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Published on 4th July 2022 by staff

Highland Cattle

Highland Cattle

The Highland cattle are a Scottish breed known for their long horns and shaggy coat. These cattle are known for their sturdiness and are raised primarily for beef production.

Also known asKyloe, Long-haired Highland Cattle, Long-haired Scottish Cattle, North Highland Cattle, Scottish Cattle, Scottish Highland Cattle, West Highland Cattle
Physical CharacteristicsThey have a double coat of hair – a soft undercoat and an overcoat consisting of long oily hair. They also have long, distinctive horns.
Temperament/PersonalityDocile, though protective of their young
Coat ColorVaried; Colors include black, brindle, dun, ginger, grey, red, silver, tan, white, and yellow.
WeightMale: 680-907 kg Female: 400-590 kg
HeightMale: 106–120 cm Female: 90–106 cm
DietGrass, hay, straw, silage, and even cereals
Lactation PeriodAround 10 months
Gestation Period279-287 days
Lifespan20 years
Climate ToleranceExtremely adaptable; can survive in cold or rainy weather but also shed its coat to live in hot areas as well.
Price$1,500 to $3,200
Country of OriginScotland
Standard and Qualification InformationThe Highland Cattle Society

History and Development

It is believed that the Highland cattle descended from the Ankole-Watusi known as Hamitic Longhorn, which originated in the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides islands. These were brought to Britain from Africa and other parts of Europe by Neolithic farmers. A herd book was established in 1885, including two different Highland cattle types. These are the Kyloe, which is small and black, and the mainland, which are larger and red.

Highland Cattle Pictures
Scottish Highland Cattle

From the 20th century onward, cattle were exported to several parts of the world, including Australia and North America. In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II demanded that Balmoral Castle in Scotland keep Highland cattle. In her honor, they still keep them there today.

Black Highland Cattle
Brindle Highland Cattle
Baby Highland Cattle

Milk Production

Though they can be milked for personal use, the highland cattle do not produce enough milk to be considered a production breed.

Female Highland Cattle
Highland Cattle Calf
Scottish Cattle

Meat Production

Highland cattle produce excellent beef at a low cost due to not requiring high-quality feeds. The meat of this breed is very lean with low fat and cholesterol.

Long Haired Highland Cattle
Highland Cattle Bull
Pictures of Highland Cattle

Interesting Facts

  • Highland cattle are sometimes used as show animals and are groomed with oils that give them a fluffier appearance. This is most apparent in calves.

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