Talk:Texas Longhorn

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Former good article nominee Texas Longhorn was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
February 7, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed

Source[edit]

Source on the end of the longhorn's commercial viability is here: http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/BB/aob1.html

Ben Brumfield [[ Hello, I had a few comments on the sources used in the article. The introduction of the article speaks of the cattle's characteristic horns and I don't see how the reference has anything to do with that. Its a NatGeo article on sustainable beef. The fourth reference has no direct ling and when I tried looking it up i had a hard time validating the information. I believe its correct though and the title goes with what you're talking about in that section. Can you clear that up for me, just started and was wondering if a citation could be left like that. The references that showed both an ISBN number and PMID were great examples on how different things can be cited so thank you for that. All medical articles have a PMID? The last thing I wanted to mention was the last citation. I noticed that someone provided you with that citation but it still hasn't been put on the article, whats up with that, is it not a valid citation, It looks good to me.

Overall it was a great article with a neutral point of view and it was also a broad article. I wouldn't know what else to mention about the breed because it seems as if you put way more than what I could have researched myself, but i'm sure there has to be a few other things that could broaden this up more.I believe that the information on this article is up to date but it's lacking credibility in some areas. In order to improve this article I suggest focusing on verifying the information and to add a few more topics on the Texas longhorn. C mena15 (talk) 18:57, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

@C mena15: Excellent job, Carlos! Alfgarciamora (talk) 15:03, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

barbed wire theory[edit]

