prove to be a real genetic goldmine. Preserving the Texas Longhorn has maintained a substantial amount of unique biological variation which was accumulated over some 400 years in these nature-made cattle. This genetic goldmine provides insurance against genetic erosion that stems from genetic uniformity in our modern cattle breeds. Such genetic erosion could make it almost impossible for cattlemen of today and tomorrow to meet emerging new needs. The reservoir of unique genes of the Texas Longhorn can provide some of the genetic variation and flexibility needed to meet the emerging and future needs of the beef industry. At the same time, the Texas Longhorn maintains genetic diversity capable of maximizing hybrid vigor for man's current needs."
  • Dr. Fowler "Thus, the reservoir of genetic material in the Texas Longhorn represents a valuable natural resource. This genetic reservoir grows more valuable as our rapidly-changing economy forces new needs, handicaps, and demands on our cattle industry. It becomes increasingly valuable as our human population bites off increasing amounts of our more productive land, as our grain supply moves into international trade, and as farm and ranch labor becomes less available. This is why the Texas Longhorn is rapidly becoming "the old breed with the new future." (information from numerous articles and papers by Dr. Stewart Fowler, PhD)

 Combine Profit Making Genetics of Longhorns with...

Angus, Limousin, Charolais, Brangus, Gelbvieh, or Saler

 

What type of Longhorn cow to use in cross breeding?

  • You have to start with the right kind of Longhorn. More attention will have to be paid to size, capacity, frame, structural correctness and udder soundness of the foundation cows.
  • They need the size, capacity and frame in order to produce a calf with adequate size.
  • Sound udders are a must in order to raise a fat and health calf.
  • All the above should be considered on any cow but is sometimes over looked because of single trait selection for such traits as horn length or horn base.

Why cross different purebred breeds of cattle?

  • By crossing different purebred breeds it is possible to produce an animal that has the best traits from both parents. This is known as Hybrid Vigor. This first generation cross is called an F1 Cross.

What is Hybrid Vigor?

  • Increased vigor or other superior qualities arising from the crossbreeding of genetically different plants or animals. Also called heterosis.
  • The increased vigor or general health, resistance to disease, and other superior qualities that are often manifested in hybrid organisms, especially plants and animals.
  • (Genetics) the tendency of a crossbred organism to have qualities superior to those of either parent.

Did you know that there are only four breeds that have Longhorns as the base breed?

  • Salorn (has its own Association)
  • Geltex
  • Texon (has its own Association)
  • All Cattle

Salorn

The Salorn creation program began with registered Texas Longhorn females carrying the genetic traits of adaptability. Superior full blood, smooth-coated, muscular Salers sires, selected for gentle disposition, have been mated to these cows. The resulting F1's (1/2 Salers - 1/2 Longhorn) are bred to 3/4 Salers - 1/4 Longhorn to produce a 5/8 - 3/8 result, which is the First Generation Salorn. Successive generations of the 5/8 - 3/8 Salorn will insure breeding consistency. The Lean Beef Answer!"Salorn" is a composite breed consisting of 5/8 French Salers and 3/8 Texas Longhorn blood. This combination of genetics utilizes the most adaptable breed of cattle in America - the Texas Longhorn - with the most proven carcass quality breed - the Salers. The late professor Jan C. Bonsma, world renowned animal scientist of Pretoria, South Africa, and consultant to the International Salorn Association, stated, "It is my considered opinion that if the breed creation work on the Salorn is judiciously done, the Salorn breed will, in the long run, be a far superior breed to any of the synthetic breeds of America."

Geltex

Dr. Gillespie "I got involved in the Geltex breed last year (1988) because I felt that the idea was in line with new developments within the beef industry. The industry as a whole is trying to take advantage of the attributes of different breeds and combine those with the hybrid vigor that comes from cross breeding. We looked at this and felt we needed to find out if there wasn't some profitability in using Longhorns in crosses. The basic 'operational premise' that we went with was the feeling that Longhorns might create a real advantage, especially on the female side, combining the characteristics of the Longhorn, such as high fertility, longevity and good mothering instincts, with the growthy tendencies of the Gelbvieh.

