And no, I’m not referring to a certain university in Austin where burnt orange is welcomed and the words “Aggie” or “Sooner” might get you punched in the face were you to say them at the wrong time, wrong place. I’m talking about the majestic beasts you see pictured below.
To some degree, those of us here in the West should pause for a moment to tip our hats/raise our glasses to these incredible creatures which were primarily responsible for the cattle drives that developed much of our nation. For the history buffs reading who might enjoy geeking out about the rich history of the Texas Longhorns, THIS is a great article. I wanted to dedicate today’s blog to why our landscape here at Ramsay Hill is dotted with a colorful array of these picturesque animals. When we started our ranch with the intention of raising wholesome food for our family and yours, we did a lot of research into breeds. Examining all aspects: heat tolerance, size, blood lines, disposition, calving abilities (how well the momma cows carry & give birth to their calves), hardiness, intelligence, and many other criteria – the Texas Longhorn came out on top.
Many breeds of cattle (and other animals) have been genetically altered so much since the introduction of factory farms with the primary purpose of gaining as much weight in as short a time as possible. And while this is is beneficial to the wallets of Big Ag executives, it is detrimental in many ways to the animals.
Pure-bred Texas Longhorns are descendant of the Spanish cattle first brought to America. Because of their twisty horns, medium-sized stature & other factors – they were not a conducive breed for the tight-quarters of feedlots or altered genetics of “bigger-faster-better”. But these factors were ideal for us as we set out to raise 100% grass-fed beef. The smaller stature (and by smaller I mean still massive animals just not quite as massive as the breeds genetically altered to be Goliaths) means that it takes less energy from the land to support each cow. In other words, it takes less grass to fatten a longhorn. This means our acreage can support more longhorns than it could, say, Angus cattle.
Hardiness and intelligence were factors that played a big part. Think of longhorns as the Star Trekies of the cattle world. They are known to go where no other breed has gone before….in the sense that they will wonder into the woods and forage for roughage that other breeds would not ever consider.
Their mothering abilities were also among the top of our decision-making. Not only will longhorn momma cows often breed (have babies) up until an older age than other breeds but they will also breed in drought conditions. In Texas where our summers have the potential to consume nearly half of the calendar year this is important.
I hope you have gotten a little glimpse into the wonderful world of the Texas Longhorn. Come visit us sometime and meet the cows we raise so that we can provide you with the freshest, most nutrient-dense, humanely-raised food to put on your family table.
From Our Family Ranch to Your Family Table,
Jordan, Brooke & Samuel Ramsay