The Florida Cracker cattle are a beef cattle breed developed in the state of Florida, United States. They are mainly used for meat production and named for the Florida Cracker culture in which they were kept.
The breed is also known by some other names such as Florida Scrub or just as the Cracker cow. They are one of the criollo-type breeds originally brought to the Southern United States by the Spanish Conquistadors.
The Florida Cracker cattle are very closely related to the Pineywoods cattle breed, but purebred animals have not been crossbred with any English breeds like the Pineywoods in the past. Other related cattle breeds include the Corriente and Texas Longhorn.
The Florida Cracker cattle are one of the rarest and oldest breeds of cattle in the United States. They descended from Spanish stock imported to the continent in the sixteenth century.
Combination of the new laws about free-foaming livestock and the introduction of larger meat cattle breeds led to the rapid decline of the Florida Cracker cattle after 1949.
The breed is still listed as ‘critical’ by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, despite the continued work of the Florida state government and a breed association. And the breed is listed on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste. Read some more information about the breed below.
Florida Cracker Cattle Characteristics
Florida Cracker cattle are smaller sized animals and they come in many colors. They can be dappled-grey/blue, dappled-brown, solid brown, solid white, white with brown spots, white with black spots, all black or in some cases a pure golden palomino. Both cows and bulls usually have curved horns, and some animals are also polled.
Their horn style and shape vary including very long and twisted horns as well as smaller, more crumpled shapes. Average live body weight of the mature bulls is around 400 kg. And the mature cows usually weight under 400 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Florida Cracker cattle are a beef cattle breed. They are raised mainly for meat production.
The Florida Cracker cattle are pretty strong and hardy animals. They are quickly adapted to the Florida landscape. And they have long been prized for their resistance to parasites and other hardy traits. They tend to be more docile in temperament and easier to manage by humans.
They are very adapted to all climates, and very heat tolerant, long lived and productive on the low quality forage found on the grasslands and in the swamps of the Deep South.
The breed is still quite rare, but it’s prospects are brighter than they have been in a long time. Review full breed profile of this breed in the chart below.
|Breed Name||Florida Cracker|
|Other Name||Florida Scrub, Cracker cow|
|Breed Purpose||Mainly meat|
|Special Notes||Very hardy, active, well adapted to native climates, good quality meat, longevity, docile temperament|
|Bulls||Around 400 kg|
|Cows||Under 400 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Coat Color||Many, but mainly dappled-grey/blue, dappled-brown, solid brown, solid white, white with brown spots, white with black spots, all black or in some cases a pure golden palomino|
|Horned||Yes or polled|
|Country/Place of Origin||United States|