Texas has always been among the leading livestock states in the nation, usually ranking first in total number of cattle, beef cattle, sheep, and goats. Between 1936 and 1965 (with the exception of 1939, 1943, and 1951), the state's annual cash receipts from livestock and livestock products were always exceeded by those from crops. Beginning in 1966, however, and in each succeeding year, cash receipts from livestock exceeded those from crops at an ever-increasing rate, so that by 1972 they accounted for about two-thirds of the state's total farm receipts. In that year cash receipts from livestock amounted to more than $2.5 billion, 72 percent of which came from cattle production. In the mid-1970s Texas continued to lead all states in total cattle, beef cattle, sheep and wool, and lamb and mohair production.
In the early 1990s livestock accounted for more than half of the state's agricultural cash receipts. Texas was first nationally in cattle, beef cattle, cattle on feed, sheep and lambs, wool, goats, and mohair. In 1991 sales of livestock and livestock products totaled $7.91 billion. Cattle, the dominant livestock in Texas, provide 70 percent of the cash receipts in livestock. The 13,600,000 head of cattle in Texas in 1992 accounted for 14 percent of all cattle in the United States. Sheep and lambs were down from a high of 10,829,000 in 1943 to 2,140,000 in 1992. Wool production also decreased from 26,352,000 pounds in 1973 to 17,600,000 pounds in 1992. In 1993 there were 1,960,000 goats in Texas, raised mainly for mohair; the state produced 14,200,000 pounds of mohair in 1992, down from a high of 31,584,000 in 1965. Swine production in Texas ranked eighteenth in the nation in 1992; the 762,000 swine produced 19 percent of the state's pork. Poultry and eggs returned 6 percent of the yearly cash receipts; in 1992 Texas ranked sixth in the nation in production of broilers and seventh in the production of eggs.
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Texas Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, Texas Historic Livestock Statistics, 1867–1976 (Bulletin 131, Austin: Texas Department of Agriculture, 1976).
Ranching and Cowboys
Sheep and Goat Ranchers
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 10, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
March 1, 1995