It Started In Africa #1

Watusi Ankole cattle used in ceremony

Tribesmen in Africa have a close relationship with their cattle.

The number of head and the quality of the animals defines social status in the tribe.  Herdsman spend a large percentage of their time with their livestock.

The World Watusi Association receives forwarded photographs from time to time from various members.  We will be posting a variety of those received that reflect the background in Africa of the Watusi Ankole cattle.  We do want to extend a special thank you to the hard work in collecting and forwarding these great items to all that send them in.  We have a particular thank you for Rodney Barnhart, Alex Geremia and Darol Dickinson for their contributions.

Liar’s Lake Kenya Jim

JIMMY2

Liar’s Lake Kenya Jim was born to the herd of Texas Safari owned by the late A. C. Parsons, Clifton, Texas.  He was purchased as a youngster by Liar’s Lake of Sparta, Missouri and served as their premier herdsire for many years.  Kenya Jim’s dam, Kathy (from Catskill Game Farm) was one of the highest selling females in the breed, ultimately selling for $40,000.00.  His sire, Heinz, was owned and utilized by the Catskill Game Farm, Catskill, New York one of the premier breeding operations of the breed.

Fonz

Fonz, a Grandson of the famous Man Dingo was a great producer in his own right.  He sired many colorful and correct calves which have been successful in the show ring as well as making their own contributions to the breed.  Fonz was  bred by Robert Baney of Sterling, Colorado and was purchased and used as a main herdsire by Liar’s Lake of Sparta, Missouri for years.

Fonz at the age of 4
Fonz at the age of 4

Watusi For Beginners and from the beginning

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in 1996 in Watusi World but has been preserved in it’s original form as it is still so informative. 

By: Marlin Neidhardt

A brief overview of the beginning of Watusi cattle in America and cattle husbandry. Written by a layman, for a layman.

Watusi, “The Cattle of Kings”, invoke a special feeling in the hearts of those they touch. So, if you see these magnificent, huge horned cattle and they stir a magic feeling in your soul – it is something special to nurture and enjoy.

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A Short History of Watusi Cattle

Over 8,000 years ago humans first domesticated Aurochs, the wild ancestor of the numerous breeds of cattle that have played such an important role in human development. In the thousands of years after this first momentous event, humans have bred herds of domesticated animals for use as transportation, companions, protection, clothing and food. In these domesticated groups individual animals exhibiting certain characteristics were selected by the herdmaster and bred to each other. The resulting generations ultimately created the hundreds of breeds of cattle presently known to man. The Aurochs themselves became extinct prior to 1627, but their legacy lives on.

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Horns, Horns, and more Horns

It is no great revelation to any Watusi enthusiast whether a cattle owner or not that the most important and distinguishing feature of this species is the horn. Most of us are aware that the Watusi breed is composed of animals with huge, heavy and long horns. The heaviest and longest of all cattle breeds in the world. But not everyone is really aware just how difficult it is to come up with those fantastic horns.

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Selection of a Herdsire

Editor’s note: Reprinted with permission from Watusi World, Vol 1, Issue II

The selection of a herd sire is by far the most critical factor in determining 50 percent of the genetic potential of every breeder’s future calf crops. Any decision on a herd bull should be well planned and not a sentimental or hasty one. Often, the auction bargain may not prove to meet the highest requirements either. In this article we shall deal with the major considerations and decisions involving sire selection.

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First Watusi in the USA

Reprinted with permission from Watusi World, Vol 5, Issue I

November 9, 1960 marks the date that the first Watusi cattle ever to enter the United States arrived. In a cooperative effort between the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark and the Catskill Game Farm of Catskill, New York, two young bulls, one speckled red and white in color and one solid red were the first to arrive. They were born in Scandinavia of parentage direct from Africa generations before.

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The World Watusi Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of African Ankole- Watusi cattle.