Texon

The TEXON is being genetically engineered to combine the grass utilization of the Devon with the browsing ability of the Texas Longhorn and the marbling of the Devon with the leanness and favorable unsaturated fatty acids of Texas Longhorn beef. Traits common to both breeds include: high fertility, calving ease, climatic adaptation, and longevity. It is hoped to add a bit of disease and parasite resistance from the Texas Longhorn and good milk production of the Devon. The TEXON is a composite breed evolving from a blend of the genetics of the historic Texas Longhorn and the ancient Devon. The breeding objective is to combine the desirable unique traits of these historically old breeds into a new breed that is better adapted to specific environmental and economic conditions. The Texas Longhorn was "Made in America" by Nature over a 500-year period; and the Devon, "The Beef Breed Supreme at Grass," was introduced to America from England in 1623!Building the Texon Breed: The Texon project was initiated in 1989 and is utilizing reciprocal crosses to exploit the fullest genetic diversity from both breeds. The F-1 (first-cross) is not a TEXON; it is a crossbred which possesses great genetic variability. Several breeding routes are being explored (backcrosses, F-2s, etc.). To "fix" the desired traits and to increase the homozygosity (purity) of the desired gene pairs, selection and exploratory matings will be followed by mild inbreeding and/or line breeding. As an aid to sound selection foundation animals are being evaluated through feedlots and packing plants; and some bulls are being put through forage bull tests.

 

Angus + Limousin + Longhorn = ALL Cattle

ALL Cattle are comprised of Limousin, Longhorn and 2/4 Angus

 

Longhorns In The Feed Yard

From an interview by Texas Longhorn Journal with Longhorn Producer and Feed Yard Owner/Operator Richard Crist

 

TLJ: But this pen was a higher percentage Limousin than it was Longhorn. Which breed gets credit for which results?

 

CRIST: The Limousin is noted for its high yield of red meat. They have very bulgy, muscular rounds, are very wide across the loin-eye, but a low percentage of them grade choice. More of them grade good. The plus in this Excel muscle' scoring is attributed to the Limousin. But the higher quality grade I would have to say comes from crossing them with the Longhorn breed. The longhorn is an earlier maturing animal. Heifers and bulls reach puberty at a much earlier age than the Limousin. The bigger the frame of the animal, the later they mature because they are still growing and it's taking so much of the energy they get from their feed just to grow. The early maturing of the longhorn means that the carcass will lay down fat sooner, so in this group of heifers, the 63 percent choice grade had to help the Limousin. Had these been straight Limousin and I had fed them only 119 days I'm sure the choice would have been somewhere down in the upper 40 to low 50 percents. So this was an ideal mix.

 

TLJ: Are you saying that Longhorns do have a place in the feed yard?

 

CRIST: They certainly do have. In a crossbreeding program the Longhorn has tremendous commercial potential. But you have to start with the right kind of Longhorn. It can be done in the traditional way. More attention will have to be paid to size and capacity and frame of the foundation cows. But if you're going to use Longhorns to start a commercial herd, and you're not particular about the size frame of the animals, I couldn't recommend it, even though they grade well and have good yield grade. Because if the animals haven't got the size the packers don't want them.

Conclusion: Our cattle have a lot to offer the commercial cattlemen, but Texas Longhorn Breeders, need to start promoting and educating cattlemen about the benefits of Longhorn Genetics. We need to start doing this now or we are going to miss out on a great opportunity for our Longhorn cattle to have a strong place in the cattle market.

 


 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF K9 BRAND Cattle Co.

 

     

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Please email Texas Longhorn Cattle questions to: dean@k9cow.com

K9 BRAND Cattle Co.
Dean & Barb Colley
550 Camino De Rancho
Wimberley, TX. 78676

512-848-2592

 

last updated 12/10/13

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