The Texas Longhorn
Descended from Andalusian cattle brought to the New World by Spanish explorers in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the Texas Longhorn evolved from feral Spanish stock without interference of man for almost four hundred years. Texas Longhorn cattle are small-to medium-framed animals that mature early and have no difficulty calving. They exist and even thrive in harsh conditions that would ruin or kill most other breeds, exhibit remarkable resistance to disease, parasites, heat and cold, and commonly live and reproduce well into their late teens. These highly adaptable and ecologically friendly cattle grow to the country that supports them, are intelligent, gentle, easy to handle, and require far less feed and maintenance than other breeds. With exceptional mothering ability, the cows are fearsome protectors of their young ensuring their survival even in remote, predator-infested wilderness. The colorful history of this breed fostered an untold number of folktales and legends. Of certainty is the economic importance of these cattle to this country, especially during the two decades following the War Between the States when an estimated ten million head fed a hungry nation and restored the devastated Texas economy. Texas Longhorn cattle were driven north from Texas up legendary cattle trails to railheads in Kansas and Missouri as well as to other northern and western states where they became the seed stock for the cattle industry throughout the Great Plains and beyond. This movement of cattle has been called "the largest movement of animals under the direction of man in the history of the world." The very traits that facilitated survival of the Texas Longhorns in the wild are of economic importance to agricultural producers today. Commercial cattlemen utilize Longhorn bulls to breed their first calf heifers ensuring small, trouble-free calves. Their true value will be seen in the future. As real property (farm and ranch land), becomes more valuable, scarcer and people more numerous, much of the remaining productive land will be developed, leaving only marginal country to cultivate our nation's food supply-exactly where the hearty traits of Texas Longhorns are most appreciated.
Our goal is to preserve in the purest of form, for our own enjoyment and the enrichment of future generations, the unique variety of genetics found only in the resourceful, hardy and thrifty cattle of Spanish descent we now call the majestic Texas Longhorn. We embrace the opinion that a creature created by God through natural selection requires no improvement. DWD cattle are selected for functional efficiency with no attempt on our part at genetic augmentation; as a consequence DWD Longhorns remain in as close a natural state as possible. These adaptable cattle have taught us to be better stewards of our land and advocates for sustainable agriculture, a holistic involvement that rewards first the soil, then the native plant life, varieties of animal and invertebrate wildlife, and ultimately the production of wholesome, uncompromised food. We feel that only through the synergism of biologically integrated management will we have made our contribution to the land, the cattle and future generations.
Each individual in our foundation herd was carefully scrutinized and selected for traits representative of fullblood Texas Longhorn cattle. Additionally, each animal passed visual inspection by recognized authorities in the field and blood type analysis to identify any evidence of impurity by ImmGen, genetics laboratory. Typical characteristics of fullblood Texas Longhorn cows are twisty horns, a product of slender horns growing laterally from an oval shaft (similar to persons with wavy hair), that protrude from a flattop head absent of any poll. The cows possess a high tail set with a sloping pelvis, straight legs that transition smoothly from pins to hocks, hard feet, and compact udders. In keeping with practices learned from the original preservers of the breed (Emil H. Marks, Graves Peeler, and Ira "Cap" Yates), we only use male offspring from double-twisted horned dams. They believed waxy-appearing, twisty horns were indicators of functional efficiency, for it was their observation that cows possessing them also carry the full package of attributes synonymous with breeding proficiency and endurance. Veteran producers Joe Kimball, Maudeen Marks, Walter Scott, Lawrence Wallace and Fayette Yates taught us to identify healthy, correct Longhorn cows by selecting for long, straight back heifers with adequate length to facilitate travel over rough terrain. A highly fertile
The integrity of our herd is maintained through accurate production records. Our proven cattle produce quality heifers and bull prospects that are available for sale each year. We also keep one or two of the most colorful calves from dams with the best horns to be trophy steer prospects for the front pasture. The majority of our production, unless otherwise spoken for or reserved for replacements, is destined to become nutritious, low-fat beef. Texas Longhorn beef is preferred by health-conscious and discerning consumers because it ranks highest or near the top in sensory panels for taste and tenderness compared to other certified branded beef, marbles predominately to the choice grade, yet has the fat and cholesterol content of the leanest of seafood or skinless poultry. For more information on our grassfed Certified Longhorn Beef, visit www.banderagrassland.com/.
DWD Longhorns are registered with the Cattlemen's Texas Longhorn Registry and eligible for registration with the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America. Requests for photos and pricing of available stock may be made by telephone (830) 562-3650 or by email . Visitors to the ranch are welcome. DWD Longhorns operates on the Seco Valley Ranch in the Hill Country south of Tarpley, Texas. The ranch also offers guest cabin rental for birdwatchers and nature tourism. Please call or email for details.
Debbie & Don W. Davis