Students will gain a better knowledge of the historical context and also purpose of the cattle drives that took area in the mid 1880s. Students willbe able to define the reason and result relationships of life on the frontier consisting of, population expansion, and later on the development and use of barbed wire, refrigeration, and railroads.Grades 9-12

Materials Needed

Activity 1:

Computer via internet access and a projector to present video clips

Activity 2:

Paint a Picture...

You are watching: What factors helped the rise of the cattle industry

, 1 copy per classBefore class, reduced both pages of the printoutinto strips as detailed by the daburned lines. Have one pile for the livestock ranch on the frontier (numbered 1-8) and one pile for the modern-day livestock ranch (lettered A-I)

cattle drive: the process of moving livestock from one place to an additional, commonly to a new grazing location, or in a historical conmessage to market

Did You Know? (Ag Facts) Calves elevated on beef ranches are typically born in the late winter and at an early stage spring.Beef livestock are raised in all 50 claims.The primary product produced by beef cattle is meat such as ground beef, steak, and roast. Beef provides zinc, iron, and protein (ZIP) to our diets.Besides meat, beef cattle also create other spin-offs such as leather, pharmaceuticals (such as insulin), sutures, glue, pet feeds, and a lot more.Beef cattle are classified as ruminants because they have actually a stomach with 4 chambers. This permits them to digest and also break dvery own the cellushed in grass and also various other plant product.
Background Agrisocial Connections

Historical Context of the Cattle DriveCattle are not indigenous to the United States. They were presented by early on explorers and also settlers from Spain and England also. Some cattle were introduced directly to the USA, however others came instraight by way of Mexico. In 1690, the first herd of 200 longhorns were propelled North from Mexico to a mission along the Sabine River, a room which is nowpart of Texas. Texas came to be independent in 1836 and the Mexicansrelocated South, leaving their livestock behind. Texas farmers began raisingthe Mexican cattlefor their hides and also tallow. Tpermit was made from rendered pet fat and also was supplied to make candles, soap, and also various other products.Although beef was consumed in the 1800s, the absence of refrigeration and conservation methodsrestricted its intake. Today, livestock are generally increased for their beef.


Cattle roundup near Great Falls Montana, circa 1890. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy

The first livestock drives headed West from Texregarding San Francisco to the area wbelow gold miners can be found (1849). Cattle ranchers could sell their cattle for 5-20 times the amount they might in Texas. The cattle industry in California dropped along with gold mining. When the Civil War erupted (1861), many type of livestock herds were left behind on the openrange. Cattle ranching stopped for a time; yet, the longhorn population grew as they continued to graze and also redevelop on the prairie. After the war (1865), large cattle herds and also consumer demand in cities resulted in cattle drives to areas where the railroad had a railhead. These towns were called "cow towns." When the animals arrived they would be sold and also sorted for circulation to cities for slaughter and market.


Cattle Drive Map. Source: National Agrisociety in the Classroom

Cattle drives ongoing for around 20 years (through the late 1880s) until the railroadways prospered and also ranchers had closer access to railheads. Rail transport not just readjusted the speed of delivery, yet as tracks were lhelp and refrigerated rail cars were occurred, trains might go to where the livestock were situated. Thereby reducing rangeland also destruction on the way to market and keep weight on the pets bereason they had not been moved 500-1000 miles north.


Butcher shop, circa 1890. Nebraska State Historical Society. Source: http://www.nebraskabackground.org/publish/publicat/timeline/labor_day_1890.htm

Life on the Trail:A typical livestock drive pooled together cattle from numerous ranches. Most drives included a total of 1000-3000 head of cattle. The historic era of the livestock drives took location before the wide-spread use of fencing. Cattle roamed cost-free and also owners provided brands and earmarks to recognize the cattle they owned. Cattle brands were registered and also can just be used by the owner. When a cattle drive was arranged, the trail boss maintained document of the brands and also earmarks in the trail herd. After audit for each ranches herd, the cattle were branded for identificationvia a single trail brand also for the drive.

A 12-perkid crew can manage many cattle drives. While most of the crews were created of males, tbelow were some womales that drove livestock to the railhead. As debated in the book "Texas Women on the Cattle Trails" by Sara R. Massey, like men "some took to the trails by choice; others, out of requirement. Some went along to look at the stars; others, to job-related the livestock. Some made money and also constructed ranching empires, however others went damaged and lived difficult, even despeprice resides." Men, and some womales, then had their very own duties and also commonly held positions thatincluded the following:

Trail Boss: The trail boss was the leader of the cattle drive. He remained in charge of all the guys and also devices. An average trail boss would have actually earned roughly $125 per month. The trail boss rode at the head of the herd. He built up the money once the livestock were marketed and also was responsible for paying the crew.Cook: The cook was the second many important place on the cattle drive. He traveled about a mile ahead of the livestock and crew. Herode on the "chuckwagon" which lugged the food, water, and provisions for the crew. Thecookprepared each meal, uncovered campsites nightly, and also filled infor other odd work as necessary. Cooks earned around $60 per month.Cowboy:Cowboys functioned the cattle and were paid $20-$40 per month. The the majority of proficient cowboy was recognized as the "Segundo" and also rode evenly via the trail boss. On each side of the herd were the "Swings" followed by the "Flanks" and lastly the "Drag" riders. The drag riders had actually the worst position as they were behind the herd. Not only were they stuck riding in the dust, however they were responsible for pushing the lazy and also slow livestock to store them through the herd.Wrangler:The Wrangler was usuallythe youngest in the crew. His job was to care for the steeds. Each cowboy on the drive had actually 3 or four equines. The wrangler fed, saddled, and also cared for the entire herd of horsesandwas responsible to drive the horses that weren"t being ridden.

There were countless trails used. Noted trails include the Chisolm Trail, which led from Texregarding Kansas. It was called for the Indian trader Jesse Chisholm. The original trail broadened as time passed as a result of cattle herds making new trails. The Chisholm Trail ended up being obsolete in the mid-1870s after an interstate railroad concerned Texas. The Goodnight-Loving Trail crossed West Texas. It was establimelted by Charles Goodnight and later Oliver Loving. The route was much longer, yet primarily safer.

Tbelow were many dangers on the trail. Indian strikes were a danger in some areas alengthy a livestock drive. Flooded rivers caused delays and also drought oftenmade it tough to keep the livestock watered.Stampedes were a genuine danger. The herd might be spooked by a variety of sights, smells, and noises, but lightning was the many prevalent. To sheight a stampede the cowboys would run on horseback to the head of the herd and revolve them to the best, directing the stampede into a circle. Gradually the cowboys made the circle smaller sized and smaller sized allowing the livestock time to calm dvery own and speak running.

Life on the trail was lengthy and also lonely. Most drives lasted 3-5 months depending upon the distance they necessary to take a trip and also delays they skilled alengthy the means. A typical drive could cover 15-25 miles per day. Although it was important to arrive at their location on time, the livestock essential time to remainder and graze. Otherwise they would be very thin as soon as they arrived on the industries, which diminished their worth.

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The End of Cattle Drives:The historic era of the cattle drive lasted around two decades. It started quickly after the Civil War and ended once the railroads got to Texas. This transportation system provided a path for beef to travel safely from the farms and ranches wbelow it was created to the industries where it was offered. This 20 year stretch of time left imprints on western society and hobbies that have actually lived on. Chaps, cowboy hats, boots, old western songs, rodeos, and also of course the cowboy all have actually roots stretching to this era in background.