Nichols Dairy

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Piney Wood Cattle

 

K-Line  irrigation

 

Nichols 2006

Field Day

 

Out of a love of history and a need to pursue the breed I purchased Piney Wood cows, heifers and a bull. I intend to keep them pure for now. These cattle do have a history of being milked by the settlers going to the Frontiers. Shorthorn and Devons have been mentioned as rest of a 3-way cross.  These could be a usable milk cow for grass farmers and cheese makers. I do not see myself doing this due to the rarity of the cattle and a time span of at least 10 years to create a useable cow. It is a suggestion for someone to consider, after all New Zealand cattle were developed over time.

 

The following comments are also found at the

Nichols 2006 Field Day webpage.

 

Piney Woods Cattle

Piney Woods Cattle are Florida's equivalent to the better known Texas Longhorn. Piney Woods Cattle, Texas Longhorn Cattle and the various breeds of Central and South America cattle known collectively as Criollo cattle all descend from the original cattle imported into the Americas by the Spanish.  The nutrition available to what were essentially feral cattle for hundreds of years and thick "scrub"--heavily wooded lowland areas--in which they lived would not have been conducive to the survival of larger, longer-horned animals.  Colors and spotting patterns are very similar to those observed in Texas Longhorns, although they are smaller and do not have the same extreme horn length.

 

The mature weight of  cows is usually under 900 pounds with those of so-called dwarf or "guinea" animals being much smaller. The age at puberty of well-fed Cracker heifers is very young, even prior to weaning and their fertility is excellent. These traits along with their ability to withstand the heat, insects and humidity of Florida's long summers made them very well-adapted for low-input beef production.

 

Large numbers of Piney Woods cattle were found until the mid-1950's but were then nearly wiped out through crossbreeding with Brahman, Hereford and Angus. The State of Florida has been involved in preservation programs for Florida Cracker Cattle since 1970 and currently has herds maintained at four locations. In 1989 the Florida Cracker Cattle Breeders Association was formed to promote the preservation of Florida Cracker Cattle and over 400 animals were evaluated and registered to serve as foundation animals.

 

Yearling Piney Wood bull, future herdsire.

Yearling Piney Wood bull (SOLD)

Yearling Piney Wood bull (SOLD)

 

Group photo of Spring 2006 born bulls.  We are going to use the bull on the left for a herdsire.