Horn, Horn & more Horn
Famous Old Bull
Horn is important, especially to Texas Longhorn people. Horn is mentioned in the Bible 96 times. Historically an oxen with large horn base and substance was valued in Ohio for pulling conestoga wagons westward down the old National Road. Four fifths of the world's cattle historically were used for beast of burden, not food.
In the early sixties the first registered Texas Longhorn bulls had horn spreads between 24" and 35."
As breeding stock was selected for more size, horn and muscle thickness the horn tip to tip reached up into the forties during the seventies and then the fifty inch range.
Good Cows in the 60's
With careful genetic matings the top sires with the best measurements have increased one T2T horn inch per year for the last 40 years, plus developing competitive meat qualities, all without the loss of humane calving ease.
People always want more. Cattle are bred for wide horn, heavy base circumference, then rapid cork screw twist. Although the true cork screw is rare and genetically inconsistent at the best, a few bloodlines have been identified that have a higher frequency cork screw than others.
Ranger's Ranch Hand
The old bull Ranger's Ranch Hand is probably the most well known for cork screw progeny. He was a senior sire at Dickinson Cattle Co. in 1982 and 1983. This photo was taken of him in his teen age years and displays his mature twist with a 54" T2T measurement. Very few bulls sport this strong backwards twist.
Another genetic factor is the forward and upward horn angle on bulls. These shapes tend to be the genetic origin of females also with upward and forward horns. These do not sell well compared to the wider, lower, more cork screw shapes. In the early sixties the majority of bulls would start out with flat lateral horn shape, but at about 24 months of age a bull's horn growth began to point forward. By age four these bull's horn tips would measure less T2T than at younger ages. The tips would turn in, never to go out again.
Color of horn is thought to be a consideration for fast growth. When comparing black or white horn, the white chalky or light colors dominate the fastest record horn growth. All data appeared to prove black horn grew slower and white horn faster. However, when a black horned bull, like old Don Quixote, sired caramel colored horn it normally was faster growing than a full sib with black horn. This phenomenon has proven itself repeatedly.
The above observations, over the last 40 years, are shared by most experienced Texas Longhorn producers. When measuring bulls it has proven that horns with the preferred growth direction go lateral with a backward twist. If a young bull measured with a straight tape goes tip to tip in front of, or above the head he has too much upward or forward growth direction to develop to an upper 70" maturity. If the tape has to bend over the forehead to reach the tips it is a very good indication.
At Dickinson Cattle Company, the bull Tempter has just passed his 78" T2T measurement at 44 months. His horn composition represents the huge base, wide lateral shape never ever seen in the twentieth century.
Over Kill Horn Angle
The half brother to Tempter is Over Kill, now 77" T2T during his fifth year. All of the above recorded measurements and unique phenomena just blew out of the corral with this young bull. Over Kill is the successful result of over 40 years of careful selective breeding. He has a near record tip to tip (T2T), his horns are black tipped, he has the perfect lateral direction of growth, and low-in-behold, more cork screw twist than any bull in history with this extended measurement.
Look carefully at his low, twisted shape. Notice even during his fifth year of maturity a tape has to bend over his head and can not do a straight tip to tip measurement. His direction is perfect---wide lateral, slightly angling back, and an unbelievable twist. More twist will come with age.
Over Kill Horn Angle
The tip to tip measurement is the most respected in the TL industry, but in the case of Over Kill there is a variable. For an honest T2T Over Kill is measured from the center of the pole to the tip of one horn and that number is doubled to equal 77".
Tempter has been a very popular semen sire for those wanting the most possible horn. The Over Kill genetic package provides the black speckled color, low horn, lots of horn and the slight backward slant. All of these factors can be corrective when used on cows who do not have these qualities.
Over Kill in Summer Condition
At DCCI we are excited to provide these home grown genetics which have taken over 40 years to accumulate in the genetic packages of Tempter and Over Kill.
Order semen on Tempter at $50 and Over Kill at $35. No syndicate fees, no 10 year commitment, only a $100 minimum semen order and no maximum. At DCCI we are easy, friendly and very much appreciate your business. Call and order 740 758 5050---ask for Linda.