Purebred Dual-Purpose Native Shorthorn Cattle!
Some of our cattle grazing on pasture.
One of the oldest recognized breeds in the world, Shorthorn cattle originated in Northeastern England in the Valley of the Tees River.
The earliest knowledge of the forerunners to the breed is word of mouth; namely, that for two hundred years before 1780, there were short horned cattle on the Yorkshire estates of the Dukes and Earls of Northumberland. Shorthorn stock has been in the herds of Smithsons of Stanwick since the middle 1600's. As the oldest recorded breed of cattle in the UK, the Coates's.
Shorthorns are either red, red and white, white, or roan. The Shorthorn roan color, when it occurs, is a particularly close mixture of red and white which is found in no other breed of cattle. The original Shorthorn cattle were very much dual purpose animals but subsequent breeding and selection for specialist beef traits led to a division of national herd books and the formation, in 1948, of the American Milking Shorthorn Society and, in 1959, of The Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society in the UK.
In both the United States and the UK, Beef Shorthorns and Milking Shorthorns are not separate, distinct breeds, but rather a segment of the same Shorthorn breed. The pedigrees of both Milking Shorthorns and Beef Shorthorns trace to common foundation animals. Today, many dual purpose animals continue to be bred and are listed in both registries. The Milking Shorthorn breed is best known for its productivity. This docile animal efficiently converts feed into milk and has a long productive life, at the end of which these large cows have a high residual value. The original Cheddar cheese was made from Shorthorn milk, which is extremely rich in butter fat, and Shorthorn milk is still highly sought-after by cheese making artisans in both the UK and the United States. Similarly, the Beef Shorthorn, because of its ability to efficiently convert forage and its proven marbling and early-finishing characteristics, is the ideal breed for the production of choice grass-fed beef. Beef Shorthorns are ideal for intensive grazing and organic farming systems. In Shorthorn history, the name of Bates, Booth and Cruickshank are frequently noted. Bates and Booth were Englishmen who developed what are usually referred to as "English Shorthorns." Cruickshank was a Scotchman who developed the "Scotch Shorthorns." The Bates type of Shorthorns were noted for their style and good milking qualities. Cruickshank's cattle were thicker, blockier and meatier, whose progeny subsequently evolved into the Beef Shorthorn. The first importation of Shorthorns to the United States was in 1783, when "Milk Breed" Shorthorns came to Virginia. Most of the early importations of Shorthorns to America came from the English herds and were of the Bates and Booth types. These early importations - often referred to as "Durhams" - became favorites of the American pioneers, furnishing meat, milk and power.
Importations continued during the early 1800's and the breed moved into New York, Kentucky, Ohio, and deeper into the Midwest. The first herd west of the Mississippi is reported to have been established on the Ravenswood Farm in Missouri in 1839. Today, Shorthorns are found in almost every area of the United States. American breeders began recording their Shorthorn cattle in 1846 with the first volume of the American Herdbook. In 1882, the American Shorthorn Breeders' Association (ASBA) was formed to register and promote both Milking and Scotch (Beef) Shorthorns. In 1912, a group of Milking Shorthorn breeders organized the Milking Shorthorn Club to work within the framework of the ASBA. Its membership was interested in advertising the good milk qualities of the breed by keeping official milk records and encouraging breed improvements. The American Milking Shorthorn Society (AMSS) incorporated in 1948 and took over the registration and promotion of Milking Shorthorns. The importance of the Shorthorn breed in the development of other cattle breeds has been significant. Shorthorn genetics are reputed to have been used worldwide in the development of over 40 different breeds. During the early part of the twentieth century, Shorthorn/Highland crosses were used extensively in the UK to produce a faster-finishing, high-quality forage-based beef. As breeders look increasingly for "heritage" genetics capable of producing consistent animals with high performance characteristics - for both milk and beef - on a diet exclusively of grass, the Shorthorn is likely to play a significant role in the future as well.
Some of the herd heading for water.
2015 calves on pasture.