Texas Cattle Breeds

Trey Bonner

Texas is renowned for its rich agricultural heritage and robust cattle industry. The state’s expansive landscapes provide ideal conditions for cattle grazing, making it home to numerous cow breeds. Each breed possesses distinct characteristics that make it suitable for specific purposes and environments. In this article, we will delve into the common cow breeds found in Texas and explore the lingo used to describe each breed.

  1. Angus: Angus cattle, often referred to as “Black Angus,” are one of the most popular and widely recognized breeds in Texas. Known for their exceptional marbling and tender beef, Angus cows thrive in various climates and adapt well to different feeding systems. The term “Angus” is often used as a general reference to black cattle, regardless of their actual breed.
  2. Hereford: Hereford cattle are another prominent breed in Texas. Recognized for their distinctive red body color and white faces, Herefords are hardy animals known for their adaptability and foraging capabilities. The term “whiteface” is commonly used to refer to Hereford cattle, even when they have red markings elsewhere on their bodies.
  3. Brahman: The Brahman breed holds a special place in Texas, particularly due to its adaptability to the state’s challenging climate and pest-ridden areas. Brahman cattle are known for their distinctive humps, loose skin, and large ears that provide heat dissipation. The term “Brahman” is sometimes shortened to “Brahma” or referred to as “brahmas” when describing these cattle.
  4. Longhorn: No discussion about Texas cattle breeds would be complete without mentioning the iconic Longhorn. These cattle played a vital role in Texas history and have become synonymous with the state’s ranching heritage. Known for their long, curved horns and diverse coat colors, Longhorns are hardy and excel in extensive grazing systems. The term “longhorn” is often used generically to describe any breed with long, distinctive horns.
  5. Santa Gertrudis: The Santa Gertrudis breed originated in Texas, making it a unique representation of the state’s cattle industry. Developed by crossing Shorthorn and Brahman cattle, Santa Gertrudis cattle possess traits that combine the best of both breeds. They are known for their adaptability, heat tolerance, and superior carcass qualities. The term “Santa Gerts” is commonly used as a shorthand for Santa Gertrudis cattle.
  6. Brangus: Brangus is a crossbreed resulting from crossing Angus and Brahman cattle. These cattle combine the desirable traits of both parent breeds, including heat tolerance, adaptability, and high-quality beef production. The term “Brangus” is often used to describe black cattle with Brahman influence.

Texas boasts a diverse range of cow breeds, each with its own unique characteristics and qualities. From Angus and Herefords to Brahman and Longhorns, these cattle have shaped the state’s ranching culture and continue to contribute to its thriving cattle industry. Understanding the lingo associated with each breed, such as “Angus,” “whiteface,” “Brahma,” “longhorn,” “Santa Gerts,” and “Brangus,” allows for effective communication and appreciation of the rich diversity found in Texas’ cow breeds.