I don't buy the barbed wire theory. There's still plenty of cows on open range in the US, though nobody but hobby-ranchers run Longhorn. The problem with the Longhorn is poor winter-hardiness, slow growth and poor meat production compared with modern breeds. Toiyabe 23:27, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
While I respect your opinions, I'm not sure you "not buying the barbed wire theory" is really enough of a reason to completely change the thrust of the article in terms of the Longhorn's demise -- you are, after all, only one person. I have references at the end of the page for barbed wire vis a vis the Longhorn's demise (as well as Ben's kind link above). I am reverting your edits. Katefan0 19:44, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
I don't want to get into an edit war with you, but there are some serious points here about the breed that are completely absent from the article as you reverted it. Even if you don't agree with the barbed wire thing, you might want to think about the rest.
For example these links about the growth rates - http://www.gov.on.ca/OMAFRA/english/livestock/beef/facts/01-051.htm#t1 and http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/research/table3.htm - show that the Longhorns are down there with the dairy breeds. There's plenty more out there that you can find using Google.
With regards to winter hardiness, you can find some information on the web, such as at http://www.westyellowstonenet.com/state_of_montana/history.php (search for longhorn on the page). Most of that information I got out of a book called "Cattle in the Cold Desert" by James A. Young and B. Abbott Sparks, though.
If you put it all together, Longhorns are essentially a feral breed that developed in Texas. Natural selection does not favor traits like rapid and efficient weight gain that cattlemen prize, and it's not surprising that the Longhorn lack them. However, during the time period when land was plentifull and good beef cattle were rare, it made sense to stock ranches with Longhorn. Under those conditions, a rancher could always make more money by buying more cheap Longhorn in Texas and running them on more land. Once land became scarce, the way to make more money was to switch over to more productive breeds which was the downfall of the Longhorn. Barbed wire can then be considered the symptom of land scarcity, but not the root cause of the decline of the Longhorn.
Finally, I live on open range in Nevada. If I forget to close my gate when I leave in the morning, the range cows will get in to eat my garden. In my neck of the woods the range cows are all Hereford, or Hereford crosses, and they do perfectly well on their own for six or eight months of the year (they'll starve or freeze to death in the winter, though. Longhorns are even less winter-hardy.). Longhorns are certainly not the only breed that can take care of itself on the range, contrary to the thesis of the paper that Ben linked to.
I guess there's something romantic about a technological inovation such as barbed wire destroying the idylic ranching lifestyle and its poster-child the Longhorn. However, cattle are still run on open range in the US just about everywhere that the land can't be used for a more productive purpose. And because of there is no longer a limitless open range, ranchers who seek to earn a living by ranching have to run the most productive breeds. Toiyabe 22:31, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I don't have easy access to the print sources listed, but here are some interesting references:
  • The link at the top of this talk page (Handbook of Texas History Online) includes this quote "More controlled livestock breeding was made possible by the enclosure of herds, thus virtually eliminating the demand for the longhorn cattle, which were most suited to the open range." Taking this sentence at face value, it claims that barbed wire was the root cause that allowed more controlled breeding. It might also be taken to imply that the other breeds were more advantageous in a fenced in situation. It stands to reason that these are not the same attributes selected for by most modern cattle ranchers.
  • Here is a source that links the downfall of the Longhorn to its being a leaner breed, which was not as profitable due to the trade in tallow [1].
  • Several sources claim the Longhorn's downfall was largely due to interbreeding. This may or may not have been made possible or easier by barbed wire. It is also interesting in that one could claim the Longhorn was not really dying out but evolving into other breeds through genetic recombination with other varieties. Here is one example: [2]
  • The "open range" reference may be related to allowing the Longhorn to roam across the land once dominated by buffalo, once those animals became over-hunted: [3]
  • Their reputation from hardiness may rise from the claim that they were well suited to eating a variety of native plants, so they made good use of whatever was on the land [4] or to their high rate of successful unattended births (99%), from the same source.
  • "Disease resistant" may be related to their resistance to a certain type of tick that was devasting cattle heards after the American Civil War. [5] I've even heard it said that this breed of cattle prevented widespread starvation at the time, though that might be over-reaching.
  • I would suggest: In the late 1800's, the advent of barbed wire brought the open-range cattle boom came to an end and allowed for more selective breeding of cattle. The leaner Longhorn beef was not as attractive in an era where tallow was highly prized, and the Longorn's ability to survive on often poor vegetation of the open range was no longer as much of an issue. Other breeds demonstrated traits more highly valued by the modern rancher, such as the ability to put on weight quickly. The Texas Longhorn stock slowly dwindled, until in 1927...
  • Posted by Johntex 00:43, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'll leave it to someone else to do the next version. I just ask the whoever that is run a diff on my version, and consider incorporating some of the changes I made rather than rejecting them wholesale.
The disease you referred to is Texas Feaver, something that the Longhorn brought with them from Texas, and a strike against them rather than an arguement for them.Toiyabe 02:12, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Please don't misunderstand me -- I have absolutely NO problem with information being added, and I agree that saying "barbed wire caused the Longhorns to decline" is probably a simplistic explanation, but it nevertheless IS part of the story, and you chose to remove it completely. That was my only problem. In terms of adding information, as long as there is sourcing to back it up, I say go for it. Katefan0 17:26, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)

Mention of University of Texas at Austin Longhorns and Bevo[edit]

I disagree with taking the mention of The University of Texas and Bevo out of the first paragraph. You can't assume that someone typing "Texas longhorn" into Wikipedia's serach engine is looking for a breed of cattle. They may very well be looking for the sports team. A quick Google check shows that 5 of the top 10 search results for "Texas longhorn" are UT sports related, while the other 5 are about the breed of cattle. Also, if you look at "What links here" you see that many UT related topics link to this page. The first paragraph of this article should help people understand why they have come to a page about cattle if they were expecting information related to UT. Johntex 20:14, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I think that they should remain simply because they are intrinsically linked. UT's sports team and mascot wouldn't be named what they are if Texas Longhorns weren't semi-legendary beasts (regionally at least). And it's not like Longhorns as cattle mean much beyond the state's boundaries. If UT's mascot and team was the Owls, I would agree -- an article about hoot owls wouldn't need a mention of UT's mascot and sports team. But this is an intrinsically, historically Texas thing, and as such I think it's appropriate. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:36, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
Excellent point Katefan0. Also, on another topic, it is interesting to see that Wikipedia does not yet have an article on hoot owls. And on yet another topic, the Rice University article never points to owl. More work to be done... Johntex 21:13, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
OK hoot owl was just a capitalization problem, and I added the link from Rice to Owl. Johntex 21:19, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Modern day use[edit]

