Frequently Asked Questions

Fun facts about of fuzzy coo's

 

How do they handle the heat? 

Same Animals
Winter coat vs Summer coat. 

One of the biggest myths about Highland Cattle is that they cannot cope with the heat! But the answer is ... Yes they Can! Highlands ,like their British cousins, adapt very well. In June they shed out their warm undercoats and by January they are wooly again. Highlands are naturally lean animals so this also helps to keep they comfortable.

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How big do they get?

Highlands are medium in size, with cows weighing 900 to 1,300 pounds and bulls 1,500 to 2,000 pounds. Highlands are naturally a small breed of cattle in comparison to their fellow bovines. Highlands are very slow growing and continue to grow until 5years old . Most miniature cattle are naturally miniature, with no dwarfism. Some miniature cattle are small cattle that carry BD(BulldogGene). These carriers have Irish Dexter DNA in their pedigree. The Dexter Cattle Association says a chondro cow is 2-4 inches shorter and a chondro bull is 4-6 inches shorter than they would be if they were BD-free. Many Miniature Highlands have the BD gene.

Charlotte is standard TigerLily is a dwarf

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Dwarf , Miniature & Standard

Dexter Bull with BD gene

How long do they live?

What are they used for?

Since the sixith century Highland cattle have been utilized for their beef which is naturally low cholesterol, high in protein & minerals. Highlands also produce rich creamy milk and warm fiber. Aside from that they are utilized for conservation grazing. Highlands a gentle browsers and tend to graze on vegetation other bovine pass up. Highland Cattle can live in the hardest conditions and browse on rough, otherwise unproductive land. This makes them ideal for low input extensive farming.

Do both sexes have horns?

YES! As a matter of fact the highland horns can tell you a lot about that animal. All calves are born without horns by 3 years of age all will be grown in .After 3 years of age the growth continues but at a much slower rate, reaching some extreme proportions in particular animals.

Females are narrower at the base, longer and finer at the tip than those of a bull. Bulls horns suggest masculinity. They  more or less come out from the body level with the ground and curve slightly forward. They may rise slightly towards the tip but nothing more than this. Steers are interesting because  their horns will grow quite long and usually in an upward form more characteristic of a female. It is thought that the male hormone, testosterone, keeps a bulls horns down, and the lack of that hormone allows upward growth (as in females and steers).

Highland cattle live longer more productive lives than any other cattle breed. Highlands will successfully calve into their late teens and live into their 20's. This is substantially greater than many other breeds and can reduce replacement costs by up to 25%. Our oldest bull is still producing for us at the age of 13. Our two oldest cows currently are 17 years old. 

Do they make good pets?

YES!!! Highlands are incredibly low maintenance , easy going ,  friendly animals. They are generally docile animals and will take to halter training easily.  Having said this I always remind buyers that they are still bovine . Cattle have a hierarchy in the herd and they can be pushy. Even the miniatures still weigh 500 pounds and a well placed hoof or a swing of the head can seriously injure a human. 

Where do they come from?

They originated in the Highlands and the Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland as early as the 6th century. These days they can also be found across the south of Scotland, in other parts of Europe, as well as in Australia and North and South America too.  The first recorded importation into the United States occurred in the late 1890's when western cattlemen recognized the need to improve the hardiness of their herds.

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Image by Pascal van de Vendel

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Image by chris robert