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Animals in Texas


Horned Toads
Prairie Dogs

What's not to like about animals? They don't borrow money - they don't ask for a ride to the airport and they'll never ask you to help them move.

On the flip side: they don't help out with chores, they run around naked all the time and they couldn't care less about world peace - as long as their immediate territory is under control - preferably theirs.

Animals bring out the best in humans - even Texans. So we're including this feature where we can read stories of how animals improve our lives, lower our blood pressure and attempt to pay us back (in their own simple and mysterious ways) for those midnight runs for pet food. - Editor
Donkey and sheep

  • Are There Cows in Texas?
    Photos by John Stankewitz
  • Cows / Cattle / Longhorns / Oxen
    • Trailing Texas Fever by Clay Coppedge
    • The Texas Longhorn: Shaped By Nature by Clay Coppedge
    • Aransas Abattoir by Mike Cox
      Rockport used to be a coastal cow town, a place where hooves and horns drove the local economy, not fishing and tourism...
    • Blackie the Bear by Mike Cox
      Nickels were hard to come by in the tough economic times of the early 1890s, but the cowboys patronizing Jim Scarborough’s saloon in Claude never minded standing Blackie a drink when they could afford to.
    • Longhorn: Texas' first industry by Delbert Trew
      The book "The Long Trail" by Gardner Sowle, published in 1976 by McGraw-Hill, tells the real story of early cowboys, longhorns and the first industry developed in Texas. This was the chore of capturing, branding, taming, raising and driving longhorns to market...
    • Animals adjust to barbed wire by Delbert Trew
      Because of the nature of the subject, a significant chapter of Old West history - bloody livestock injuries - is often ignored or forgotten. However, it did happen, and here is the story.
    • Selling the Calves by Robert G. Cowser
      In the late 1940s cattle auctions were common in the towns of Northeast Texas. Each town picked a different day of the week so as not to compete with nearby towns...
    • Cow feed, from slab to sack by Delbert Trew
      Like all progress, the evolution of ranch livestock feeding has changed greatly, and for the better.
    • Winter scene paves way to ranch memories by Delbert Trew
    • Coyote Lake - Watering spot for cattle
    • Early Cattlemen saved Texas from financial ruin by Murray Montgomery
      After the Civil War, Texas and the rest of the South were in a bad economic situation. The war had drained the resources of the defeated states and when the soldiers returned home, they found it extremely hard to make a living. But Texas had an untapped resource roaming wild on the open range – longhorn cattle provided an industry that grew to become the largest in the state.
    • Texas Fever by C. F. Eckhardt
      South Texas cattle didn’t die of the disease. They didn’t even show signs of it. Within weeks after south Texas herds passed northern herds sickened, began to pass red urine, and then—in 95 cases out of 100—died. It was called Redwater Fever from the red urine, or simply Texas Fever. Nobody knew what caused it...
    • Old Pecos by Mike Cox
      She didn’t have a particularly feminine sounding name, but the old heifer they called Pecos sure came branded with a good story.
    • The Legend Of Bone Hill by Bob Bowman
      Bone Hill, a landmark standing about four miles northeast of Center, reportedly got its name from a herd of cattle who died atop the mill, leaving their bones to whiten in the East Texas sun. But, as with all legends, there’s more to the story...
    • Longhorn Branded Murder 1889 by Murray Montgomery
      To the cowboys who rode the range in West Texas during the [1890s] there was one longhorn steer that was always an object of dread... His appearance among their herds brought a chill of terror to the superstitious...
    • Bull in the Brush by Mike Cox
      If you’re tired and ready to hit the beach at South Padre, the 120-mile drive from Corpus Christi can seem like it’s going to take forever. But imagine walking that distance. And in a time before convenience stores, Dairy Queens or any other places to get water or something to eat. That is what it was like in the late winter of 1846 when Gen. Zachary Taylor started his Army on its march from Corpus Christi to Point Isabel (now Port Isabel) and the nearby Rio Grande...
    • Suddenly Silly by Mike Cox
      Fuss over a Cow at Snow Hill...
    • ‘Mysterious Cattle Deaths’ Not So Mysterious by C. F. Eckhardt
      In the news over the past several years there has been a rash of ‘mysterious’ deaths of livestock, most notably cattle. Apparently the animals have been sucked dry of blood, as a general rule the genitals have been cut out, apparently surgically, the eyes are usually gone, often the tongue is gone, and the rectum has been removed. These have been blamed on everything from UFOs to Satanic cults. Apparently, they are the result of neither.
    • Disappearing Cows by Mike Cox
      "...But at night, especially when the moon bathed the landscape in a light far cooler than day, the energy level rose. Not only did the animals move, many believed that unrested souls flitted about. Strange things were said to happen..."
    • Kaiser Cows - Bovine Saboteurs of WWI by Mike Cox
    • "Don't Shoot the Bull" by N. Ray Maxie
      This is a post WWII story when I was about eight or nine years old and written here to the best of my memory...
    • "A Field Guide to Cows" by John Pukie. A book review
      Fifty-two breeds are featured with their identifying characteristics, vital statistics and even cow demographics. Humor is abundant...
    • Contented Cows & Flying Bulls by John Troesser
      Carnation comes to Texas in 1929

