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 authoritative 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. Here is a good article about Texas Longhorns on Mother Earth News.
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.
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
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.
Texas Longhorn University Ranch Tours
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.
To Build A Ranch
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.
Magazines are good education. Videos are also available on many important subjects. Here is where to get them.
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.
Long Range Herd Planning
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.
Texas Longhorn Mating Strategies
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.
Longhorn Fun Tour
One section of the ranch site www.texaslonghorn.com 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.
Semen Inventory Index
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.
Texas Longhorn Inventory
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 site has 300 times more educational info on the cattle than just "high pressure sales stuff." Sales are important to the ranch, but helping every entry level buyer get a solid business start assures long term success to everyone -- 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.
The series prepared for entry level producers HOW TO START A TEXAS LONGHORN HERD part 1 gave the start up, history, and beginnings. This is an accumulation of articles that will move the next step forward and deal with safe hauling, receiving, fencing, minerals, and several ideas on good entry level marketing. This series of two dozen articles is a mini-college course not offered at any cattle auction or by other ranches.
At Dickinson Cattle Co our 51 years in the business allowed time to make all or most of the mistakes. By these articles we hope to help you not fall into the pits we fell in. Be safe -- enjoy.
Receiving New Cattle
Consider some things that roll around in the mind of your freshly purchased valuable bovine investment.
Messing With Minerals
Feeding minerals to your cattle is a necessary part of herd health. Build your own sturdy feeders.
A Key to Success
In just few paragraphs we will discuss one of the most vital factors in the successful production of Texas Longhorn cattle.
Entry Level Inventory
Developing a business plan is the most important thing to consider, right off the bat, when going into a new venture.
Naming For Value
Valuable registered livestock must have great names. Names of value, power, depth and symbolism can add recognition.
Entry Level Marketing
12 actions that EVERY Texas Longhorn owner must do as a bare minimum for marketing.
Who Wants To Be A Steer
Each year decisions are required -- what to do with Texas Longhorn bull calves?
To Consign or not Consign, This is the Question
Consignment sales only promote the breed when they are professionally managed and good prices result.