Prickly Pear Burner

This creative tool turns a painful plant into a nourishing treat for livestock

Print Page

It's no secret that Texas summers are extremely hot, and when you're in the ranching business, food and water supplies for livestock become major worries.

During the great Texas drought of 1947-1956, ranchers faced the daily challenge of providing their animals with something to eat and drink.  Prickly pear cactus contained enough water and protein to nourish livestock, and they grew everywhere. To convert these prickly plants to a food source, Clyde J. Davis used this prickly pear burner to burn off spines of the cactus on a 100-acre ranch north of Lockhart in the 1940s.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Prickly Pear Burner Artifact from Lockhart, Caldwell County
Browse All Stories

Read stories from people across Texas

Browse All Stories