Today Longhorns still have a practical breeding use. They are in general smarter, and posses a better survival and motherly instinct than other breeds. Here is Alberta pure bred Longhorns can have trouble in the winter due to their short hair however, I know of one which live near Lloydminster, Alberta that is about 20 years old and still calving successfully. In my herd I have a large protion of Longhorn breeding (with a slection of other breeds). Longhorn cattle are known for their habbit of disappering into the bush and comming back with a new calf. They usually have no trouble calving. Longhorn calves tend have a natural ability to find warm places quickly. I myself have seen a longhorn calf stand within minutes of birth. I am not alone in this and have found that this breed is used (at least in part) throughout herds all over north america. Kc4 21:43, 18 October 2006 (UTC)


Good article nomination on hold[edit]

This article's Good Article promotion has been put on hold. During review, some issues were discovered that can be resolved without a major re-write. This is how the article, as of January 29, 2008, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: Symbol wait.svg The article has a few problems when it comes to the prose and Manual of Style compliance. First off, a lead section is a concise overview of the article. It should not introduce topics (such as color) that are not covered in the body of the article. I will be trying to fix some of this myself. The Purpose section could also use some structural work, and should probably be renamed to Traits and characteristics or something similar.
2. Factually accurate?: Symbol wait.svg This article is lacking when it comes to the necessary verification. There are entire sections without a single in-line citation, and there aren't enough secondary sources present. The facts in the article need to be properly attributed to reliable sources through in-line citations. The Ga criteria requires that an article: "at minimum, provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons"
3. Broad in coverage?: Symbol wait.svg The is basically broad in scope, but it feels pretty thin in terms of the traits and history of the breed (especially its current status). I'll be trying to help expand some.
4. Neutral point of view?: Symbol support vote.svg Fair representation of all significant points of view.
5. Article stability? Symbol support vote.svg No edit wars.
6. Images?: Symbol support vote.svg The GA image criterion is that any images present have appropriate licenses, which is here met. I would however like to be able to try some of the new images I uploaded from Flickr, especially as the current lead image doesn't even show the entirety of an upright longhorn. The two I especially have in mind are Image:Texas Longhorn Steer Rocksprings.jpg and Image:Texas Longhorn cow.jpg. I'll try them out and please let me know what you think, but whatever image we decide on the article passes GA in this respect.


I'll try and help fix some of the things I brought up in the review myself during the hold period. The most important thing to focus on is citing what content is now present and uncited. The current amount of in-line citations is far from GA-class.

Please address these matters soon and then leave a note here showing how they have been resolved. After 48 hours the article should be reviewed again. If these issues are not addressed within 7 days, the article may be failed without further notice. Thank you for your work so far. VanTucky 04:33, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Another comment[edit]

Two issues VanTucky only touched upon: 1) Some of the references are hard to tell where they are from because they don't use deep linking, and Premier Longhorns is not explained. 2) It uses 20+ year old books to describe the current situation, the article would need a more modern publication to complement the old ones for these bits.Narayanese (talk) 12:14, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I would definitely agree with what Narayanese has said above. Thanks for your helpful comments, VanTucky 02:59, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Notes[edit]

For readability, please place any comments or questions pertaining to the hold below rather than within the body of the review. Thank you!

