Cattle are a popular site in every country side and sometimes there is hardly any notice taken of them. But if your eyes were to catch the highlander cattle, you might just stop for a moment to investigate. With a long fringe shifting over its eyes, sweeping horns and thick coat over its body, the highlander cow catches much more attention that the conventional everyday cow.


Also known as the hardy highlander these breed of cattle are known for their ability to withstand harsh weather such as that of the highlands and islands of Scotland. In past times the larger red- haired highlanders grazed the remote highlands while the smaller usually black highlanders were located on the islands off the west coast. Today people regard highlanders as one breed with colors ranging from black, red, tan, yellow, silver and even close to white.

Generally groups of cattle are referred to as a herd; a group of highlander cattle however is referred to as a fold. This term seems to have come from back in the olden days when crofters, or tenant farmers, lead their cattle into open-fronted stone shelters called folds. This was usually done to protect these animals from harsh weather and predators like wolfs.

The Highlander’s Coat

Having a double coat of hair, is a unique feature of the highland cattle. The outer coat is shaggy and made of long hairs that can measure up to 13 inches. This coat is capable of repelling rain and snow due to its oily nature. Beneath that is a soft woolly inner coat that keeps the cow warm. Because of this owners find it very difficult to shampoo and wash their highlanders as the water, snow resistant outer coat makes it quite a task to wet them.

Adaptable to change in weather the highlander is able to shed its overcoat if the weather gets too hot and dry. When the cold and damp weather returns it starts to grow a new coat.

Good for land and diet

Some animals for example sheep and goats tend to munch on roots and delicate shoots of vegetation which eventually die. This is not so with cows especially the highlander, on the contrary they improve poor grazing land. It goes about doing this by using its long horns and broad muzzle to clear unwanted brush that are mostly ignored by other cattle. The result is the regeneration of fresh growing grass and trees.

highland-cattle-in snow

Source: milligansganderhillfarm.wordpress.com

Another advantage of highlander cattle is their meat. Having to feed in some of the harshest weathers wear other cattle could not survive; one would think that the meat of the highlander would not be so great, since choice vegetation is sometimes very scarce. The meat of the highlander is actually higher in protein and iron than beef and has lower fat and cholesterol. All this top quality meat produced without use expensive feeds.

Friendly and not so friendly

These cows have a long history with humans. They were sites common on the grown floors of homes as they helped to keep the warmth of the house. Although they are domesticated and sometimes calm, their needs to be a note of caution as they are known to from time to time show aggression. For example the mother of a calf can be very protective. Also it is advised to walk around a fold of highlanders and not through them.


Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Do you have the two coated highlander cattle where you live? If you do you might have come to realize the beauty of these animals and their value.


Source: redbubble.com
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Categories: General, Nature