The remote Scottish Highlands allowed the process of natural selection to produce only the most fit and sturdy of animals. The Highland cattle became very adaptable to the rough and harsh conditions of the rugged Highland terrain. They are one of the oldest breeds in the world originating from Scotland and date back to the 6th century.
When you visit any kind of Highland Cattle show or event today, you will find red, black, yellow, dun, white, and brindle colored Highlands. Years ago, there were only two different types of Highlands. A smaller version, usually black in color, called Kyloe, that lived off the islands on the west coast of northern Scotland and a larger reddish colored breed that lived in the Highlands of Scotland. Both of these different strains are considered Highlands.
Highland cattle are known for being hardy and self-sufficient. They adapt to their environment and can be found in many different climates and areas of the country. Their double coat of hair that can be challenging to keep free of tangles and knots also helps them in severe and adverse weather. This double coat of hair also contributes to having a reduced external fat cover – an asset during processing as more meat value is retained. Their horns are extremely valuable in protecting their young and the herd from predators. They are a beautiful, picturesque breed. At Trinity farms, we are especially fond of their long eyelashes and long hair.
Highland cows are excellent mothers and have very good genetics. Due to their longevity, they can produce many calves with an average birth weight of 65-70 pounds. Highland cows do not normally require assistance during calving, resulting in 97% unassisted births. If assistance is required, it is only required about 3% of the time, a remarkably low percentage. They are known for being docile and calm when handled making them excellent show material for young and old alike.
Highland Cattle are known for their tender, tasty meat. The meat is well-marbled and has lower levels of fat and cholesterol and is rich in iron. At Trinity Farms, they are raised humanely without hormones, steroids, or feed antibiotics.