Long lifetime: Longhorns have an incredibly long productive life. Many live over 20 years and some produce over 25 or 30 years. This longevity means the farmer can keep cows longer and sell more young stock at a profit.
Calving ease: As a breed, the average Longhorn cattle has a 99% unassisted calving rate. The calves are usually smaller and weigh less than the average commercial beef cow. The shape of the head and shoulders is more tapered to better fit the cow’s pelvic opening. This results in easier and faster births with little stress on the cow or calf. The calf is usually in motion before the farmer knows it has been born. In the twelve years I have raised Texas Longhorn cattle, I have yet to see a calf born. I have found them just minutes old, but have never seen an actual birth.
Disease resistance: Longhorns are more resistant to common cattle diseases such as pink eye and foot rot. This means fewer visits from the vet and fewer vaccinations, reducing your input costs. I have never had a case of pink eye, canker eye or foot rot in longhorn cattle.
Lean beef: Texas longhorn beef is leaner and lower in cholesterol than boneless, skinless chicken breast with more essential amino acids and nutrients. (Texas A&M, 1987) This is a great marketing tool for ranchers to use. With our societies moving towards leaner meats and a more health conscious way of eating longhorn beef is a perfect fit.
Pasture utilization: Longhorn cattle will eat a greater variety of plants and grasses than other beef cattle. Longhorns will actually browse through trees and bushes similar to deer. Therefore, longhorns will make more use of available plant material to convert to body weight and reduce the need for feed to be supplied to them.
Lower production cost: Due to the hardy nature of the longhorns, they do not need a barn for shelter. Longhorns do very well, even in winter if they have shelter from the wind and some trees for shelter from the summer sun. My Texas longhorn cattle live out on pasture year round in the Rocky Mountain foothills where my ranch is located and are doing very well.
Hybrid Vigor: Crossing Longhorn cattle on other beef breeds introduces hybrid vigor in the resulting progeny. This means that the calves resulting from the cross will grow faster and have characteristics that make them generally perform better. My neighbor uses a Longhorn bull on all his first calving Hereford heifers and has been very impressed with the quality of the calves he gets.