About the Breed

History:  

  • The Breed originated in the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles of Scotland dating back to the 12th century AD. 
  • Since the early 20th century breeding stock has been exported to many parts of the world. 
  • Originally, small farmers kept the Highlands as house cows for milk and meat. 
  • The Highland Cattle registry was established in 1885. This is the oldest herd book in the world, which makes them the oldest registered cattle in the world. Hence the classification Heritage Breed.
  • In 1954 Queen Elizabeth ordered Highland Cattle to be kept at Balmoral Castle where they are still kept to this day. 
  • A group of cattle are generally called a herd, where as a group of Highland Cattle are called a fold. This is because in winter the cattle were kept in stone shelters called folds to protect them from the harsh weather. 

Characteristics: 

  • Mature Bulls weigh up to 1800 lbs. and cows up to 1,100 lbs. 
  • They live longer than most other breeds, living up to 20 years.
  • They are typically good natured animals but are very protective of their young.
  • They typically have a height of 3-4 ft high.
  • Sexual maturity is reached at about 18 months.
  • Gestation period is about 277-290 days.
  • They are hardy and resilient.
  • They do well in the Northwest with high rainfall, winds and cold winters. Although they do need shaded areas in the summer to get out of the hot sun.
  • For more Information on Highland Cattle see www.highlandcattleusa.org or www.nwhca.org