…and God made the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps along on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Why We Love Longhorns
Color: No other breed of cattle comes close to the color diversity that you will find in the longhorn breed. For an excellent, scientific analysis of the colors prevalent in the breed, see the series of articles written by fellow longhorn enthusiast David M. Hillis of Double Helix Ranch (click here). See also, “Breeding for Value Colors” which can be found on Darol Dickinson's website. Whether it be solid whites, brindled blacks and reds, multi-colored roans, yellow linebacks, or everything in between, longhorn cattle cover the color and color-pattern spectrums. In his book The Longhorns, we feel that famed Texas author J. Frank Dobie said it best: “Next to the horns, which require a separate chapter, the most striking quality in appearance of the Texas cattle was their coloration. It is incorrect to say that they represented all the colors of the rainbow. Their colors were more varied than those of the rainbow.” --J. Frank Dobie, The Longhorns, Chapter II—The Texas Breed.
Conformation: The TLBAA has posted suggested conformation guidelines for the Texas Longhorn breed, and you can find those suggestions here. At Gang of 5, we strive to meet each of those guidelines in the cattle that we sell. Without being too technical though, a Texas Longhorn just looks different from other breeds—and not just in horns and color. There is a sense of pride in the cattle. The females hold their heads a little higher. The males walk with a little more swagger. The calves—though tiny at birth—begin life by showing confidence and bravery that belies their diminutive size. This sense of pride only deepens with maturity as frames grow to their full potential, muscles strengthen and tone, and the cattle grow into their long and lovely horns. More than any other breed of cattle, Texas Longhorns are proud animals. And for good reason: they originated in Texas.
Character: It used to be said (and accurately so) of many Texas Longhorns that you had just as well worry about their skill with their hooves—often naturally sharpened by traversing rough terrain—as their use of those oft-daunting horns. While it is sadly true that you can still find some mean-as-a-hornet cattle out there, a reputable longhorn breeder will never sacrifice safety for color, horn, or any other of the myriad great longhorn qualities. We put it simply, and you can count on it: we will never keep nor market a mean longhorn animal. Folklore stories of the “Murder Steer” are still undoubtedly told throughout the trans-Pecos areas of Texas; but today’s Longhorn is a lover, not a killer. When selecting our foundation females and building our herd, we searched diligently to find cattle that were not only easy to handle (as are the vast majority of individuals in the breed), but that are, quite simply, sweet. We can pet, brush, and/or hand-feed each of our cattle and we do so unabashedly. We trust them with our most valuable assets—our children—and you can as well.
Horns: Different breeders breed longhorn cattle for different reasons. Some breed them simply for show (where horn potential can sometimes play a lesser role in an otherwise beautifully formed animal). Other breeders focus solely on horn, while compromising character. Still others focus on the beautiful colors in the breed. We strive for it all; and when it comes to horns we glory in it all. From deeply swooping horns, to “Texas twists,” to angling “straight out toward Joneses,” we take great pride in having a foundation herd with awesome horn length and shape. We also selectively breed through our A.I. program to only bulls whose genetics are rapidly pushing the breed to bounds never before seen and rarely imagined. The horns we have now are super impressive, but we are really excited to see what our ladies can produce through their future offspring.
How much time do you have?: We’ve not yet discussed the hardiness, amazing birthrates, longevity, disease-resistance, wiliness, super-animal senses, or personalities of our cattle here. The fact is, we could wax eloquent (or sometimes not so eloquently) for hours about the many reasons we love our Texas Longhorns. So, if you’d like to hear more, stop by the ranch for an iced tea and visit, or give us a call to discuss your plans and questions. One thing we’re absolutely confident of: if you don’t already love this breed, you will before we’re through talking!