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Breeds of Cows Directory: "T": Tarentaise - Tuli

Information contained here is summarized from many different sources. Please refer to those sources for complete information. Major contributors are Oklahoma State University, Coroba University of Spain, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Domestic Animal Diversity Program of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Google Images and Wikipedia


A Brief History Lesson

The French Connection

We North Americans get excited about Tarentaise because to us they are a new breed, generally unrelated to existing breeds, which gives us that extra kick of hybrid vigor. Fact is, the breed was named in 1859, and the first breed congress was held in 1866. The Tarentaise herdbook was founded in 1888, with major revisions being made immediately following World War II.

Tarentaise bear the name of the place of their origin, the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alpine mountains. There has been less mixing of breeds with Tarentaise in the last 100 years than with most French breeds. What other breed that offers hybrid vigor has such pristine genetics, selected over the span of a century?

The Europeans selected primarily for milk production when making their breeding decisions. Mother Nature, on the other hand, selected for muscling, hardiness and adaptability in order for them to live under range conditions in the French Alps. The result is a dual purpose breed.

Altitude in their native region varies from 1,000 feet to 8,000 feet, and usually the change in elevation is dramatic. In order to negotiate the mountain ranges, Tarentaise developed excellent natural muscling. This breed is distinctive for its abundant muscling in the hip region, and they are exceptionally long from hooks to pins.

In France, no other cattle graze where the Tarentaise graze. Charolais, Maine-Anjou and Limousin are raised in Basin regions, where the land is more lush. Salers are native to a mountainous region, but it is not as mountainous as the home of the Tarentaise.

From France to North Africa

Tarentaise proved their adaptability around the last turn of the century when they were exported to North Africa. What an environmental jump! From the French Alps to the French colonies in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, countries which bordered the African desert. In North Africa, they have been crossed with indigenous strains of cattle and have developed an enviable reputation for improving both meat and milk production in an arid or semi-arid environment.

From France to North America

In the early 1970s, Dr. Ray Woodward of Miles City, Montana, was director of the beef program for American Breeders Service. Woodward was looking for a breed that would work on commercial cows in the U.S. while retaining milking ability and, most importantly, avoid the calving and fertility problems of the then known "exotics." He found the answer with Tarentaise. The first Tarentaise bull calf arrived at a Canadian quarantine station in 1972. His name was Alpin, he weighed 1650 pounds at 30 months, and he generated so much excitement and semen sales that soon after the Canadian Tarentaise Association formed. In 1973, the American Tarentaise Association was formed. [Oklahoma State University]

Telemark, Also Known By: Telemarkfe (Norway)
This is a horned, redsided dual purpose breed. It is found mainly in the mountainous regions of southeastern Norway. It is considered a good grazing animal and an efficient milk yielder on a high-roughage diet. Live weight range for cows is 400-500 kg. Registered population in 1995 was 96 heifers (2 years and younger) and 396 cows. Semen reserves in 1995 was 27,175 units (44 bulls). [Oklahoma State University]
Texas Longhorn
Survivor of the Past - Bright Promise for the Future

by Dr. Stewart H. Fowler, PhD

Cattlemen caught in a devastating cost-price squeeze are now taking a serious second look at the old Texas Longhorn. Doubly stunned by the inflation of all cost factors and the recession of cattle prices, cattlemen are actively seeking new "profit genes" for their beef herds. The quest has broadened to an international search for "new" genes that might boost productivity and profits. In this process, many have tended to overlook a promising gene source close to home. I refer to the Texas Longhorn.

An almost forgotten reservoir of unique genetic material, the Longhorn is literally an old source of new genes! In fact, the Texas Longhorn may prove to be a real "genetic gold-mine" in the future of our beef industry.

Foundation stock

What is so unique about the Texas Longhorn? What makes it different from the multitude of other breeds now available in North America? Simply this: The Texas Longhorn was fashioned entirely by nature right here in North America. Stemming from ancestors that were the first cattle to set foot on American soil almost 500 years ago, it became the sound end product of "survival of the fittest". Shaped by a combination of natural selection and adaptation to the environment, the Texas Longhorn is the only cattle breed in America which - without aid from man - is truly adapted to America. In his book The Longhorns, J. Frank Dobie states this situation well: "Had they been registered and regulated, restrained and provided for by man, they would not have been what they were."

Hardy, aggressive, and adaptable, the Texas Longhorns were well suited to the rigors of life on the ranges of the southwestern United States. They survived as a primitive animal on the most primitive of ranges and became the foundation stock of that region's great cattle industry.

