frequently asked questions

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Are Cracker Cattle and Pineywoods cattle the same cattle?

The short answer is no.

Cracker Cattle are a registered breed and ancestors of Corriente cattle that were brought to Hispaniola from the Andalusian region of Spain. From Hispaniola, in 1521, Ponce Deleon brought the first cattle to set hoof in Florida and subsequently the American continent. The Florida Department of Agriculture painstakingly identified isolated family herds of Cracker Cattle that genetically matched their Andalusian ancestors and established standards for the breed. A breeder has to prove, through documentation and identification, the animal's lineage before registration. While some producers of Pineywoods will claim there to be no difference between the breeds, those proponents are dismissing the fact that Pineywoods cattle will have one or more crosses with other breeds in their past.

Why is a registered animal necessary?

As new arrivals of immigrants came to the Americas, they brought with them cattle from their place of origin. These cattle were small and a very hardy breed. Other established producers, imported hardy breeds, such as the Brahman, from India to cross with the Cracker to result in a bigger more meaty cow. Angus cattle are sometimes crossed with the Cracker to improve the hardiness of the Angus calf. Because of their hardiness and disease tolerance of the Cracker Cattle, many farmers and ranchers crossbred their stock with the Crackers to produce a superior animal. This goal of producing a larger animal for consumption resulted in diluting the Cracker breed to near extinction. 

Can I still register an unregistered Cracker calf that I bought?

Only if you have the supporting documentation that the branded, tattooed or other means of permanent identification with the calf can support that the calf is descended from registered Cracker stock.

Why are these cattle called Cracker Cattle?

These Corriente descendants are known by many names; Swamp Cattle, Woods Cattle, Florida Scrub and Cracker Cattle to name a few. The name Cracker Cattle was derived from the actions of the drovers that would go out to the swamps, marsh and forests to drive the wild cattle to market. The drovers would crack whips to maneuver and drive the stock. A crack to the right side of the animal would cause it to move left and a crack to the left would encourage the animal to move right. The moniker Cracker Cattle stuck.

I saw some Cracker Cattle advertised for sale. If they are not registered, so what?

No problem if you are looking for a hobby animal.

The purpose of the Florida Cracker Cattle Association is to expand the herd and promote the preservation of this heritage breed. The FCCA mission is "preserving the foundation of America's cattle industry." The Florida Cracker is the official State Heritage Cattle Breed of Florida.

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