Scottish Highland Cattle


Heritage Breed

Highland cattle are one of the oldest breeds in the world, originating from Scotland as far back as the 6th century. The extremely harsh conditions of the rugged, remote Scottish Highlands created a process of natural selection, where only the fittest and most adaptable animals survived to carry on the breed. The breed is characterized by traits of hardiness, self-sufficiency, and longevity. They are excellent foragers and efficient at improving pastures and clearing woodlots. Their moderate frame is ideal for small and large farms alike in various climates and regions of the country. Highlands are found in all fifty states and acclimate well to the environment yet it is best to buy cattle from a climate similar to your farm. The double hair coat is a tremendous asset in adverse weather and is believed to be the reason why they have limited external fat cover. This means less to trim from carcasses and more value retained. The horns not only give them their majestic looks but are helpful with predator control. These cattle have strong maternal instincts and protect their young. In addition, Highland genetics are quite diverse from other breeds so they produce a highly productive cross. 


Performance

The Highland Performance Program allows breeders to use sound data to support the positive traits of the breed. Data shows the average birth weight is 65-70 lbs with 98% of calvings recorded being unassisted. Anyone who has stayed up all night with the vet to help deliver a calf can appreciate this value. This breed is known for docility with 80% of cattle scoring as “exceptionally calm” or “calm” when handled.


According to a study by Charles Bruce at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, Highland beef was shown to be almost 23% more tender than commercial beef. It also contained almost 7% more protein, 17% more iron, and averaged 4% less cholesterol. Currently, the University of Missouri, in collaboration with AHCA and the Highland Cattle Foundation, is studying Highland beef quality. Samples are being tested from a diverse array of operations representing all feeding systems and regions of the country. 


Summary

♦Excellent Foragers & Browsers

♦ Calving Ease

♦ Docile Temperament

♦ Adaptable to All Climates

♦ Picturesque Heritage Breed

♦ Tender, Lean, Flavorful Beef