Miniature Texas longhorns are small Texas longhorns, as their name suggests. They are smaller in size but otherwise retain the characteristics and proportions of full-sized Texas longhorn cattle. Miniature longhorn bulls can stand no more than 48 inches tall at the highest point of the hips, or withers. Miniature longhorn cows can measure no more than 45 inches tall.
Miniature Texas longhorns have been created over many generations through selective breeding of Texas longhorns for small size.
When Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1493, he brought with him a small herd of Spanish cattle. About two centuries later – in 1690 – two hundred descendants of that first Spanish herd were driven north from Mexico to a mission in territory that would become Texas. The missionaries and early ranchers disappeared but the cattle survived and their wild progeny became the first of the Texas longhorns, a hearty and iconic North American breed. Ranchers began herding, taming, and breeding Texas longhorns in the late 19th century. To see them at the Maryland Zoo, head over to the train ride in Zoo Central.
Miniature Texas longhorns are bred to be companion animals.