When you think about Texas, you likely envision barbecues, the Alamo, music, and sports, and especially cowboys and cattle. As we all know, everything is bigger in Texas, and that definitely includes the cows — just look at the Texas Longhorns!

So, if you’re wondering how many cows can be found in Texas, particularly compared to the other states, we have a bunch of numbers for you to take a look at. We examine how many cattle can be found in the Lone Star State and other interesting statistics about Texas and cows.


How Many Cows Are in Texas?

Texas is the leading state with the largest number of cattle in the U.S.A. As of January 1, 2022, Texas had 12.7 million cattle and calves, which is actually down by 3% from 2021. The entire United States has about 91.9 million head of cattle, and Texas averages 14% of these cattle.

How Many Dairy Cows Are in Texas?

Texas is known more for its beef rather than dairy, which is reflected in the numbers. There were 625,000 dairy cows by January 1, 2022, and while these numbers are much lower than those of beef cows, the number of milk cows is up by 10,000 from 2021.

dairy cow standing on grass
Image Credit: NickyPe, Pixabay

How Many Beef Cows Are in Texas?

By January 1, 2022, there were 4.48 million beef cows in Texas, which is down by 3% in 2021. This means there are just over 3 million more beef cattle than dairy cows in Texas.

It’s interesting to note that Texas is the fourth-largest producer of food in the United States (California takes the top honor). Also, it was in 1975 that Texas had the most cattle at a given time, with a whopping 16.6 million head.

How Many Calves Are in Texas?

There were 4.6 million calves that were born by January 1, 2022, which is down from 4.8 million in 2021.

How Many Calving Cows Are in Texas?

There were 5.10 million cows and heifers that calved in Texas in 2022, which were also down by 3% from 2021. Interestingly, the only kind of cows that saw an increase from 2021 to 2022 was dairy cows.

What State Has the Most Cows Per Person?

The top two states with the most cows per person are South Dakota, which has 844,877 people and 3.65 million cows. In second is Nebraska, with 1,868,516 people and 6.15 million cows. Texas comes in 18th, with 26,448,193 people and 10.9 million cows.

What Part of Texas Has the Most Cattle?

This map highlights where the most cattle were found in 2021. For anyone who knows anything about Texas, it should come as no surprise that it’s the Panhandle. Most of the areas with cattle over 240,000 in number are all located in and around the Texas Panhandle.

herd of ayrshire cattle
Image Credit: one pony, Shutterstock

Which County Has the Most Cattle?

The Texas county with the most cattle is Deaf Smith, located in the Northern High Plains, with 592,087 heads of cattle in 2017. Castro County has 466,891 and Hartley has 396,629. The top nine counties are all in the Northern High Plains District, which also happens to be located in the Panhandle.

What Is the Largest Ranch in Texas?

The largest ranch in Texas is the King Ranch, with 825,000 acres, which is close to the size of Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston combined! It’s also the largest cattle ranch, and it was here where the first American beef breed was produced: the Santa Gertrudis. It was also the first new breed in over a century. King Ranch was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

Which State Slaughters the Most Cattle?

Texas comes in third in this category. In 2019, the state of Nebraska slaughtered 7.452 million and Kansas 6.436 million heads of cattle. Texas slaughtered 5.858 million heads of beef cattle.

Is the Beef Capital of the World in Texas?

It is indeed! Hereford, Texas, has been called the Beef Capital of the World. More than 1 million head of cattle are fed every year with Hereford feed yards, which equals over 1 billion pounds of beef and over 1 billion dollars in yearly cattle sales. Hereford also produces over 1 billion pounds of milk with their dairy cows every year.

beef meat
Image Credit: Zichrini, Pixabay

What Country Produces the Most Beef?

Unsurprisingly, the United States produces the most beef in the world, at 12.6 billion tons in 2021. Brazil comes in second, with 10.4 billion tons, and the European Union is third, with 7.7 billion tons.

How Many Farms Are in Texas?

Texas is the top state with the number of cows, and the 2017 Census of Agriculture has stated that Texas also has the top number of farms in the country! Texas has over 248,000 farms, which fill up about 127 million acres of farmland. These farms contribute approximately $25 billion to the economy of Texas. Nearly half of this is attributed to the Cattle and Calf sector, which is almost $12.3 billion in sales.

How Long Are the Horns of a Texas Longhorn?

The average length of the Texas Longhorn’s horns from tip to tip is around 4 feet or less, but older steers can grow them up to 6 feet or more. But in 2019, the Guinness World Record for the largest horn spread on a living steer was broken by Poncho, a Texas Longhorn (living in Alabama) with horns that are 10 feet and 7.4 inches long!

Texas Longhorn
Image Credit: Quinn Calder, Shutterstock

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Now you’re fully informed with a ton of information and statistics all about Texas and its cows. The beef industry did take a minor dip in 2021, but the dairy industry grew and improved over the past year. It will be interesting to keep an eye on both of these industries to observe the changes that might have been impacted by the pandemic.

It’s quite likely that Texas will always have a large number of cattle and will keep the state’s record with the most ranches. The Lone Star State is famous for being the second-biggest state in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that everything is bigger in Texas, even cows.

Featured Image Credit: Andrew Balcombe, Shutterstock