Blue Rock

Highlands & Suffolks

About Highland Cattle

Highlands are a Hardy Heritage breed originating from the rugged landscape of the Highlands of Scotland.  You will read many stories about the hardiness of the Highland Cow. We can assure you that those stories are TRUE!  We have witnessed their hardiness for ourselves while observing them during the cold wet Victorian winters.  During the coldest winter days on our farm, our fold of Highland Cattle can be seen grazing and ruminating happily, in comparison to our neighbour’s cattle, that huddle together to conserve energy to stay warm.  It is quite a contrast.  Even in the hot Australian summers these same cattle are no more stressed then other breeds.  In the summer our cattle loose, except for their dossans, (the fringe of hair that hangs across their face and eyes) their winter coats. The outer, longer coat is shed along with most of the under coat giving them a sleek appearance. Before the approach of the next winter season, they have once again renewed both layers of their thick warm coat.

The Highland Cow is an attentive, protective mother. It has been noted that even sheep that share the same paddock with these cattle will be protected from predators. If only the cattle would take such care of our Suffolk sheep when it was feeding time! 

It is interesting to know that the Highland Cattle are the oldest pedigree breed of cattle in the world.  Archaeological evidence has traced the Highland Cattle back to the sixth century.  Written records have been found that go back to the twelfth century.

There were originally two types of Highland Cattle, Kyloes, a smaller, slower developing, hardy type of Highland that happened to be black in colour.  These were mainly found on the Islands and the western side of Scotland.  Then there were the second type that was larger, red in colour, and found on the Highlands of Scotland.  Modern breeding has now virtually eliminated any genetic variation associated with colour.  Red, black, yellow, dun, white, and brindled are all recognized colours that are found in the breed today. 

Highland cattle are a low maintenance, adaptable, docile breed of cattle.  Their meat is excellent in quality and taste.  Testing has been carried out on the meat in comparison to other breeds and has reveled that it is lower in cholesterol with the same or more percentage of carcass fat.

Highland cattle have come along way since the 1960’s when they were placed on the critical list by the rare breeds Survival Trust.  Credit and Acknowledgement has to be extended to all the dedicated breeders of Highland Cattle around the world that have and still believe that the Highland cow has a place in the modern beef industry.




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