Life Span: 20 years
Height: Approx. 4 feet at shoulder/
Weight: Males: 1,320-1,800 lbs. / Females 900-1,430 lbs.
Around 1884, American cattlemen from the western U.S. recognized the natural qualities of the Highland animal and imported them to improve the bloodlines of their herds. Their beautiful long outer coat sheds rain and a short furry undercoat provides insulation all year. The long hair is shed in summer and less hair grows in warm weather. This allows them to adapt to many climates. Forelocks and long eyelashes protect their eyes from flying insects, and the long horns are used to manage brush and protect calves from predators. Highland cattle are excellent browsers, and often eat what other breeds pass by.
Scottish Highlander Cattle
Range: East Africa, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya
Life Span: 25 years
Height: Approx. 4.5-5 Feet at shoulder/
Weight: Bulls: 1,000-1,600 lbs. / Cows 900-1,200 lbs.
Watusi Cattle, the largest horned breed of cattle in the world, have an ancestry that traces back more than 6,000 years. Watusi get their name from the Watusi tribes that developed and bred them and used them to show a person’s social status in their native homeland of Africa. They are also known as “The Cattle of Kinds” because their large, magnificent horns can measure up to 10 feet tip to tip with a base diameter of 6 inches. By far this bovine’s most distinctive characteristic is its tremendous horns that are used as a cooling device. They act just like the radiator in your car. Blood circulates through the horns to cool before returning to the main body.
Range: Mexico, Texas, and what was the Louisiana Purchase
Life Span: 25 years
Height: 4.5-5 Feet at shoulder/
Weight: Bulls: 1,400-2,200 lbs. / Cows 600-1,400 lbs.
Texas Longhorns are a cross between Mexican breeds brought over from Spain and English breeds brought over by Anglo-Americans settlers. This breed of cattle formed the basis of the ranching industry of the American West during the 19th century. Their success is based on the fact that they are very heat tolerant and can endure thirst as well as fight off wolves and grizzly bears. Their horns, which can span up to 6 feet, serve for attack and defense. A strong sense of smell makes it easy for a cow to find her calf.
Texas Longhorn Cattle
Life Span: 28 years
Height: Bulls: 6 feet at shoulder/Cows: 5.7 feet at shoulder
Weight: Bulls: 1,600-2,200 lbs. / Cows 1,00-1,400 lbs.
The Brahma is one of the oldest known species of cattle and has been around 6,000 years. It’s a domestic cattle used for labor and riding in Africa, India, and other parts of Asia. These are the “sacred cattle of India” and many of the Hindu faith will not eat meat from them, permit them to be slaughtered, or sell them. Brahmas have great endurance and resistance to heat and many diseases. Brahmas can sweat freely through the pores of the skin, making them extremely tolerant of heat. The abundance of loose skin on the Brahma is thought to contribute to its ability to withstand warm weather by increasing the body surface area exposed to cooling.
Life Span: 20 years or more in captivity
Height: Up to 4.5 feet
Weight: Bulls: 400-600 lbs. / Cows 300-500 lbs.
Pygmy Zebus are thought to have originated in India on temple grounds where they were kept and bred for their small size. Even today, Zebu cattle are of great importance in India, where they number about 200 million. Because it is a mortal sin to put them to death when they are old and sick, they are turned loose to wander the streets of cities and villagers until they die. They are gregarious animals and want to be in a herd or group. The hump, better developed in bulls than in steers and cows, is composed of muscle and fat, mounted above the withers.