The web browser you are using is out of date and no longer supported by this site. For the best TractorSupply.com experience, please consider updating your browser to the latest version.
Free UPS Ship To Store - Tractor Supply Co.
search icon
search
stores
Cart icon
cart
Welcome, Guest
Thank You! You will now receive email from Tractor Supply Co.
 
  • Left Arrow
    My Account
  • Left Arrow
    My Account
  • Make My Store

    Your nearest store doesn't match your preferred store. Do you want to change the nearest store as your preferred store?

    CONFIRM CLEAR INFO?

    Click "YES" to clear all the customer data, cart contents and start new shopping session.

    Your current shopping session will get automatically reset in seconds.
    If you are still active user then please click "NO"

    Changing your store affects your localized pricing. This includes the price of items you already have in your shopping cart. Are you sure you want to change your store?

    Your nearest store doesn't match your preferred store. Do you want to change the nearest store as your preferred store?


    • To Shop Online
    • To Check In-Store Availability

    click here
    We do not share this information with anyone. For details,please view our Privacy Policy

    Milking Shorthorns | Summer 2013 Out Here Magazine

    Once-premier dairy breed nearly crossbred out of existence

    Few cattle breeds in history have had the fame and influence as the Milking Shorthorn.
    Out Here

    By Jeanette Beranger

    Photography by Jeanette Beranger

    Nevada rancher Norris Albaugh, his family's third generation to raise Milking Shorthorns, explains his love for this critically-endangered breed by telling an old story.

    His children, who were young and just starting to follow him during chore time, always wanted to pick flowers in the fields for their mother. Usually, the best flowers could be found right in the middle of his cattle herd.

    Albaugh always knew where the children were, because the cows would carefully move out of their way to form an open circle of space around them. As the flower-gathering children moved, so did the cattle without any fuss or panic.

    That calm, mild disposition is not only easy to manage for a farmer or rancher, but it ultimately reflects in the animal’s meat quality, Albaugh says. Because they don’t panic when heading to the processor, their adrenaline levels remain low, making the meat more tender.

    Milking Shorthorns are considered a rare breed and are listed as “critical” by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. That’s perplexing, considering that few cattle breeds in history have had the fame and influence as the Milking Shorthorn.

    The breed, first developed in the 1700s in England’s Durham County, is easily recognizable from its coloring. They are solid white, solid red, or any combination of the two.

    One of the most famous Milking Shorthorns that brought much acclaim to the breed was the “Durham Ox,” a massive creature born in 1796 that grew to weigh more than 3,000 pounds. The ox, used to promote the breed, toured for nearly six years in a custom traveling carriage and was viewed by tens of thousands throughout England and Scotland.

    The Milking Shorthorn became a British icon that was considered the height of achievement for early improvement of production traits in cattle. They were created to be large, fast-growing cattle that could serve as both a milk or beef cow and work around the farm as a draft animal.

    One of the most famous Milking Shorthorns that brought much acclaim to the breed was the “Durham Ox,” a massive creature born in 1796 that grew to weigh more than 3,000 pounds. The ox, used to promote the breed, toured for nearly six years in a custom traveling carriage and was viewed by tens of thousands throughout England and Scotland.

    The Durham Ox’s fame spread like wildfire and accomplished its owner’s mission by making Milking Shorthorns in high demand by the early 1800s.

    The Milking Shorthorn made its way to America in 1783 and was considered a premier dairy breed through the 1850s. Beef producers, however, saw it as a superior beef cow, and used it extensively in crossbreeding programs to improve other breeds.

    Early in the 1900s, the breed was formally split into a beef type, called Beef Shorthorn or simply Shorthorn, and a dairy type called Milking Shorthorn. Most breeders favored the Shorthorn for beef, and this trend has continued, especially with the rise of the Holstein as the dominant dairy breed.

    The Milking Shorthorn, despite its many fine qualities and history of dairy selection, could not compete with the quantity of milk produced by the Holstein, and the breed lost favor.

    Genetics on the Albaugh ranch, however, reach all the way back to the original Milking Shorthorns and have had no outside blood in their pedigrees.

    Albaugh’s work with the American population of the Native Milking Shorthorn is crucial, particularly because crossbreeding has diluted the pure, authentic breed, which is in steep decline in England and around the world.

    Through the continued commitment of the American Milking Shorthorn Society and dedicated breeders such as the Albaugh, the future of this breed is secure in America.

    Jeannette Beranger is the Research & Technical Program Manager for the ALBC.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT MILKING SHORTHORNS

    For more information on Shorthorns and other endangered breeds visit www.livestockconservancy.org.

     

    Related Products

    Livestock Feed

    Livestock Feed

    Pasture Seed

    Pasture Seed

    Livestock Equipment

    Livestock Equipment

     

    Popular Pages on TractorSupply.com