This is not a great time for the Stock Market as it continues to tumble.
And, whether you believe the reason is related solely to the spread of the Coronavirus, or that the Market is overdue for a correction, when the Stock market fluctuates, so does the Livestock industry.
To protect our Texas longhorn cattle herd from losing value when money markets fluctuate, here are 5 tips to consider when purchasing your Texas longhorn cattle.
1. No matter what, a cow is a cow!
I can almost hear you thinking, seriously!!……but if you are ever faced with reselling your prized purchase, aside from the horns, this could be the tipping point.
First and foremost, livestock are expected to reproduce. Unless you are specifically buying a steer for aesthetic purposes, or the show circuit, all livestock animals should have the ability to reproduce. Even if it is not your intention to increase your herd, make sure that your cow has a sound udder and that your bull is in good health.
Obviously, a study of an animal’s progeny is a good place to start when assessing the quality of the parents. There are numerous other determinations too.
There are a number of great articles in the TLBAA Trails magazine February 2013 issue on Bull health and selection.
With reference to cows, there are indications when a cow should be passed over. These include oversized teats or even missing teats and an oversized udder – all are typically linked to genetics. In May 2010, The Texas Longhorn Trails magazine published this article on Cows and Calving, When will she calve? by Heather Smith Thomas This article is full of interesting insight,
Although your veterinarian should be a resource for general information, the beef and more specifically, the dairy industries have a wealth of information on udder and teat health and disease. Because of the obvious differences in breeds, not all the information may be relevant to Texas Longhorn Cattle but the articles do provides a perspective. A quick search will reveal information but here are a few interesting links:-
2. Buy what you can afford.
Texas Longhorn cattle are no different to any other investment. Their prices fluctuate. Spending more than you can afford on anything with the hope that it gains you a successful profit is a gamble. Sometimes it pays off but most often it does not.
As a tip, the Texas longhorn cattle industry places a huge amount of emphasis on genetics. Now we all know this is no guarantee of how an animal will mature or what progeny will be produced but genetics do give an indication of what might be expected. If you really like a cow and can’t afford her or do not think she is worth the price tag, buy her progeny.
We have bought many a heifer whose mom was priced beyond what we have been prepared to pay, and so far we have not been disappointed.
3. Buy what you like
” Do anything, but let it produce joy.” – Walt Whitman
I would say this is probably the most important consideration in your investment process with regard to Texas longhorn cattle.
If you invest in art, for example, you buy a painting you like to look at. After all, you will be looking at it for a long time. It is an investment for your future and in the meantime, it will give you joy.
Texas longhorn cattle as an investment are similar to art investments in many ways.
- Your Texas longhorn cattle herd is a long term investment.
- Longhorn cattle take time to mature.
- Trends change.
Let me explain. apart from the many other favorable characteristics, we all know that it’s the horns that “stick out” and set Texas longhorn cattle apart from other bovine breeds.
BUT, what you may not know is that not all Texas Longhorn horns are equivalent.
Some people place value solely on horn spread from one tip to another and on the genetics that produce this horn length. However, if you look at the statistics, could this trend be changing?
In March 2017, 3S Danica was purchased on auction for a whopping $380 000.00 at the Texas Longhorn Legacy Sale.
3S Danica is the first cow to reach 100′ TTT (Horn measurement measured from Tip To Tip). She is also the first cow to reach 104 3/8′. ( TLBAA Horn Show case 2019)
3S Danica’s horns were measured for the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest horned Texas longhorn cow. Similarly, Cowboy Tuff Chex has the longest horns for a Texas longhorn bull with a measurement of 262.5cm TTT. Cowboy Tuff Chex was purchased in the same year as 3D Danica for a mere $165K.
There are a few other examples of big time money spenders but these purchases seem to represent a handful of breeders.
You are not a cow or a steer but spread your arms from side to side and take a measurement – just to put this in perspective.
None the less, despite the huge purchase price amounts mentioned above, Texas Longhorn cattle prices are showing a downward trend, at least for a longhorn purchased over $10K – TLBAA Texas Longhorn Trails magazine.Jan 2020 edition.
