The English Longhorn is a beautiful cow breed that has a long history and enjoys current popularity, especially in the United States. These animals are typically raised for meat nowadays, although some people simply keep them as pets. There is much to know about this interesting type of cattle, so let’s explore it all here.

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Quick Facts About English Longhorn Cattle

English Longhorn bull, Quenby
English Longhorn bull, Quenby (Image Credit: Dave, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)
Breed Name:English Longhorn
Place of Origin:United Kingdom
Uses:Meat, milk
Bull (Male) Size:1,800–2,200 pounds
Cow (Female) Size:1,000–1,300 pounds
Color:Red, brown, grey, white
Lifespan:About 20 years
Climate Tolerance:Hot and cold climates
Care Level:Moderate
Temperament:Docile, gentle, friendly, curious

English Longhorn Cattle Origins

The English Longhorn was developed in England and Ireland to produce meat for the food industry. The breed was improved in the mid-1700s by a man named Robert Bakewell, who lived in Leicestershire at the time. He used inbreeding practices to create the large cattle that we know and love today.

Due to Robert Bakewell’s efforts, the English Longhorn became the most widely used cattle in the food industry throughout England until the 1800s, when shorthorn varieties became popular. During the 1800s, the breed quickly declined and became endangered until a survival trust decided to revive it.

English Longhorn cow and calf
English Longhorn cow and calf (Image Credit: Dave, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)

English Longhorn Cattle Characteristics

The English Longhorn is a healthy and long-lived animal. They are usually gentle and friendly, especially if they are accustomed to being around people. These cattle are popular today partly due to their docile nature, which makes them easy to manage. They like to graze and will explore every inch of the land they are allowed to live on. They tend to understand boundaries, so they usually don’t try getting through or over fences.


These cattle are typically raised for meat because of their large and hefty size. However, they can also be raised for milk production. Small and family farms sometimes raise English Longhorns for both meat and milk so they don’t have to raise more than one type of cattle.

Appearance & Varieties

English Longhorns usually have red, brown, grey, or white coats of hair and long horns that point down toward their noses. Many have white patches of hair on their spines and/or chests. These are considered medium-sized cattle. Bulls weigh in between 1,800 and 2,200 pounds, while cows weigh in between 1,000 and 1,300 pounds as adults.


There are more than 330,000 Longhorn cattle living in the United States alone. It is not known exactly how many are living around the world. They can live in both cold and hot climates, but most live in dry and moderate climates, like those found in parts of Texas and Alabama.

Are English Longhorn Cattle Good for Small-Scale Farming?

English Longhorn cattle are perfect for small-scale farming. They do not require much land to graze on and will enjoy every inch that they have. They are gentle, docile, and easy to care for. They also happen to get along well with other farm animals, so they can share space with goats and other types of animals.


A Quick Recap

This cattle breed is an excellent one to consider if you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for bull or cow that will produce plenty of meat and help you keep your land’s weeds in check. These are social cows, so they should be housed with at least one other animal, even just chickens.

Featured Image Credit: Linda Cooke Words and Images, Shutterstock