Cajun Cowboys



The American cattle industry started on the Cajun prairie almost a century before that of the one in Texas . The cattle industry in the Cajun prairie dates back to 1739 when the areas first cattle brand was recorded in the French ' brand book.' The cattle traction started with Captain Antoine Bernard d'Hauterive, a French colonial official, offered to help the Cajuns who were refugees from Canada by agreeing to lend settler families eight cows and one stud bull for a period of six years, afterwards the settlers would return nine cattle and half of the offspring produced .



 Louisiana is where cowboying goes along with part-time 'gator hunting. And Cajun and Zydeco music packs more kick than a Crawfish Étouffée. Cattle handling draws on many roots — France, Canada, Africa Spain, with a little Texas thrown in, too. Here muddy marshlands, drenching rains, and vicious hurricanes wield their influence on horses, saddles and the intrepid cowboys who ride them. So when it comes to gear, practicality rules. In this country, a cow can thrive on an acre of grass. But a rider better pay attention when checking those cows — those gators can spook your horse if one is caught by surprise. Underscored with local Cowboy Cajun and Zydeco music.


The colonial era cattle were mainly Spanish longhorns and used on Cajun ranches called vacheries . The cattle ran wild, making the brand book very important. Pieux fences were used mainly to keep cattle out of farming areas . The Cajun vachers learned their cattle raising techniques from the Spanish vaqueros and Indians such as the Avoyelles Indians . Cattle were driven over cattle trails to the town of Washington, and from there into New Orleans . The modern day cattle industry in Louisiana is still dominated by Cajuns .