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Pineywoods Cattle Registry & Breeders Association

Barnes -- more information

Pineywoods Cattle – The Barnes Line -- more

The Barnes line of cattle comes from the border of Alabama and the panhandle of Florida in the vicinity of the Florala.  These cattle were kept by Okla and Dewey Barnes (brothers) and their father.  They had this strain of cattle at least since 1910 and at one point Barnes had up to 500 of these cattle on the open range in southern Alabama.  Colors varied immensely, with many having black ears and noses.  Since 1960 or so the herd only numbered 100 to 150.  Barnes died in 1983, but Calvin Hutchins and Noah Oliver both kept the Barnes line going.  Barnes did use polled bulls of his own breeding, and polled cattle were considered as pure as any of the others.  Barnes consistently culled any cow that failed to calve annually, and no bulls bred outside the herd had been used since 1910.  Calvin Hutchins actively preserved the Barnes line for several years, with all of its color varieties and types, and the qualities of resistance to the environment built up over the decades.  As a method to maintaining the original type he did not deworm the cattle, and keeps careful records on the production of the cows.  Several teenagers were in his herd, and he knew of one cow that Barnes had that had calved up until 31 years of age.

The Barnes line cattle that remain are interesting because they are of uniform body type, but vary immensely as to presence and shape of horns as well as coat color.  Most of these are colorsided, but in recent years the herd is also producing solid colored animals.  Such nonspotted animals were reputed to have been in the original Barnes herd, but only popped back up in the 1980s.  In addition to the patterns considered typical of Pineywoods cattle are also some recessive spotted cattle.  These are rare in most lines, although cattle of this pattern do occur in Spain in some of the oldest breeds such as the de Lidia fighting cattle.  In these old lines with accurate histories of genetic isolation, these somewhat unusual or rare spotting patterns are perfectly acceptable.

Barnes cattle vary considerably in size: some cows are tiny, and may be guineas although these are completely proportionate and lack the short legs of some guineas.  Barnes cattle come in a wide variety of colors, with a preponderance of white animals with colored points.  Some are caped or linebacked, and some have random recessive spotting.  Most are red or brown/tan for background color.  Some few are polled, although most breeders eliminated this trait.  A few recent ones (2005) had a fairly unique burnt orange color.

--- Phil Sponenberg