Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pineywoods Cattle - Maybe we need a few of these in the East Texas Pineywoods

Follow the blog title link to the Pineywoods Cattle Association's listing of cattle for sale. Amazingly, there is a bit of a predominance of the white Park color pattern in this old American breed.

But perhaps I shouldn't be so amazed, after all this same color pattern is present in the Texas Longhorn. Every British White breeder in Texas is well familiar with their calves getting docked at their local auction barn for being 'longhorns'. If you don't ask to see the scribbles on the auction ticket when you drop your cattle off, you can be assured they designated your British White cattle as Longhorns. Even if you correct the fella checking in your cattle, the order buyers really don't care. They've been buying British White crossbred cattle at a low ball price for years, and no doubt they like it that way.  So stand up when your fat calves are on the auction barn floor and let the crowd know what they are. 

I bought my first British White, my old bull 'Doc', from the late Bob Stanley.  I recall Bob telling me how hard he'd worked to promote both his cattle and the breed at his local auction barn, and he was excited at the response to his efforts.  Bob Stanley had a good eye for cattle and no doubt brought first rate calves to the local barn.  The offpsring of Bob's herd of Britsh White cattle are important genetics in our breed today.
What are Pineywoods cattle??

Pineywoods cattle are an endangered breed of “heritage” livestock that are descended from the original Spanish stock left along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of FL, GA, MS & AL by the Spanish explorers in the early 1500’s. The cattle evolved naturally in the brushy wooded terrane of the Gulf Coast. They have evolved to be naturally resistant to most diseases and are able to forage on rough vegetation that commercial cattle will not touch. Pineywoods are also “dry land” cattle and have evolved to avoid predators by spending only a minimum of time at their water hole. This makes them very low impact cattle, as they do not contribute to bank erosion and fouling of streams like most domestic stock. (Source:  http://www.pcrba.org/index.html )
Unfortunately, I was not able to provide a photo as an example of a Pineywoods cow with white Park markings; but, just follow the link to the their site.  And take note of the pretty horns of these Pineywood cattle!  Look familiar?

There are a myriad of examples of the white Park color pattern historically present in some very old and respected breeds, including the Galloway, the Durham, the Welsh White (now only black), the Longhorn, the Highland, and the Shorthorn.

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