Thursday, December 19, 2019

How to Measure a Longhorn's Horns

So, how do you measure a longhorn's horns?  Very carefully!  Although most of our longhorns are very docile, we do have a skittish one every once in a while.  Overall, with a man on each side of the chute, my dad pushing them into the squeeze chute (did you know you can twist a cow's tail and she'll go in fairly easily?), and me herding the cows down the lane and writing down measurements, we measured the horns of all six of our senior mamas. 

Our measurements are not "official" by the Texas Longhorn Breeder's Association of America (TLBAA) rules.  But, we did get good measurements.  So, what makes up the measurements?  There is the Tip-to-Tip (TTT), the Total Horn (TH), the Composite (COMP), and the Twist measurement.  

The TTT measurement is the distance between the outside tips of the horns; we took this measurement.  The TH was next and was a bit harder.  This measurement requires you to measure from one tip, by following the curve of the horn to the base, going behind the poll, and following the opposite curve of the horn to its tip.  We took this measurement, too.  The COMP measurement adds the TTT, the TH, and the circumference of both bases.  We didn't calculate this measurement, but it would be simple enough.  We did take the circumference measurements at the base of the horns.  Lastly is the Twist measurement, which we did not take, but which follows the growth grain of the horn, which can be pretty twisty. 

We wanted to measure Ferdinand's horns (our bull), and although he was very gentle, he was not having it!  I am glad there was no photo/video of THAT incident!  I walked him into the chute, and everything was good until he saw he was blocked on the other end.  He decided to turn around and come back out, and there was no holding him (and shouldn't have been any holding).  He pushed through my section of the fence, shouldered his way down to my dad, knocked him down with his shoulder, and then jumped over him!  There is no way you can stop an animal that large when it's made up its mind about something.  Later on, Ferdinand "jumped" the corral, coming down on the top bar with his hindquarters and smashing it.  He has a habit of jumping corral fences...

Interesting trivia:
Both males and females have horns, with the horns of the female being longer and those of the male being larger at the base.  The horns of a steer (castrated male) are longer that those of the bull (intact male).  The horns of a longhorn grow throughout its life, and since a longhorn can live into it's twenties, you can have some fairly long horns.  

Photo credits go to my sister.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Horn Measurements

Dunn Kicker - "Belle" - August 26, 2019

DOB: 11/6/2013
COLOR:  Parker brown and white  

Horn Measurements as of December 7, 2019
Tip to Tip - 78 1/2"
Total Horn - 85 7/8"
Left Circumference - 10 7/8"
Right Circumference - 10 3/4"

Dancer 306 - Dot - August 26, 2019
DANCER 306 - "Dot"

DOB: 11/04/2013
COLOR:  Red head and legs with spots on body; white spot on forehead

Horn Measurements as of December 7, 2019
Tip to Tip - 83"
Total Horn - 92"
Left Circumference - 11 1/2"
Right Circumference - 11 1/8"

Dunn Roy Ann - Dakota - August 26, 2019
DUNN ROY ANN - "Dakota"

DOB: 12/21/2015
COLOR:  Red head, white body

Horn Measurements as of December 7, 2019
Tip to Tip - 61"
Total Horn - 70 7/8"
Left Circumference - 11 3/8"
Right Circumference - 11 1/2"

Defined - Fawn 
DEFINED - "Fawn"

DOB: 11/13/2013
COLOR:  Red head and neck, specks on body 

Horn Measurements as of December 7, 2019
Tip to Tip - 70 1/2"
Total Horn - 83 3/4"
Left Circumference - 11 1/2"
Right Circumference - 12"

Cowboy's Lady - Lady - August 26, 2019

DOB: 1/10/2016

Horn Measurements as of December 7, 2019
Tip to Tip - 65 5/8"
Total Horn - 75 3/4"
Left Circumference - 11 1/4"
Right Circumference - 10 7/8"

Tanked Up Dolly - Dolly - August 26, 2019

DOB: 3/31/2016
COLOR:  Brindle head and neck with white body

Horn Measurements as of December 7, 2019
Tip to Tip - 63 3/4"
Total Horn - 71 7/8"
Left Circumference - 11 5/8"
Right Circumference - 11"

Monday, October 7, 2019

Just Sayin' - Notes from the Farm

This is not a small trailer.  What a lot of hay to waste!

It's difficult to get a job done when a certain young squirt keeps destroying what you are trying to do.  The hay I wrapped a week or so ago (see previous post) has been destroyed!  Fredinand the bull tore the middle out of the roll.  Of course, that means the hay was being trampled all over the ground, and worse, by Ferdinand, Belle and their bull calf T-Bone.  I decided to rake the hay and toss it back in the makeshift rack.  That worked for about a day or so, until I was tossing the hay and got irritated because T-Bone was running and literally jumping onto the four foot stack of nicely raked hay -- while I was still raking it.  Grumble... laugh... sigh... The next day I hitched up the trailer, threw on the hay, and moved it out of the pasture.  I fixed that problem.  Typical stuff if you have animals around!  

Saturday morning I took hay out to Ferdie's crew, and as I was pitching it off the trailer, Ferdie acted like he was challenging my truck!  He was in front of the truck, facing it full on, head (and, therefore, horns!) lowered, pawing the ground.  I was fast about chasing him away.  I haven't had my truck for long, and I like it just as it is.

The weather changed over the weekend, and the animals felt it a few hours before I did (by changing, I mean temps dropped from 99° down to around 90°). I turned around from my work and saw Rudy the horse, Lulu the year old calf, and T-Bone the baby, all running together around the pasture.  On the other side of the fence, keeping pace with them, was Lulu and T-Bone's mother, Belle.  What a sight!  Made for a nice break.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...

The mature cows, coming up from the back pasture for a treat of some range pellets.  Small price to pay to know that they are still where they belong!

Call them, and they will come...

I can say that when they are called, they don't waste any time in responding.  These girls, all of them expecting calves early next year, came RUNNING to see me (wishful thinking, they just wanted the treats).

The mature cows, making sure they don't leave behind any range pellets.

Remember the phrase from that old Madonna song - "girls just wanna have fun" -- well, this girl is having fun!

Pop asked me to take a bale of hay out to the pasture, and to wrap a cattle panel around it.  Well, the cattle panel was not long enough, so this is what I came up with.  Nobody cringe, it's getting the job done AND still holding several days later.

How to Measure a Longhorn's Horns

So, how do you measure a longhorn's horns?  Very carefully!  Although most of our longhorns are very docile, we do have a skittish ...