4September, 2014

Cattle Driving

Cattle drives are simply that: you are moving cattle from one area to another. In the olden times this was done because there was no other way to move the cattle. This was a huge economic activity in the American West, especially in the late 1800’s.


One of the things that was difficult back then was striking a balance between moving them along quickly, and making sure the cattle didn’t lose too much weight. If the cattle walked too far in a day, then they could easily lose weight and become much harder to sell once they got to the market.


Generally a crew of 10 cowboys was needed, and 3 horses per cowboy. That’s a large group to travel with! During the Civil War, Texans drove their cattle into the Confederate states for the Confederate Army to use.


Up into the 1940’s there were still cattle drives on a smaller scale. This was all prior to the invention of the cattle truck. Now, however, cattle drives are done to round up cattle that are within the boundaries of a ranch and move them from one pasture to another.


Now, cattle drives are something that everyone can experience for themselves. You can move them from one feeding ground to the next, and get a small taste for what it was like back when cowboys used to do it for a much farther distance.


Now you can often see cattle drives as a celebration and a memorial of those times and a celebration of rich culture.