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History of Cattle Drives~

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Lacey Trull

on 31 October 2013

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Transcript of History of Cattle Drives~

The History of Cattle Drives
Early Cattle Drives
The very first cattle drives started in the 1840's - 1850's after the American Civil War ended. They headed east towards California or north towards Kansas and many other states. These long rides took at least five to six months to travel. Cattle drives were not widely used that much during the 50's until 1866 when it rapidly increased due to the demand for beef.
Early Cattle Drives
Branding animals played a major role during the cattle drive because more than one rancher's cattle would travel together and this was their way to keep track of their cattle. Each head of cattle started off being $5-$10, until 1866 when prices increased due to rapid demand.
Many states like Arkansas and Missouri did not want Texas cattle drives traveling through their states because they carried diseases like the "Texas Fever."
Early Cattle Drives

Cowboys would drive cattle on average a total of 10 to 15 miles a day depending on the situation. Cattle drives would include up to 2,000 to 3,000 cattle each time. Usually ran by 12-18 men in a crew. The trail boss, who was in charge of the cattle drive, was paid $100-$125 a month while everyone else was only paid $60. Also during 1866, Charles Goodnight, who was the father of the Texas Panhandle, invented the chuckwagon which was used by his crew while traveling.
Ramos, Mary B. "Texas Almanac - The Source For All Things Texan Since 1857." Cattle Drives Started in Earnest After the Civil War. Ed. Emerita. TSHA, 1991. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
Dary, David. "CATTLE DRIVES." CATTLE DRIVES. Oklahoma State University, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
"TRIPS INTO HISTORY/ Visit Historic Sites." TRIPS INTO HISTORY Visit Historic Sites. N.p., Apr.-May 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
Kubiak, Leonard. "History of Trail Drives in Texas." Texas History|Texas Trail Drives|Chisholm & Goodnight-Loving Trails. Fort Tumbleweed, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
Early Cattle Drives
When mother cows gave birth to their calves, the men would kill the calf because it could not keep up with the herd. Charles Goodnight then came to find out that calves were worth a lot. They stopped killing the calves and kept them in their own wagon all day until they would stop at night and give them back to their mothers to nurse. Charles began to realize that the mothers could not identify their calves because they smelled like all the other calves in the wagon, so Charles made his men put each calf in a sack all day and made sure it was the same one every time.
Early Cattle Drives
In 1871 cattle drives hit their all time peak when the biggest cattle drive herded 700,000 head of cattle to Kansas. This is also the period where cattle drives decreased because there were less buyers due the decline in the economy. By 1873, many ranchers went bankrupt due to very little cattle being sold. The cattle that were sold didn't even cover the price that was spent on shipping them.
Today's Cattle Drives
Cattle drives today are mainly held in town where cattle are herded down the streets. The famous cattle drive of Fort Worth Stockyards ran twice a day every day and is the only town that does this. Many cattle drives these days aren't used for actually herding cattle to another state, they're used for show and educational purposes. We don't need cattle drives anymore because we use automotive devices to ship them to where they need to go.
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