Highland Cattle

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Other common names: Kyloe

The basics:
Highland Cattle originated in the Scottish Highlands and western islands of Scotland. They have adapted to the rugged terrain and extreme climates of the Scottish Highlands for centuries. Considered the oldest registered breed of cattle, the Highland cattle had a registry established in 1885. The breed was exported to many temperate countries worldwide, including North America and Australia in the early 1900s.

Appearance / health:
Highland Cattle are characterized by their long, thick, shaggy, wavy hair, which insulates them from the cold and snow. The body colors of the original strains are red and black, but variations are common, including dark brown, silver-white, and yellowish brown. The horns are long. The lashes are long, protecting the eyes from insects and dirt, minimizing pinkeye and cancer eye. The beef is well-marbled but lean (low-cholesterol) because they don’t require fatty tissue to insulate them from the cold weather.

Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.

Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.

Highland cattle are favored for their ease of calving. They are intelligent, calm, and quiet, and have a gentle temperament. They are also known to not stress easily, reducing ailments caused by stress.

Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.

Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.

Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).

A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.

Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.


great moms, quiet temperament, superb beef, superior intelligence, easiest calving breeds


eye problems, auction value, picky eaters


long hair, traditional breeds, low cholesterol, magnificent horns, coyote, steep hill country

Highland Cattle Health Tip

Highland Cattle

From CatGerson Oct 17 2016 11:01PM


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