    • Belle the Cow AKA Doris of LaGrange
      Belle, sometime spokescow for Bluebell Creameries ...
    • Life on the Trail by Murray Montgomery
      The cowboy legacy is very much alive in Texas ...
    • Oxen 'Spares' needed pairs by Delbert Trew
      Many historical journals kept by travelers using wagon trains pulled by oxen describe the herds of extra oxen driven along for "spares."
    • Old-timers' tales - true or not by Delbert Trew
      Story of a sucking calf weighing about 300 pounds...
    • Snowfall in Galveston by Mike Cox
      One rancher blamed the livestock deaths on barbed wire, which in 1895 had only been around Texas for slightly longer than a decade...
    • A Conversation With The Family... (of Longhorns)
    • Longhorns in Ganado
    • Oxen in Blessing

      Light verse and poetry by d.knape
    • Cows
    • The Zen of Cows
    • Holy Cow
    • Cows

      Cartoon by Roger T. Moore

    • Madisonville's two-cows law
    • "Cattle Highway"
    • Bill Pickett Bulldogging
    • National Cow Calling Contest
    • Longhorn Texas Official Large Mammal
    • Taxing Fights
    • Texas Angus
    • Longhorn
    • Mesquite Beans
    Related Topic: Ranches & Ranching


    • Runaway Horse is Page 1 Story by Michae Barr 11-22-22
    • Horses as Transportation by Mike Cox
    • The Horse George Childress Rode In On by Clay Coppedge
    • Philip Nolan and All the Pretty Horses by Clay Coppedge
    • Helen Hall by Mike Cox
      One of the founders of the American Quarter Horse Association.
    • Pan Zareta: Queen of the Turf by Clay Coppedge
      Pan Zareta, the greatest filly in horse racing history, known affectionately as the "Texas Whirlwind" and "Panzy," set records at race tracks in three countries over the course of six years.

