Highland Cattle

Highland cattle originate from the highlands of Scotland, and are immediately recognisable by their shaggy coats, long eyelashes and long horns. They are found in a variety of colours, including brindle, black, red and silver. Whilst originally from Scotland, they are now a popular breed all over the world. Highland cattle are one of the oldest registered breeds in Britain, with records showing the breed first recorded in 1884.

The popularity of Highland Cattle is largely due to their hardiness. They can withstand extreme weather conditions due to their protective long coat, and also thrive on extreme terrains, making them ideal cattle for hills and mountains. They will also do well in warmer climates, making them the perfect all rounder. Another significant benefit of this breed is their meat, which tends to be leaner and low in cholesterol, yet still high in protein. In fact, the meat is 40% lower in cholesterol than other beef, which is of course highly desirable to today’s consumer.

Due to their hardiness, they are often considered healthier than other cattle, and require less looking after. For example, they generally do not need expensive feed or feed supplements, they will thrive in lesser quality pasture land, and are a disease resistant breed. Their double coat also reduces the need for shelters, wich makes them a cheaper option for farmers.

Whilst they are a hardy breed, they are surprisingly docile and easy to handle. They respond well to humans, and their intelligence makes them easy to train.

Commercially, Highlands have another distinct advantage for the farmer – they live longer and produce more calves than other breeds, and will breed for a longer period of time, breeding for up to 20 years.

Crossbreeding Highland cattle has been found to produce strong healthy calves with very few problems. The cross calves retain the advantages of the Highland, ie, the hardiness and disease resistance, as well as being commercially successful in the beef market.

So, to summarise, the many advantages of Highland cattle make it clear why they are such a popular breed. Not only are they majestic looking with their long horns and wavy coats, they also produce healthy beef, they can graze where other cattle would struggle, they suffer very little from disease, they thrive in extreme weather conditions and extreme terrains, they live longer and breed longer than other breeds and they can be successfully cross bred. A truly wonderful animal.

This entry was posted in Agriculture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback.