Watusi cattle make a person stop and look twice. The African breed is best known for its large horn circumference. They do not have the widest horn spreads, but their horn circumference is the largest among all breeds of cattle in the world.
Referred to as “bulbous,” horns can be up to 26 inches around, although they are usually smaller.
Watusi cattle originated from the Ankole type of cattle in Africa and were imported to Germany as zoo specimens in the early 1900s. From Germany, they spread to other European zoos.
In 1960, a herd was started in New York by cross-breeding some of them with an unrelated bull.
Watusi cows do not give much milk but the milk has a high butterfat content, which helps calves grow rapidly.
They have a strong herd mentality and do not like to leave their herd mates. In 20 years of raising Watusi, Burnett has had only two of them get out.
They are also very protective of their calves and the herd. They sleep in a circle, called a glum, with their backs to the inside of the glum, their horns to the outside, and their babies in the middle.
A few years ago, as he checked cattle one night, Burnett noticed that the glum was tighter than usual. Later, he found out that a cougar had been sighted a few miles away, killing livestock.