Types of Cows with Horns (With Pictures!)

Many breeds of cattle have horns, giving them a striking, and sometimes intimidating look. Many farmers prefer to keep horned cattle for a variety of different reasons. 

If you are considering adding horned cattle to your homestead, it’s worth doing your research to see which breeds are considered the best. To help give you an idea of the breeds available, here you’ll learn more about the types of cows with horns you can invest in. 

Which types of cows have horns?

A wide range of cows have horns, though some are notoriously longer than others. They develop from connective tissue underneath the scalp, fusing to the frontal bone. You might not realize it, but a cow’s horns continue to grow throughout their life. 

In some breeds, it is only the bulls that develop horns, while in others both the males and females have them. 

Some of the main cattle breeds that have horns include…


Fluffy and adorable, Highland cows are easily recognized because of their horns and flowing red or black locks. They have quite large horns that are found in both males and females. Packed full of personality, the Highland cow is a Scottish breed that can thrive in practically any environment. 


Longhorn cattle are one of the most recognizable horned breeds in America. They have much longer horns than any other breed, and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. The Texas Longhorn is the most popular, but don’t discount the Salorn, Geltex, and Texon breeds. Most longhorns have a great temperament, and they are dual-purpose cows that can produce both milk and meat. 


Man vyi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The horns on Guernsey cattle are short and curved. Not to be confused with American Guernsey cattle, they are raised for milk production. The American variety doesn’t have horns due to adjustments in breeding. 

The milk of Guernsey cattle tends to be golden in color. Their calves produce excellent meat and they have also been used to crossbreed with white Holsteins. 


This image was originally posted to Flickr by Robert Scarth at https://www.flickr.com/photos/robert_scarth/61337486/

As their name suggests, shorthorn cows have quite short horns. They also boast a stocky body, and they come in three different color options including red, roan, and white. Not all shorthorns actually have horns as some are polled. Renowned for their excellent breeding capabilities, they can be raised for meat or milk production. 

These are just a small number of horned cow breeds you can own. When trying to decide which one is right for your farm, consider all of the pros and cons of each breed. 

What cows have the longest horns?

Texas longhorn bulls have the longest horns. In fact, a Texas Longhorn from Alabama currently holds the world record for the longest set of horns

Generally speaking, longhorn cattle have horns that are up to four feet long. Mature steers, however, have horns six feet and over, and a 15-year-old bull can reach up to nine feet. The Texas Longhorn that holds the record reached a length of 10 feet, 7.4 inches. 

What are the benefits of horned cattle?

Horned cattle have a majestic look, and they aren’t as aggressive as you might think. In fact, some horned cattle benefit from a friendly, gentle nature such as Highland cattle. 

The main reason some cows develop horns is for space purposes. Their horns allow them to have adequate space while they graze. They also help with social hierarchy, as well as cooling and thermos-regulation. 

It is possible to dehorn certain breeds, but this can be costly, and it may take away from the benefit of the cattle. If you would prefer a polled herd, there are plenty of suitable breeds available. Horned cattle benefit from a majestic look, and they often have fantastic temperaments. If you are looking to add a horned breed to your pasture, consider one of the breeds mentioned above.