    • Early Days of Texas Polo by Michael Barr
    • A Mustang at The Polo Club by Michael Barr
      Not all mustangs made good polo ponies, but the ones with an aptitude for the game were extraordinary.
    • The Popularity of Polo by Michael Barr
      Fredericksburg was the smallest town in the country with a polo club sanctioned by the American Polo Association.
    • Empty Grave by the Old Oak Tree by Mike Cox
      "In those days cattle rustling was one of the worst crimes a man could commit, and it brought upon the culprit the same swift and sure punishment as was administered to a murderer."
    • The Horse Thief's Prayer by Mike Cox
    • Fine Texas Horses by Clay Coppedge
    • Kleberg, Hirsch and Assault: Three of a Kind by Clay Coppedge
    • Ben K. Green by Clay Coppedge
      Of the many who have been called Texas writers no one was more Texan than Ben K. Green, who wrote the classic “Horse Tradin’” and several other wildly entertaining and mostly true books. That book and the bestsellers that followed were written late in his life after he had spent five decades around horses. Ben Green knew horses and he knew people and he knew how to tell a story.
    • Steel Dust by Clay Coppedge
      Old timers believed the Steelduster is a separate breed but the horses can trace back to single horse named Steel Dust.
    • Wichita Falls Falls for Flim Flam Brit by Mike Cox
      Before the wild oil boom that came with the discovery of a rich field, Wichita Falls was just a cattle town of around 5,000 folks...
    • Old Whip by C. F. Eckhardt
      "Then came April, 1836. Santa Anna and his army showed up on Vince’s doorstep. The family promptly fled, leaving their stock behind—including Old Whip. Santa Anna immediately appropriated the stallion for his own use..."
    • Max Hirsch, Healer and Winner Clay Coppedge
      Max Hirsch, and Assault, the only Triple Crown winner from Texas.
    • Max Hirsch - Wizard of the Race Track by Michael Barr
    • Buffalo horses and outlaw cattle by Delbert Trew
      When old-time ranchers and cowboys gather, they talk for hours recalling every horse they rode and telling the reasons for his worth...
    • Camp Elizabeth
      The camp was described as a rock corral for horses, officers quarters and tents for the enlisted men. A farrier had space to work and between the camp and the river, the land was used to break horses and / or teach horsemanship...
    • Buck's Horse by Mike Cox
      Frontiersmen James Buckner “Buck” Barry and his horse...
    • Horse hobbles were a vital tool by Delbert Trew
      Of all the cowboy gear used down through history, horse hobbles are among the most important. These restraints around the front legs of your mount allowed him to graze in a limited fashion yet kept him from traveling very far or very fast...
    • The Horse Marines by Clay Coppedge
      Considering how much Texas history has occurred on horseback it isn’t surprising to learn that one of the Republic’s greatest naval victories was achieved by 20 or so armed and mounted rangers known to history as the Texas Horse Marines...
    • Horses enabled Comanches to rule Texas by Delbert Trew
      Comanche culture was built around the use of horses for all reasons. Many stories and theories have been written about how the Indians acquired horses.
    • The Murder Maverick by C. F. Eckhardt
      If you’ve ridden many miles on the sunset side of the Colorado and listened to people talk in bars and cafes, you’ve heard a good many tales. Once you get west of the Pecos, there’s one in particular you’ll hear. You’ll hear the tale of a phantom steer called ‘the Murder Maverick.’...
    • The Seabiscuit Stamp: How It Came To Be by Maggie Van Ostrand
      On May 11th, a 44-cent rate-change stamp featuring the great thoroughbred racehorse, Seabiscuit, will be issued by the U.S. Postal Service. This stamp is significant for one huge reason: We the people did it! It took us eight long years...
    • Hair-raising stories from pioneer days by Delbert Trew
      If you had lived before, during and immediately after the Civil War and had been seriously wounded, your life might have depended on the hair from a horse's tail. How could this be? Well listen up to some "hair" stories.
    • Yalgo, the legendary horse by Clay Coppedge
      "Even when involved with outlawry and banditry, the horse is always blameless… In that blameless way of horses, Yalgo is linked to King Fisher's first foray into a life of crime."
    • Last Cavalry Horse by Mike Cox
      "That cold winter morning, Dec.14, 1932, was a sad one for old-time horse soldiers and civilians alike at Fort D.A. Russell in Marfa -- they both realized they were witnessing the end of an era."
    • Bold CSA Vet Thomas Evans Riddle, & Man o’ War by Mike Cox
      "Thomas Evans Riddle bet on a dead racehorse. He lost.
      The horse was Man o’ War..."
    • Racing Parson by Mike Cox
      How a preacher held a horse race and build a church
    • Find Two Willies and a Max In Hall of Fame, At Tracks by Bill Bradfield
      Texas ranches and stables have been closely linked with the sport of horse racing for generations. Just consider the string of great racehorses developed by the King Ranch alone... For another kind of horseracing royalty, however, turn to two men nicknamed Willie, and another man better known as Max at the tracks.
    • Two Braids by Mike Cox
      More Texans owned horses than automobiles in 1910, but when the middle-aged man rode into Eagle Pass that summer, people noticed.
    • That Old Steer by Archie P. McDonald, PhD
    • Meant for Each Other by Maggie Van Ostrand
      Certain living things are meant for each other, whether it be a caballo and a canine, or a lady and a lake.
    • Primadonna's Birthday
      Miniature horses and Monastery of Saint Claire
    • First Horses by Delbert Trew
    • Just an Old Nag Con by Mike Cox

