"Heritage” are “Native” Shorthorns

Shorthorns at Iowa St. Fair, 1935

Shorthorns at Iowa St. Fair, 1935


Heritage Shorthorns are exactly the same as Native Shorthorns.  Given the current interest in all forms of heritage livestock the term Heritage Shorthorns more easily captures the unique significance of these cattle.  While the term "Native" is limiting, the opportunities presented by using the expression "Heritage" Shorthorns are numerous.  Paramount is the ability to directly link Heritage Shorthorns to the heritage livestock movement. 

The American Milking Shorthorn Society (AMSS) has developed their Native program which traces Shorthorn bloodlines back to the original 1822 Coates Shorthorn herd book.   Any Shorthorn can be considered for "Native" (N) status if it's owner believes it qualifies.  This is done by applying to the American Milking Shorthorn Society and paying a fee.   All offspring that have both sire and dam registered with the "N" classification are automatically classified with an "N" on their registration papers.  This classification allows a buyer to know that they are getting a true Heritage Shorthorn.  This is important to note because, unless a Shorthorn is sold with an AMSS registration paper with the N classification, there is no certainty that the Shorthorn in question actually traces to the original Coates herd book and is truly a Heritage Shorthorn.  Unfortunately there is no comparable classification in the American Shorthorn Association (ASA), although Shorthorns registered in the ASA can be considered for Native status in the AMSS.

Why Heritage Shorthorns ?

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When deciding on the breed of cattle to utilize in any management/breeding program it is extremely important to know what are the strengths of that breed.  Fortunately for Heritage Shorthorns there is a long list of positive attributes that make them suitable for almost any farm operation.  To facilitate the selection process a list of the most notable attributes of Heritage Shorthorns is provided.

1.    Dual Purpose = production of both milk and meat.  

2.   Docility

3.   Longevity

4.   Meat Marbling Ability

5.   Wide Variety of Red & White & Roan Color Patterns.

6.   Homozygous Polled Cows and Bulls Available. (Alternatively, horned cattle are also available)

7.   Within-Breed Genetic Diversity

8.   Foundation Breeding Stock Available Nationwide.

9.   Environmental Adaptability

10.   Fertility

11.   Calving Ease

12.   Strong Maternal Instincts

13.   Reduced Health problems

14.   Capacity to thrive and produce in Grass Fed Situations

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