On the Infographic below are some statistics on Texas Longhorn prices at the high end. According to TLBAA,
- These figures exclude any longhorn purchased by Private Treaty.
- They also exclude any longhorn bought or sold under $10K.
- This trend is representative of about 5% of overall sales on auction (with specific reference to 2019 figures)
- These dollars represent approx. one third of over expenditure at these auctions (with specific reference to 2019 figures)
We attended the Eddie Wood Cowtown Classic Texas Longhorn Auction in Fort Worth in January 2020. Overall, prices were disappointing. Although many lots sold, many were passed over.
Interestingly, Lot 83, ECR Rhinestone girl, a 2011 cow with beautiful twirly horns gained the most interest and was the only cow at that sale to sell for a price tag over $10 000.00.
4. Do your research.
Modern day Texas Longhorn cattle are bred primarily for length of horn spread.To achieve these exceptional horn spreads, the twists and turns are ironed out.
A longhorn with twisty horns is more difficult to come by these days.
Now, we have no doubt that with modern day technology, cloning and in vitro fertilization, the twists and twirls will eventually be bred back into the Texas Longhorn but for now, there are divisions amongst breeders.
Some find length in horn most appealing whilst there are others who have stuck with the more classic genetics, maintaining classic longhorn shapes.
For a great article on the Twists and turns of Texas Longhorn horns here is an article, once again from the TLBAA Trails magazine.
7 Types of Twists – by Justin Rombeck published in the Texas Longhorn Trails magazine, May/June edition pg 46
5. Keep an open mind!
Texas longhorn cattle are sold and purchased for many different reasons. There is value in Texas longhorn cattle beyond their horns.
- Agricultural Exemption. They are a great option if you live in an area that recognizes the breed for Agricultural Exemption (see our blog on Texas Longhorn cattle – the sensible Solootion to Ag Exemption.)
- Low Cholesterol Beef. Besides their aesthetic appeal, there is value in their beef. Texas Longhorn cattle have a lower fat content to their meat offering a healthier choice to meat eaters. (see our farm blog, on Can you eat the Texas Longhorn Cattle you raise? I can’t do it but that’s not to say you can’t!
- Cross breeding. Professor Bonsma of Pretoria, South Africa and founder of Bonsmara Cattle was a firm believer in the benefits of cross breeding with Texas longhorn cattle. In the 1960’s he did a lot of consulting work for the cattle industry in the USA. During that period, he shared his beliefs that Texas Longhorn cattle were the most adaptable breed of cattle in America because they are a product of survival of the fittest. He admired the breed’s adaptability for beneficial cross breeding, as well as other characteristics which include. – their low birthing weights, efficient reproduction abilities, energetic calves and resistance to disease. There are a number of cross breeds with Texas Longhorn Cattle that currently exist and include, Salorn, Geltex, and Texon, to name a few.
- Hide and horn The beauty of a Texas longhorn outlives its life in that there is a market for horns and hide in an ever growing home decorating industry.Carved and mounted skulls are also sought after.
Thank you for reading our Farm Blog.
We have ranched with Texas Longhorn Cattle for almost 20 years and we have enjoyed every minute of it. We feel that our animals have added value to our lives well beyond their monetary value. We also acknowledge their worth relative to other farming activities. They are low maintenance and disease resistant. They protect themselves against coyotes and need little if any assistance with birthing. It is important to ensure adequate fencing, water and a balanced diet continuously. But, with all consideration, if you purchase wisely and purchase what you like to look at, Texas Longhorn cattle are worth more than their monetary value.
For your own bundle of joy visit our SALEBARN
If you have Texas Longhorns or even if you don’t we would love to hear your opinion. If you think of other reasons where Texas Longhorn Cattle have value, please send us your comments at Cathy@GVRlonghorns.com
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Disclaimer: All material noted above is based on our hands- on experience as ranchers, as well as our observations of our own cattle over the years. We have done and continue to do extensive research in order to maintain our herd‘s optimum health. However, all opinions and statements made on our website are meant as guidelines only. We are not qualified statisticians/ veterinarians and urge you to consult a specialist with your concerns. Content of this blog belongs to GVR Longhorns LLC and may not be copied in any form. ©GVRlonghorns.com All rights reserved.