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Starting A Texas Longhorn Herd
In 1967 Linda and I started our Texas Longhorn cattle herd. There were no magazines, no brochures, only one sale a year, and 30 years to wait on internet. We talked to foundation producers Graves Peeler, Charles Schreiner III, Jack Phillips, Henry Butler, Chico Wright, Fayette Yates, Travis Marks and the early inspector Garnett Brooks. To our surprise most did not agree on what a Texas Longhorn should look like, which made things more confusing to decipher.
Shoot-from-the-hip Texas Longhorn breeding was a normal thing. The J. Frank Dobie book, THE LONGHORNS was the only authoritive attempt of history. No one used artificial insemination and no bulls had ever been collected. There were no shows or judging clinics.
Well, today is a different world. There is a lot of information out there and some of it is actually correct. The beginning producer can make less mistakes and cut to an intelligent chase fairly quick. Now three publications, internet and paper, have articles helpful to get into the business.
To cut to the chase even faster Dickinson Cattle Company Inc has collected and made available, on line, the best of the educational articles; the how-to info, and how-not-to. To answer the first and important questions of the beginning producer HOW TO START A TEXAS LONGHORN HERD. There are over 400 articles on line. In fact the total site has over 14,000 pages, more valid breed information than offered by any other producer or association. It is provided at no charge and everyone can freely profit from it.
If HOW TO START A TEXAS LONGHORN HERD is a question of interest to you, here are 12 simple steps. For more topics you will find them listed in the boxes to the right of each article. They are just a click away.
1) The best general information to read about breed history
2) A knowledge of the 7 original family herds is foundation information. Click on each of the herds, the Butler, Marks, Peeler, Phillips, Wichita Refuge, Yates and Wright. All of these were established with hundreds of cattle with the last to be formed, the government Wichita Refuge herd.
3) Early-on every new producer will confront a language of detailed color and descriptions. It may need some interpretation. Here is the article to help with the lingo.
4) Ranch visits where good cattle are being raised is a rapid learning experience. Be ready and prepare for an educational opportunity from a seasoned owner. Here are some things to prepare for that first ranch visit.
5) Land is for cattle. To raise a herd grass, water and land is big. It can be leased or owned. Some have made huge fortunes because the cattle forced them to buy land. In the years to come, the land was equally as valuable as the cattle and both created great success. This BUILDING A RANCH article has the ins and outs.
6) Magazines are good education. Videos are also available on many important subjects. Here is where to get them.
7) Professional cattle handling will require a squeeze chute. Don't spend a fortune. Check out the simple BRY chute designed just for large horned cattle.
8) Herd planning can eliminate mistakes. It may be wise to pattern your program after other successful producers. Here is a story about the success of a major producer who has sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of quality cattle.
9) Knowing the foundation herd sires is important. Although the breed has really progressed it had to start with a simple foundation. This article will provide information on deciding which families you like.
10) One section of the ranch site www.dickinsonlonghorn.net is dedicated to Marketing Tips. One to general info. One to just having fun. If you and your family are into fun, check out the most fun breed of cattle ever to hop off a boat in 1494.
11) If you don't want to use a living eating bull, then artificial insemination is a handy tool. You can breed every cow to a different bull and see how they turn out. Check the list of sires available at economical rates. You can click on the bull's name and see a full blown photo with pedigree and pictures of his calves.
12) After the educational part, it is time to purchase the first cattle. It is good to purchase the best cattle affordable right at first but some don't choose to go for the high priced ones right up front. Go to the ranch site and select on-line from 200 cattle, in inventory, ready to start your special herd. Purchase by age, pedigree, color or style. It is up to your own taste to start wherever your heart selects. Pick an age or sex and see what is offered. Some ranches sell higher and some lower. If you want to spend a lot of money pick the very best ones. Make it fit your budget.
Unlike many other Longhorn sites, the Dickinson Cattle Co Inc site has 30 times more educational info on the cattle than just "high pressure sales stuff." Sales are important to the ranch, but getting a solid business start assures long term success -- that is really big.
After going back and forth through all the educational articles if you still have questions, call 740 758 5050. We are always happy to dedicate a few minutes for the entry level person to get going. Now, saddle up and get ready to enjoy this exciting new world.
Registered Texas Longhorns since 1967
DCCI~~~ Purveyor of “one owner” quality Cattle.
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