Highland cattle

Highland cattle 

Highland cattle are a distinctive Scottish breed and one of Britain’s oldest and best known. The first Highland Cattle Herd Book was published in 1885, however references to the breed date back to the 6th century.

Today, you will find Highland cattle societies all over continental Europe and throughout the British Isles.

Although the milk of a Highland cow contains a high percentage of butterfat, Highland cattle are primarily raised for the quality of their meat.

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The versatility of this breed has led to a rise in exports to America, Australia, Canada, northern Europe and South America.

Highland cattle
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Keeping Highland cattle

Highland cattle have changed little over the centuries. They have long wavy coats which can vary in colour. These coats help the breed to withstand the extreme weather conditions in the Scottish Highlands. Their distinctive long horns enable them to dig through snow to forage for food. Indeed, the Highlander will graze on plants that other cattle avoid. This is an exceptionally hardy breed and one that efficiently converts poor grazing.

Highland cattle characteristics

Mature bulls can weigh up to 800 kilos, cows up to 500 kilos. The Highland cow has a docile temperament, they calve easily and are excellent mothers.  They also enjoy great longevity and can live up to 20 years. Highland cows can breed beyond 18 years of age and bear over a dozen calves. Highland cows can be sired my different breeds of bull. (The Beef Shorthorn bull is a popular choice.)

The meat of a Highlander is lean, well-marbled and has a distinctive flavour. It contains lower levels of fat and cholesterol than many other breeds and has more protein and iron.

If you are interested in purchasing Highland cows or bulls, please get in touch.

Highland cattle for sale and many other breeds 

David Clarke Livestock supply other breeds of beef cattle. These include; Aberdeen Angus, AubracBeef Shorthorn, Blonde d’Aquitaine, CharolaisDevon, Hereford, Limousin, Parthenais and Salers. Longhorn can also be supplied.

Dual purpose cattle such as Brown Swiss, Danish Red, Dexter, Fleckvieh / Simmental, Montbéliarde, Norwegian Red and Rotbunt can all be sourced.

Dairy cattle include; British FriesianDairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Holstein, Kerry and Jersey.

Find out more about our beef cattle service and our dairy cattle service.