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I have had cows with dark horns. All from Legacy or traditional lines. All of the modern animals that have passed my way have snow white horns with dark ebony color on the ends.
Horns have always interested me. I wish there were more hours. My office is piled high wth notes on this and that that I would like to follow up and horns are one of them. For instance. . . . who determines the shape of the horns. . . the bull or the cow. .. . .or do the two blend into a new style and what is the determining factor. Same for the thickness of the horns.
I had some cows with "offset" horns. I thought it was an injury at first. . . but sometimes it crops up in the same bloodline so I think it is genetic.
would like a study on why the designer DID choose horns for cows. I do not think it was only to ward off predators and that there are other uses beyond controlling temperature, but there is simply no data.
I see far too many people not only dehorning adult cows. . . . but recommending it and telling other folks that with proper anesthesia it is no big deal for the cow, when I HAVE seen a study which says this is NOT true. The study said that NO amount of anesthesia could dull the pain the animal feels and that there IS residual issues. I so want to ask these know-it-alls who say banding horns is OK, ( just give a shot to dull pain) if they would agree to have an amputation with a band around their arm or leg. (Or their testicles for how ever long it takes the tissue to die and fall off). Dogs and cats don't get banded. What's the difference in the element of suffering?
Legacy Dexters have black horns, only modern lines (those with introgression) come with white horns and black tips? In that video you have of the prize herd from 1949, they have white horns with black tips. Would they be like that because they weren't pure?
Judy, I have also had Dexters with black horns. Windridge Bantrybeth was an example. Yet all of her offspring have white horns.
I don't know exactly what you mean by "offset" horns. Beth's daughter, Bambi has her right horn lower than her left horn and Bambi's daughter, Bambina, has her right horn higher than her left horn. It's a quick way to identify them from a distance or in poor light.
All of these are Traditional Dexters. I've never owned any of the modern cattle so I can't speak for them. The modern ones that came here to be bred to Brenn had no horns at all.
I like to look at Eve's horns. They shgow what Wee Gaelic Ms Fermoy's horns might have looked like if they hadn't been removed. That's a handsome set of horns.
Below are Beth's black horns:
These are Bambi's horns. The black streak in her right horn may be an old injury that caused her horn to droop.
This is Legacy Eve of Paradise's horns. Impressive, eh?
The vet was here Friday with an apprentice. He was telling the apprentice that Bambi's horns could be matched by placing a weight on the left one. I listened, but would not dare alter her in any way.
Noooooo. That is not what I intended to say. I have Legacy cows with dark horns and I have Legacy cows with beautiful snow white horns tipped with ebony on the outer portions. However, my modern cows have always had the last example and I didn't intend to infer anything at all because all the moderns here have descended from one line. I was just musing of my fascination with the varieties of Dexter horns and my curiosity of the genetic factors of inheritance. I have seen horns in my own pasture and portrayed in photos of other pastures of horns that have the exact appearance of Auroch horns from early paintings, and I even now have cows whose heads and/or horns mirror those of the Chillingham cattle confined and feral since the 1300s behind the estate walls of Chillingham castle.
I am convinced Dexter cattle share connecting tissue with the earliest cattle that roamed the earth. I see it in their horns!