Cruz Mini Longhorns was founded in 2014 as a means to fulfill a life long dream of raising cattle. As a fan of most things to do with the “old west”, my breed of choice was obvious, as no other breed represents the old west as fully as the Texas Longhorn. In 2014, land was in short supply, so when I realized there was a miniature version of the Texas Longhorn, I was sold. Shortly thereafter, I acquired my first Miniature Longhorns.
I purchased a small starter herd of one cow and three heifers from a breeder. Up until that time, I had never heard of the term Chondrodysplasia (Bulldog Dwarfism) before. According to the breeder of my new herd, the cattle I was purchasing were carriers of this gene, however, there was nothing to worry about, so long as I bred my new herd to a clean bull (one that was not a carrier). Wanting to further my knowledge, I began to look for more information regarding Chondrodysplasia, and I was quite surprised to find that information regarding the subject in Miniature Longhorns was scarce at best. As I delved deeper, I found that not only was this lethal gene prevalent in Miniature Longhorns (as well as other miniature breeds), but it was also considered a disqualification for registration with the TLBAA (according to their handbook). My research was not exclusive to Chondrodysplasia, as it also included the amazing history of the Texas Longhorn. I soon came to the conclusion that such a strong, resilient breed (which was created by roaming free on the Texas countryside) could not possibly harbor such a lethal gene in their wild state. If this gene did exist in the wild herds, it would have quickly been eliminated, as these cattle would not have been able to reproduce efficiently (one of the traits that makes this breed so unique). It was at this point that I made the decision to sell my new herd of carriers as unregistered, and start over.
Since that time, I have purchased small frame, standard size Longhorns and have bred them to the smallest standard bulls I can find. I have religiously tested every animal for the lethal Chondro gene and I am proud to say that, although my cattle are not the smallest miniatures, they are all completely free of dwarfism. I will continue to devote my time and efforts into breeding healthy, high quality Miniature Texas Longhorns that are an exact replica of the standard size animal in every way, except for size. I look to preserve all the wonderful traits of the breed that enabled it to not only survive, but thrive, without human intervention. Traits such as high fertility, use of forage, disease resistance, ease of calving, etc. should all be present in a small, well balanced animal. I will continue to reduce the size of my cattle over time, in what I consider to be the right way, without the aid of dwarfism.
The goal of my breeding program is simple: to produce, and fill my pastures with, a true, miniature piece of American history, the Miniature Texas Longhorn.