      Cartoons by Rober T Moore

    • Assault, Texas' only Triple Crown Winner

      Light verses & poetry by David Knape
    • Mustangs
    • Feeding A Horse
    • White Horses in a Darkened Field


    Coyotes & Foxes
    • Fox in the Pickup Bed by C. F. Eckhardt
      When the Burnham brothers of Marble Falls first created the varmint call, back in the '50s, the devices were nowhere near as sophisticated as they are today...
    • Coyotes’ Story by Stephen Osmon
      Coyotes’ Story of the Great Spirit, from "TUMBLEWEEDS' TALES: Ghost Towns and Town Ghosts"

  • History's Most Successful Failure - US Army's Camel Corps by C. F. Eckhardt

  • Dogs & Wolves

  • Happy Mother's Day to All You Beautiful Rescue Moms by Maggie Van Ostrand 5-12-23
  • Dogs vs. daughters by Jase Graves 9-20-22
  • The dog days of our lives by Jase Graves
  • Your Inner Dog by Maggie Van Ostrand
  • Dog Tax by Mike Cox

  • Love
  • Love Never Dies - The Rainbow Is a Two-Way Bridge by Maggie Van Ostrand
  • Cejas and the Great Escape by Maggie Van Ostrand
    His story is much like anybody else's, filled with both sad and joyous times, and a lot of luck — he didn't get out of Tijuana by himself. He had the help of many, including angels, perhaps Santo Toribio Romo Gonz·lez, Mexico's ghostly benefactor of "illegal aliens," and a quick-witted grandmother.
  • Woof! by Maggie Van Ostrand

  • Zip the dog
  • The Short Yet Semi-Happy Life of Zip the Dog by Mel Brown
    Ever since seeing an old movie long ago titled “The Biscuit Eater” I have been enamored of coon dogs. Something about their especially soulful faces and incredible voices has always touched me deeply...

  • Smithville's Dexter
  • Smithville's Dexter - From Underdog to Best of (Picture) Show by Ted R. Krueger
    "Adena Lewis called asking us to bring our dogs to a casting call for the movie "The Tree of Life" that was soon to be filmed in Smithville. The director, Terrence Malick, wanted the "hero dog" (to be called "Shep" in the movie) to be an untrained dog..."

  • Cats, Panthers and Lions
    Lion and boy
  • A Lion and a Boy by Mike Cox

  • Mules


  • Armadillos by C. F. Eckhardt
    This is gonna come as a surprise to a lot of folks, but armadillos are not native to Texas. In fact, the very first armadillo ever identified in the Lone Star State apparently crossed the Rio Grande near Brownsville in 1859...

  • Bear, Boars and Pigs

    San Benito TX - Hog Waaddle, Cabbage Day
    "Hog Waddle, Cabbage Day, San Benito, Texas"
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/


    Goats, Lambs and Sheep
  • Adolph Stieler - The Goat King by Michael Barr

  • Birds
  • The Original Texas Songster by Clay Coppedge
  • Grackles
  • An Annoyance of Grackles by Clay Coppedge
  • Caracara
  • Caracara - Vulture of the Millennium by John Troesser

  • CaraCara Means More Than FaceFace by Maggie Van Ostrand
  • Caracara in East TX
  • Sighting of Crested Caracara in East Texas
  • Caracara in Greenville
  • Sighting of Crested Caracara in Greenville
  • Coastal Birds
  • Coastal Birds of Texas by Ken Rudine
  • III
  • Coastal Birds of Texas -II by Ken Rudine
  • Coastal Birds of Texas -III by Ken Rudine
  • Coastal Birds of Texas IV by Ken Rudine
  • Turkey
  • Cuero Turkey Trot
    Vintage photos courtesy William Beauchamp

  • "Get Along Little Turkeys..."
    Turkey Trots in Texas
  • Anhinga
  • Mother Anhinga
  • Anhingas Feeding Babies
  • feeding
  • Barred Owl by Bonnie Wroblewski
    Standing 16-25 inches tall and with wingspans of up to 4ft, these large, ear-tuft-less raptors are commonly known as the eight hooter or rain, hoot, striped, or wood owl...
  • Crane
  • Sandhill Crane by Bonnie Wroblewski
    Honored as symbols of marital fidelity and conjugal bliss throughout Southeast Asia,... gruids have a celebrated reputation for monogamy in folklore as well as in scientific investigations.
  • Herons
  • The Heron's Nest by Ken Rudine
  • Green Parrots by Ken Rudine

