ALL ABOUT HIGHLAND CATTLE
10 Fast Facts about HIGHLAND CATTLE
The breed is native to some of the most beautiful land in the world: Scotland's Highlands and the Outer Hebrides islands. In Scotland, they are affectionately referred to as "hairy coos."
Highlands have a thick, shaggy double coat. The outer coat is oiled to keep their skin dry. The soft, fluffy inner coat keeps them warm in the unsettled Scottish climate. Their hair can be over a foot long and is wavy, often with a curly dossal (fringe) to protect their eyes from the weather and insects.
Most people think of Highlands as having light-red coats, but many other colors are also seen, such as black, brindle, cream, dun, dark-red, and white.
Highlands are known to be one of the friendliest and most gentle of bovine breeds. They have a reputation for being very docile and sweet!
Highlands are considered medium-sized cattle, with males weighing as much as 2000 lbs and females up to 1200 lbs.
Calves are born with tiny horn buds, which begin to grow over the first few months of their lives. The horns reach adult size around 3 years but continue to grow slowly throughout their lives.
More about horns! Highland cows' (females') horns sweep out to the side and up and are thinner toward the tip. Meanwhile, bulls' (males') horns point more forward and are wider at the base with upturned tips.
Still more about those horns! Highlands use these amazing horns to dig through snow to forage for food. Horns contain blood vessels and are warm to the touch. This blood circulation helps to keep them cool.
Even though they are large animals, Highlands don't eat as much as you might expect. They are herbivorous mammals, eating only plants (especially grasses), but like most bovines, they do drink a lot of water! Because they have a thick coat to keep them warm, they actually are quite lean animals compared with other cattle.
Sadly, most Highland cattle are raised for food production, but when allowed to live full and happy lives, Highlands can live to be 20 years old! We look forward to seeing our Dudley grow old in the decades to come!