With the destruction of the buffalo following the Civil War, the Longhorns were rushed in to occupy the Great Plains, a vast empire of grass vacated by the buffalo. Cattlemen brought their breeding herds north to run on the rich grazing lands of western Nebraska, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Montana. Thus, the Great Plains became stocked largely with these "bovine citizens" from the Southwest. And, the Texas Longhorns adapted well to their expanding world. They had reached their historical heyday, dominating the beef scene of North America like no other cattle breed has done since. However, the romantic Longhorn era came to an end when their range was fenced in and plowed under and imported cattle with quick maturing characteristics were brought in to "improve" beef qualities. Intensive crossbreeding had nearly erased the true typical Longhorn by 1900.

Rescue from extinction

Fortunately, beginning in 1927, the Texas Longhorn was preserved by the United States Government on wildlife refuges in Oklahoma and Nebraska.

Also, a few southwestern cattlemen, convinced of the Longhorn's value as a genetic link and concerned for their preservation, maintained small herds through the years. The Texas Longhorn has been perpetuated further by members of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, which was formed in 1964. Thus, the Texas Longhorn was rescued from extinction. It was unfortunate for today's beef industry, however, that most of the continuing interest in the Texas Longhorn was in its historic and academic aspects. The Longhorn's genetic prospects and economic potential were almost completely overlooked for many years.

Genetic diversity

After seven years of closely observing and studying Texas Longhorns, I am convinced that these cattle may prove to be a real genetic goldmine. Preserving the Texas Longhorn has maintained a substantial amount of unique biological variation which was accumulated over some 400 years in these nature-made cattle. This genetic goldmine provides insurance against genetic erosion that stems from genetic uniformity in our modern cattle breeds. Such genetic erosion could make it almost impossible for cattlemen of today and tomorrow to meet emerging new needs. The reservoir of unique genes of the Texas Longhorn can provide some of the genetic variation and flexibility needed to meet the emerging and future needs of the beef industry. At the same time, the Texas Longhorn maintains genetic diversity capable of maximizing hybrid vigor for man's current needs.

Thus, the reservoir of genetic material in the Texas Longhorn represents a valuable natural resource. This genetic reservoir grows more valuable as our rapidly-changing economy forces new needs, handicaps, and demands on our cattle industry. It becomes increasingly valuable as our human population bites off increasing amounts of our more productive land, as our grain supply moves into international trade, and as farm and ranch labor becomes less available. This is why the Texas Longhorn is rapidly becoming "the old breed with the new future."

Profit-building trails

By utilizing the Texas Longhorn's unique genetic potential, several of the physical and economic problems confronting the rancher and feeder can be solved or greatly eased. This genetic potential includes genes for high fertility, easy calving, disease and parasite resistance, hardiness, longevity, and the ability to utilize the browse and coarse forage material on marginal rangelands more efficiently than most other cattle breeds. Under the harsh environmental conditions of many areas of North America, the existence of these traits, which have been strongly fixed by nature's culling in the Texas Longhorn, spell the difference between a comfortable profit and the cattle enterprise becoming a "story written in red ink!"

High fertility is the most important economic trait in the beef industry. Without a live calf with which to work, all other traits are purely academic! Unfortunately, many of the European breeds of beef cattle are not noted for high fertility, and several are plagued with real difficulties at calving. During a long period of survival of the fittest, however, a Texas Longhorn strain evolved which virtually assures that every healthy cow will present a new addition to the herd each year. This extremely high fertility, which is built into the Longhorn, could perhaps boost the low calf crop percentage found in many beef herds. [Oklahoma State University]

Combining Unique Bovine Genetics from Two Continents

by Stewart H. Fowler, Ph.D.

The TEXON is a composite breed evolving from a blend of the genetics of the historic Texas Longhorn and the ancient Devon. The breeding objective is to combine the desirable unique traits of these historically old breeds into a new breed that is better adapted to specific environmental and economic conditions. The Texas Longhorn was "Made in America" by Nature over a 500-year period; and the Devon, "The Beef Breed Supreme at Grass," was introduced to America from England in 1623!

The TEXON is being genetically engineered to combine the grass utilization of the Devon with the browsing ability of the Texas Longhorn and the marbling of the Devon with the leanness and favorable unsaturated fatty acids of Texas Longhorn beef. Traits common to both breeds include: high fertility, calving ease, climatic adaptation, and longevity. It is hoped to add a bit of disease and parasite resistance from the Texas Longhorn and good milk production of the Devon.

