Ark of Taste
Florida Cracker Cattle
The Florida Cracker is one of the oldest cattle breeds in the United States. The bred is a descendant from Spanish cattle that was brought to the New World beginning in the early 1500s and is known as a criollo breed because of its European origin. Through natural selction, the Florida Cracker was bred to tolerate heat and humidity, most parasites and diseases as well as is able t withstand low quality forage found on the grasslands and in the swamps of the Southern US.
The Florida Cracker are small, with the cows weighing 600-800 pounds and the bulls weighing 800-1200 pounds. Their horn styles and shapes vary, including rather long and twisted horns to smaller, more crumpled shapes. The colors of the cattle also widely vary from browns to whites to blacks. Given that the breed is considered a living part of the state’s history, Florida has been a leader in the conservation and promotion of this breed over the past few decades. However, this breed is still quite rare and increased knowledge about it is vital for its preservation.