The Cattle Drive MIGRATION to the west

Key Concepts

Open Range were public areas that were north of Texas. They were popular in 1866-1890. In the public areas there could be up to 5 million heads of cattle. Places like Nebraska, Montana and other western states and territories were pasturelands for Texas ranchmen and cowboys.

A Long Drive was the process of herding of thousands of cattle including cows, longhorns and sometimes horses. The Long Drive takes 2 weeks at a time. Cowboy's lives were very dangerous, they had to encounter bad weather, thieves, Indians, dangerous animals, and stampedes.

Chisholm Trail

The Chisholm trail went from Kansas to Texas and was approximately 1,00 miles long.

The Great Western Cattle Trail was also from Kansas to Texas. The trail was also a famous trail for the cattle drive.

Jobs on the Cattle Drive.

Lead riders- They rode in front of the cattle and they were the highest rank on the drive.

Outriders- They rode on the sides of the cattle, or the flanks. The outriders were the medium rank on the drive.

Drag- They would ride in back of the Cattle they would often get dust and other things in their faces. The Drag's were the least favorited.

Other Jobs on the drive included Night Hawks and Wranglers. Night hawks watched over the cattle at night. Wranglers watched everyone's horses making sure they stayed safe.

Cattle brands

Cattle brands were used to help identify different farmers cattle.



A vaquero is a Spanish name for a cowboy or a cattle driver. What a cattle driver does is, it moves herds of cattle from one place to another usually moved and herded by cowboys on horses.

A town or a city that is in a cattle raising area of western or North America. Cowtowns were cities that sprang up at railroad terminals in the west. Abilene and dodge city, Kansas, were two early cowtowns.


Cowboys were paid somewhere between $25 to $40 per month. However, they would also often receive room and board during their trip and directly after the trip.


Created with images by grongar - "Winding trail" • - "Going up the Chisholm Trail" • Erik Charlton - "Feeling the Groove" • ulleo - "cow head cow head" • free pictures of money - "Money"

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