The Texon project was initiated in 1989 and is utilizing reciprocal crosses to exploit the fullest genetic diversity from both breeds. The F-1 (first-cross) is not a TEXON; it is a crossbred which possesses great genetic variability. Several breeding routes are being explored (backcrosses, F-2s, etc.). To "fix" the desired traits and to increase the homozygosity (purity) of the desired gene pairs, selection and exploratory matings will be followed by mild inbreeding and/or linebreeding. As an aid to sound selection foundation animals are being evaluated through feedlots and packing plants; and some bulls are being put through forage bull tests.

At present a specific breed-percentage composition has not been projected for purebred TEXONS. The final breed percentages will evolve through selection for phenotypic appearance and performance. When TEXON cattle look and perform like expected for TEXONS, breed composition will automatically be established. Breed development is being based on: (1) quality stock on both sides of the pedigree (2) strict selection (3) performance, and (4) unbiased data.

To guide the selection programs a precise mental picture of the "end product" is essential. The purebred TEXON is visualized as a red, polled, docile animal with a short, sleek summer hair coat. The TEXON will be medium in mature size (cows 900 to 1100 pounds) and will have dense, clean-cut, flat, medium-sized bone. It will possess a strong muscle pattern, exhibit trimness of middle, and have adequate length of leg to cover pastures and rangeland. Conformation will evolve from selection for "beef where beef counts."

TEXON females will exhibit distinct femininity and will possess substantial vulva development and well-developed udders that have strong suspensory ligaments and well-spaced teats of a size that calves have no difficulty in suckling.

TEXON bulls will exhibit robust, pronounced masculinity and aggressive libido, trim sheaths, and well-developed testicles. An alert (but not ill-tempered or vicious) disposition will be characteristic.

The "Texon" name was trademarked in 1991, and the International Texon Cattle Association was incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas in September 1991. The major cooperators in Texon breed development are Dr. Robert M. Simpson, Wild Plum Ranch, Duncan, Oklahoma, and Dr. Gerard A. Engh, Lakota Farm, Remington, Virginia. Other breed cooperators are located in Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama.

Tharparkar, Also Known As: White Sindhi
The Tharparkar a Bos indicus breed used for milk production and as draft animals. Tharparkar are of the lyrehorned type of zebu cattle. The Tharparkar came into prominence during the first World War when some animals were taken to supply milk for the Near East army camps. Here their capacity for production under rigorous feeding and unfavorable environmental conditions at once became apparent. Since then many breeding herds have been assembled in India and Pakistan. When left on arid pasture the milk production is approximately 1135 kg per lactation, while those animals maintained in the villages average 1980 kg.

In India and abroad, these cattle are known as Tharparkar since they come from the district of that name in the Province of Sind. The Tharparkar is, however, known differently in its own region. In its native tract and the areas neighboring on it, the breed is called Thari, after the desert of Thar; and it is also occasionally known as Cutchi, because the breed is also found on the borders of Cutch which adjoins Tharparkar to the south. Then again, in the past these cattle have been known as White or Gray Sindhi, since they are native to the Province of Sind and similar in size the Red Sindhi: this name, however, is no longer used. The Thari is not a homogeneous breed, but that it has the influence of the Kankrej, Red Sindhi, Gir and Nagori breeds.

It is observed that the typical Thari cattle are found in the areas in the vicinity of Umarkot, Naukot, Dhoro Naro, Chhor, Mithi, Islamkot and Khari Ghulam Shah. They are also produced in the adjoining Indian States of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Cutch.

Tharparkars are usually kept in herds of 50 to 300 animals by professional breeders called Maldars. They require daily contact with people to prevent them from becoming shy and wild. Tharparkar cows average 138 cm in height and an average weight of 408 kg.
Average animals of the Tharparkar breed are deep, strongly built, medium-sized, with straight limbs and good feet, and with an alert and springy carriage. As the animals are not handled frequently they are apt to be wild and vicious.

The usual color of the cattle is white or gray. In males, the gray color may deepen, particularly on the fore and hind quarters. All along the backbone there is a light gray stripe. The color of the cattle deepens during the winter months and also when the cows are pregnant. In the Thari tract, in addition to white and gray coat color, black and red or combinations thereof are usually encountered on account of the influence of the Red Sindhi and Gir.

The head is of medium size, the forehead broad and flat or slightly convex above eyes: the front of the horns and face are practically on one plane. The skin between the eyes is often wrinkled, the wrinkles running perpendicularly. The eyes are full and bright. The eyelashes are black and there is a small ring of black on the eyelids.

