Horn Measurements with The Joe Chute

by Holly Peacock | Sep 26, 2019
We had the opportunity to interview our #HiredHandCustomer ​Joe Sedlacek of The Joe Chute ​& Lazy J Longhorns and ask ​him some questions about ​taking accurate Texas Longhorn horn​ measurements! We discuss TTT, Tip To Tip, which is the measurement from one tip of the horns directly to the opposite tip of the horns, as well as TH, which is the Total Horn measurement of the complete length of the horns, twists and all. You can view ​Lazy J Longhorn's website at and find out more about The Joe Chute here.

Horn Measurements with The Joe Chute

Any facts or widely unknown facts about how/why horns grow?

"Genetics play a huge part in how they twist, lay down or roll back. Good nutrition also helps with horn growth. I like to feed alfalfa. I believe it has better proteins to help horns grow to their maximum length."

How has horn length increased over the years and why?

"When I first started in the early 90's, a good Tip To Tip [measurement] was 55". Now we have multiple 100" TTT cows. Today, more and more people are breeding for horn than any other characteristics. "


What do you think our emphasis on horn length means for the future of the Longhorn breed?

"I think we're starting to maximize where we should be on TTT. The increased TTT is great for producing that "wow" factor and for winning awards but it's becoming increasingly harder to haul those animals. It's also putting a lot of added stress on the animals that I believe is not good for their health and will shorten their life expectancy."

Do you think horn length will remain such a common goal of breeders?

"Horn length will always be important but I think the new trend will be adding more color to the animal such as brindle and black."

Do you have any advice on achieving the horn results you want in your herd​? Could you give us some examples of how to breed for horn?

"The biggest thing to look at when breeding for horn is the shape. Look for an angled back horn set. TCC Houdini and RHF Sharp Shooter have done really well for me in the past."


Tips to get an accurate measurement for TTT and Total Horn?

"When measuring for TTT or Total Horn it helps to have a chute that will tightly secure the animal, for your safety and theirs. To get an accurate TTT measurement using a tape measure works best. When measuring for TH [Total Horn] a weed-eater string is what I find works best. A tip when measuring for Total Horn is to stay in the middle of the back of the horn."

What factors beside nutrition effect horn growth?

"Climate I believe affects horn growth. In the winter we see our animals slow down considerably."

Does the color of the horns make them grow differently? 

"In black horn, it's a slower growing horn until it sheds the black to white. A famous bull we used to own, Sniper, was 57.25" TTT at 24 months had all black horn. Between two and three [years old], he shed the black and grew white horn growing 17.5" in 12 months and ended up mid 70's at 36 months."

Remember to check out the Lazy J Longhorn website and like The Joe Chute on Facebook! Do you have any tips on measuring horns or opinions on the next big Longhorn trend? Tell us in the comments!

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