Being home to a diverse range of wildlife is one of the things that makes Babcock Ranch such a great place. While Babcock Ranch is home to four diverse ecosystems, one of the most historic parts is the Crescent B Ranch. Started in the late 1800s, the ranch is still a working cattle ranch with over 14,000 acres of pastureland.
The ranch is primarily beef cattle, but you can also see the famous “Cracker Cattle” when you come to Babcock Ranch. Find out more about this unique breed of cattle you can encounter at Babcock Ranch here!
The History of Cracker Cattle
Florida Cracker cattle are one of the oldest and rarest breeds of cattle in the United States. The cracker cattle, which is also sometimes known as “Florida Scrub” or “Cracker Cow” descend from Spanish cattle. They were originally brought to the U.S. by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. They are similar to another breed, Pineywoods, which have originated in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia – while Cracker cattle originate in Florida.
Over the years, the breed was crossed with other breeds, so the pure breed Florida Cracker cattle has become very rare. In the mid-1900s, the population of Florida Cracker cattle began rapidly declining. The government and conservation associations worked to preserve their population, but they are still listed as “critical” by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
In 2018, Cracker Cattle was named the official state heritage cattle breed of Florida.
Characteristics of Cracker Cattle
Cracker cattle generally weigh between 600 to 1,000 pounds. Both males and females have horns that go up fairly quickly from their base and tip back. They can also come in several colors –dappled blue & gray, dappled-brown, solid brown, solid white, white with black spots, white with brown spots, all black, and even pure golden palomino. They have short, shiny hair coats.
They are known to be a docile breed that is easy to manage by humans. Because they have lived over the years in a native climate that is generally hostile to cattle, they have grown to be very hardy and long-lived. They are very heat tolerant and also resistant to parasites and diseases. They often graze on forages in grasslands and swamps.
See the Rare Cracker Cattle At Babcock Ranch
We are happy that Babcock Ranch provides preserved land for the rare Cracker cattle to roam. If you want to see Cracker cattle – and learn more about the story of one of the most historic and vast nature preserves in Florida while seeing lots of wildlife, come out to Babcock Ranch for a tour!
Our 90-minute swamp buggy eco-tours operate 7 days a week from 9 AM to 3 PM. You will be led by an expert guide who will narrate the tour as you travel through the several ecosystems of the Babcock Ranch Preserve. It’s a great way to experience the heart of Old Florida on a true wilderness adventure like nothing you’ve seen before! Click here to book your Babcock Ranch eco-tour today!