  • I think the introduction needs some work. More general infomation about why they are important and less details. Steve Dufour (talk) 01:34, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. The definition of a good lead is "concise overview". VanTucky 03:00, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The article should also be written for people who don't know much about longhorns, not for cattle ranchers deciding if they want to raise them or not. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 01:24, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

As the week-long hold period has expired without the required changes, this article fails its GA nomination. Please address all the issues above before choosing to renominate. If you feel this review was in error, you may seek a reassessment. Thank you for your work so far, VanTucky 22:44, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Traits and characteristics[edit]

These are longhorns. How long are the horns? Please, will someone tell us the average or longest length of horns using all length criteria given in the paragraph. Also give a comparison to other cattle regarding size. Who organized the cattle drives? And did the Ft Worth Stockyards handle many of these cattle. And did the packing plants in Ft. Worth process these cattle. At the termination of the cattle drive, where did the cattle go? Were they shipped on the trains or used at the termination point? How many cattle and cowboys in a traildrive? What was the increase in monetary value of the cattle at the end of the drive? If these cattle were brought here by Christopher Columbus, how many did he bring? How was he able to bring these huge animals or did he bring calves? How many longhorns are there today compared to other breeds? Why isn't the meat available at grocery stores? What is the price of longhorns versus other cattle? Are they still freerange or are the kept in feedlots? Do they have the same gestation time as other cattle? Is there usually only a single calf born? What is a good book for the curious person regarding this breed? 71.164.184.34 (talk) 00:31, 3 August 2008 (UTC)City Cowgirl

Merrill Lynch?[edit]

No mention of the Merril Lynch Bull? It's a black longhorn living in texas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.99.84.127 (talk) 03:39, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

It's not likely that their logo is based on a still-living animal. The logo has been in use since the 70's 173.164.86.190 (talk) 19:49, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Original Longhorn was skinnier, smaller, longer horns[edit]

the Book of Cowboys by Holling C. Holling is an old book which collects much information with not much indication where it comes from, but in this book is an account of the Texas Longhorn breed (with illustrations) which differs somewhat from this article. It says the TL were skinny, tough, fast, almost like a deer, and the ranchers imported eastern breeds to improve their herds; the result was a mixture. If this be true, then the original TL isn't around anymore - what people are collecting today as the original is only partly so. The photos of Longhorns in this article don't look like Holling's illustrations. I don't know how or whether this information should be incorporated into the article but I make a note of it here. Friendly Person (talk) 16:40, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Another source to investigate is the Longhorn Museum in San Antonio. There is a stuffed animal there with a spread of 8 feet. http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2143067340100653658anMPya Friendly Person (talk) 16:40, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

"History" section missing history?[edit]

The history section jumps from the beginnings of the breed to the reasons for them being obsolete, with no explanation of their importance inbetween,. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.90.219.55 (talk) 04:32, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Purpose[edit]

The way the "Purpose" section is laid out doesn't make a lot of sense. It goes straight from a paragraph detailing the purpose and use of the breed, to a bulleted list of different horn measurements. Doesn't this seem a little sloppy to anybody else?

CyanideSandwich (talk) 23:07, 14 November 2010 (UTC)


Record Reality[edit]

The article says, "'Shadow Jubilee' holds the record for the longest measured horns for any Texas Longhorn cow or bull in history at 88" tip to tip." The source for this is given as the website of the Dickinson Cattle Co. Inc. who bred the cow. There are two things wrong with this: 1) On their website it doesn't say she has a measurement of 88 inches, it says, three times, that her measurment is 86 1/8 inches. 2) This is not the record length for a Texas Longhorn.

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2011/s3386694.htm?site=northqld&section=news

The link is to a report on Australia's ABC news website (complete with picture) of a Texas Longhorn steer called Johnny Reb with a spread measured by Guinness World Records as 2.77 metres, which is 109.055 inches, tip to tip. Cottonshirtτ 21:39, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Where did they get those long horns?[edit]

I did a google images search for Alentejana and Mertolenga, the two breeds said to be close to the longhorn... they have short horns. Where'd the longhorn get its long horns? 71.190.78.67 (talk) 22:19, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

One question[edit]

Did the Texas Longhorn ever mated with wild buffalos in the past? Komitsuki (talk) 17:03, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Possibly. - Bardbom (talk) 13:03, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

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