  • Fish and Turtles
    sea turtle
  • Out of My Shell at South Padre by Jase Graves
    "[W]hen my family and I were on vacation at South Padre Island recently, I jumped at the chance to witness a release of newly hatched Kemp's ridley sea turtles ...." more
  • Teach a man to fish, or not by Jase Graves
  • Tip 9
  • World Turtle Day - Top ten ways Texans can help our turtles and tortoises: Tip 1 by Bonnie Wroblewsk
    A list of the top ten ways you can help our chelonian neighbors survive and thrive across the Lone Star state, one tip a day for the next ten days.
    Tip 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
  • Turtle
  • Ornate Box Turtle by Bonnie Wroblewski
    Determinedly plodding across grazed pastures, open woodlands, prairies, and sandy-soiled lowlands across Texas, ornate box turtles are so named for the distinctive yellowish lines radiating across the dark brownish to black background of their carapaces...

  • Snakes

    Horned Toads
  • Ol' Rip, The Entombed Horned Toad of Eastland County
    The story of Ol' Rip, the horned toad entombed in the Eastland County Courthouse for 31 years.

  • Toads


  • Dinosaur Valley State Park
    113 million year old dinosaur tracks

  • Deer

  • Demise of Reptilian 'Big Tooth' drew crowds by W. T. Block
    Eastland, Texas may have had Ol' Rip, but Southeast Texas had 'Big Tooth.'

  • Insects
  • Early Morning Observations at Joe Pool Lake
    A (Micro) Photo Essay by John Stankewitz

  • Bats
  • Bats by Clay Coppedge

  • Hedgehogs





    Prairie Dogs



    Mathis Ivers Klemetson Nilluka
    The Port Arthur/Lapland Connection

    Of Laplanders & Reindeers
    in the United States

    by Christy Nilluka Broussard


    Mythical Creatures
    • Chupacabra by Mike Cox
      Does a zoologically unknown, blood-sucking creature prowl the South Texas mesquite?


    Pictures of Texas Animals

    1941 Calf Show in front of Madison County courthouse,  Madisonville Texas
    1941 Calf Show in front of the Madison County courthouse
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

    Cameo Appearances

  • W. J. Blair Buffalo Ranch near Dalhart
  • Longhorns in Lonnie
  • Horses in Christoval
  • Horses in Pumpkin
  • Alligator in Eagle Lake
  • Armadillo
  • Goats in Myra
  • Cow in Wildflowers in Grassyville
  • Bull in Hereford
  • Bull and Cow in ghost town Oso
  • Cows & Longhorn in Farmersville
  • Dog in Cuero
  • Penitas
  • Mare & Offspring in Dacus
  • Rattlesnake in Sweetwater
  • White Tail Deer
  • Deer in Center Point
  • Geese in Center Point
  • Armadillo hole
  • Cows Grazing
  • Green Parrots
  • Brahma Cows
  • Calf in Pollock
  • Bull in High Hill
  • Dog in Kinney
  • Horse in Waelder
  • Mule Deer in Flomot
  • Sheep and sheep dog near Flomot
  • Common egret in Flomot
  • Sandhill cranes in South Plains
  • Migrating Geese
  • The Kyl e Creamery Cat
  • Bandit of Burkburnett
  • Longhorns in Camp Springs
  • Residents of Hilda
  • Miniature mule in Marquez
  • Cows in Monkstown
  • Mules in Jeddo
  • Riding in McDade
  • Citizens of Morris Ranch
  • Pastoral Scene near Wheelock
  • Cattle in Collegeport
  • A Resident in Cross
  • A Roadrunner in Pecos
  • Schwertner - A Feline Residence
  • A Snake over the doorway
  • Possums in Bandera, old post card
  • Hog Waddle, Cabbage Day, San Benito, Texas
  • Wasp nest in La Grange
  • Pelicans in Rockport

  • Favorites Sites -
    Animal Rescue/ Adoption:
    Texas Wildlife Rehabilitators - List by County

    Wildlife Rehab & Education

    Alley Cat Allies

    Muttville - Senior Dog Rescue

    The Humane Society of the United States



































































































































































































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