The ears are somewhat long, broad and semi-pendulous and face forwards. Horns are set well apart curving gradually upwards and outwards in the same line as that of the poll with blunt points inclined inwards. A small portion of the skin with hairs extends over the base of the horns. In the males the horns are thicker, shorter and straighter than in the females.

The hump in males is moderately well developed, firm and placed in front of the withers. The dewlap is of medium size and the skin is fine and mellow. The sheath in the males is of moderate length, and is semi-pendulous. The navel flap in the females is prominent. The size is variable. Shoulders are light and legs are comparatively short, but in good proportion to the body. The hooves are hard and black, of moderate size and have no tendency to turn out.

The color of the skin is black, except on the udder, under the belly, on the lower part of the dewlap and inside the ears where it is rich yellow. The hair is fine, short and straight, but in the male it is slightly curly on the forehead.

Thari cattle are said to be very hardy and resistant to several tropical diseases but definite date is lacking. Although animals of the breed are excellent foragers and can stand the rigors of climatic and environmental conditions, they have not been used primarily as a source of meat, and breeders have given little attention to meat qualities.

[Oklahoma State University]
Therkuthi madu see Umblachery
Thracian see Turkish Grey Steppe (below)
Tolmin Cika, Tolminaka cika see Slovenian Cika
Tswana, Also Known As: Bechuana, Sechuana, Setswana
The Tswana are of the Sanga cattle type, similar to the Tuli and Barotse. These cattle were brought into the area by the Tswana people who settled in the Ngami region of Botswana early in the 19th century. The Tswana cattle eventually displaced practically all of the cattle native to the region.

Tswana cattle are generally red pied, black or black pied with long horns. In composition they are a well built breed showing good fleshing with moderately long legs. Mature females weight approximately 360 kg (800 pounds) and males 480 kg (1100 pounds).

[Oklahoma State University]
The movement South of the Nomadic migrating African tribes from East Africa brought with them humped cattle. During many years these cattle became extremely docile with culling of shy and poor breeders and those cattle that showed poor temperament. This selection over many years has supplied modern man with a basis of good genetic material with which to breed for present day requirements.

In 1942, while working in the lowveld regions of Southern Zimbabwe, Mr Len Harvey noticed that there appeared to be a distinct type of yellow Sanga cattle amongst the ordinary mixed native stock. These cattle seemed better adapted to the harsh local conditions and were superior to other stock. As a result of these observations the Government then decided to purchase some of these cattle to see if they could be improved and whether they could breed true to type.

During 1945, 3000 acres were set aside in the same area for the establishment of a cattle breeding station. With the fencing complete in the 1946/47 rainy season a herd consisting of 20 cows and a bull were purchased from local people. Between 1947 and 1950 the station was run by Mr Harvey in addition to his other duties. In 1950 however it was decided that the Station was to serve the whole lowveld and Mr Harvey was appointed as full time officer in charge. The station was extended to 20,000 acres and as development and fencing increased, the herd was also increased.

The basic idea of the then named, Tuli Breeding Station, was to assist in improving stock in the outlying areas of Zimbabwe. The commercial cattle farmers soon realised the potential of the breed and for many years breeding stock was sold to them. The formation of the Tuli Breed Society took place in 1961. The Constitution and Regulations of the Society have received praise from many authorities.

The herd was moved to the Matopos Research Station in 1979 and as expected, adapted well to its new environment. The breed was soon to be found thriving throughout Zimbabwe and now in South Africa.

The potential of the Tuli was soon recognised by South African cattle breeders and numerous imports have resulted in the establishment of an active, ever increasing breeding population in South Africa.

High fertility, hardiness, adaptability and excellent beef qualities, coupled with a docile nature have made the Tuli extremely popular in straight and cross-breeding programmes. The most recent development that has led to increased international interest in the Tuli breed is the discovery, through research at Clay Centre in Nebraska, USA that the Tuli produces meat of exceptionally high quality. In a trial of several breeds the Tuli had the most juicy meat and was second to the Angus for marbling.

The Tuli are naturally polled cattle that have three basic coat colours i.e. red, yellow and white and variations of these colors occur.

Use this breed in straight or cross-breeding programs for its unique combination of attributes, e.g. hardiness, fertility, adaptability, ease of calving, good mothering ability and excellent carcass quality.

[Oklahoma State University]
Turkish Grey Steppe, Also known by: Boz Step, Plevne, Pleven, Plevna, Thracian, Turkish Grey
Found in north western Turkey this breed is a tri-purpose breed kept for milk and meat as well as being used as a work animal. They are of the Grey Steppe type and originated from the Iskar breed of Bulgaria.[Oklahoma State University]



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