What are Scottish Highlands?
Scottish Highlands are beef cattle. They produce lean, well marbled meat.
Why did you choose them?
Scottish Highlands are efficient grazers, meaning they efficiently convert grass into meat. They are docile animals, and easy to handle if they are treated correctly. They respect electric fences, are hardy animals that are happy in winter weather as long as they have a wind break and shade in the summer. They are healthy animals, their hair coat helps them with summer pests and winter weather, and are easy calving cattle.
Are they mean?
Scottish Highlands are by nature docile animals. Ones that are not docile should be culled from the fold as was done in Scotland for centuries. That is how the docile nature became part of the breed.
How much do they weigh?
Scottish Highland cows weigh around 1,100 lbs, mature bulls around 1,800 lbs, and finished steers around 1,000 lbs (from The Canadian Highland Cattle Society)
What do Registered Highlands cost?
Weanling heifers - $1000-$3500, prices can increase with good bloodlines and as they get older.
Weanling bulls - $1200-$2500, prices can increase with good bloodlines and as they get older.
Breeding age Cows - $2000-$4000 on average with good bloodlines and good birthing records bringing increased prices above this.
Herd Sires (breeding bulls) - $1500-$6500 This one is tricky as you normally get what you pay for. This is completely up to the breeder in what they want to bring to their fold. Good breed standard bulls with great temperaments will bring top dollar sometimes higher than $6500.
Steers are normally sold at market price by private treaty at no less than $3 per pound hanging weight. Most people in the beef production side of Highlands demand between $4 - $7 per pound hanging weight with the expense of the processing on the end customer. If purchasing for a pet you can expect to pay $1-$2 per pound live weight normally.
How do they take the hot/cold weather?
Scottish Highland cattle take the cold just fine – they prefer to be out in the cold and snow rather than take shelter. If it is windy they do need a wind break. When it comes to heat, they do not like it, but as long as they have water and shade they can do just fine. There are Highland cattle as far south as Texas.
Do you use the hair?
We do not, but have had some inquiries by spinners to save the finer undercoat hair. Some craft stores in Wisconsin do carry Highland hair for spinners, but it is a specialty product.
What do they taste like?
It tastes like beef! Our cattle are grass fed and may taste different than the corn fed meat people are used to eating. But it is a mild tasting meat that is tender with great marbling!
What do you feed them?
They are on pasture as long as the weather allows, and then are fed high quality hay when it is not possible for them to be on pasture. Young animals may be fed alfalfa pellets if they need a boost in protein when the rest of the fold does not need it.
Are they hard on fences?
Highland cattle respect electric fences, 4 wire barbed wire, and wood fence. They are protected by the thick dossan, or forelock, on their face but we haven’t had problems with them testing fences. Ones that do not respect a fence are animals that would be culled from our herd.
Do they eat weeds?
Highlands love to browse on shrubs/trees and eat just about any weed we have. The only ones they have been hesitant to eat would be burdock and curly dock, although they will eat them if they are at the right stage of growth. They eat nettles, thistles, ragweed, honeysuckle, gooseberry, raspberries, and love to eat the leaves off the trees.