Quantcast
Milking Scotch Highland Cows? - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Come enter the Lehman's Aladdin Lamp Giveaway!

Go Back   Homesteading Today > Livestock Forums > Cattle

Cattle For Those Who Like To Have A Cow.


Like Tree8Likes
  • 3 Post By lakeportfarms
  • 1 Post By Callieslamb
  • 1 Post By arcticow
  • 1 Post By lakeportfarms
  • 2 Post By uncle Will in In.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 12/16/12, 04:44 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34
Milking Scotch Highland Cows?

OK, i'm not wanting gallons of milk everyday. So please understand that, the milk is only for me and my family. But what i don't get is people keep claiming there is no "Dual purpose" cow. Either you pick one or the other (meat or milk production). But i really don't either, A) Want another cow just for milk or B) Want to have to buy a milking goat or some other animal to supply milk..

When i first found the cow i was happy to read: "The breed was originally a dual-purpose breed supplying both meat and milk to the farmers on the cold and windy coast of Scotland." So why do people keep telling me the cow isn't dual purpose...? So... please, does anyone milk their Highland cows that can give me some insight?

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12/16/12, 05:25 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 8,800

I've never had Scotch Highlands or known anyone personally who did but on the 'dual purpose' cow I can tell you that we raised Herefords ... later Hereford/Angus crosses ... and we never had a 'dairy breed' cow. We milked several of the Hereford cows that gave more milk than a calf would need and they provided all the milk we needed.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12/16/12, 06:17 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Posts: 271

We have highlands, and have been prepping our oldest heifer for milking. The Highlands milk is VERY rich... approximately 10% butterfat. You certainly wont get the quantity as you would from a major milk breed, but we accept that.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12/16/12, 07:09 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MO
Posts: 2,833

The two Highlands I milked in AK were both fair milkers, couple gallons a milking, and had a creamline similar to a Jersey...

__________________

Home is the hunter, home from the hill, and the sailor home from the sea...

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12/16/12, 07:20 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: south central KY 75 miles SSE of Louisville
Posts: 1,224

It is a very docile breed. The only milk we have gotten from ours was given to calf. They don't produce like a dairy breed but what they do produce is quality. They are actually a triple breed in a since they where used for meat,dairy and work.

__________________

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons...for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12/16/12, 07:49 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 286

Our Highlands produce around 2 gallons/day. It is a very rich milk with high butterfat and naturally homogenized. We don't get very much cream, it just doesn't separate like our Dexter milk does.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12/16/12, 07:53 PM
haypoint's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern Michigan (U.P.)
Posts: 8,154

Some will claim they are quiet. The ones I've been around were wild as the wind and would not make a suitable family milk cow. Are the teets long enough to milk effectively?

You may find that you can milk yours. Or you may spend a lot of time and money getting one bought, bred and in milk, only to discover you can't catch her or she causes a few of the problems that unruly cows present, kicking, stepping in the pail, refusing to let her milk down, etc.

IMHO, I'd rather eat the meat of a dairy cow, than deal with the headache of milking a beef breed.

I guess it all hinges on if you have one that'll stand to be milked. Let us know how it turns out.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12/17/12, 03:43 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 286

Haypoint,

Take a little drive across the bridge and come buy one of ours...you could even practice your lasso technique for 20 minutes like my nephew did before she'll walk in the trailer for you.



Or if you're cold you could take a nap with this one...



If they happen to be in milk we could go out in the pasture with a bucket and stool (no halter or rope needed) and get a gallon or two for some refreshment for your drive home.

Haven, Patchouli and Mme_Pickles like this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12/17/12, 06:28 AM
haypoint's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern Michigan (U.P.)
Posts: 8,154

Fantastic! Just bear in mind they all aren't like that. Some are more like bison.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12/17/12, 07:38 AM
BlackWillowFarm's Avatar  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 1,282

I've only milked Jersey's so no experience with dual purpose breeds. I've come across several people who say a beef cow gives wonderful milk, but she'll have a shorter lactation and dry herself off about the time a calf would be naturally weaned.

It doesn't sound as if you could milk her for an extended period like you could a dairy breed.

That might factor into your decision whether to go with dairy or beef/dual purpose.

__________________

~Carla~

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12/17/12, 07:43 AM
Callieslamb's Avatar  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 15,812

Any cow will give you milk. Any cow will give you meat. Dual purpose is determined by how hard it is to produce both cost effectively. Beef breeds are hands down the best at producing beef. Dairy breeds at producing milk. Duh. Finding one that does both as well as either in both categories is nigh impossible. Does it matter? I raise jersey bull calves for the family freezer. Yes, a angus would do it better and faster. I buy the jersey for $10 - an angus is going to be upwards of $500. Perhaps working the numbers, feed input, etc, I might come out better with an angus.

Milking is the same. Yes, you can milk an angus- but how much milk are you going to get for your efforts? How long do they produce milk? Beef breeds only produce milk for a few months until the calf is weaned. How long will a highland produce milk for your family? Dairy cows will produce milk for 10 months or longer - just enough time for them to be dried off so they can produce another calf. I prefer a cow with a clean udder- long hair around teats are a nasty business in my book. Long hairs in my milk is even worse. Dirt the hair drops into my milk - worst of all.

Are you sure they produce a gallon or 2 at a time?

haypoint likes this.
__________________
The future is as bright as your faith.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12/17/12, 09:14 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MO
Posts: 2,833

Yes, I'm sure... I ran a dairy for living for 'bout 17 years... a brush takes care of the hair befor milking, and they will let you use it if they will let you milk 'em. BTW, some of the better milkers I've seen were Hol./Angus crosses.

Head4theHills likes this.
__________________

Home is the hunter, home from the hill, and the sailor home from the sea...

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12/17/12, 09:24 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: south central KY 75 miles SSE of Louisville
Posts: 1,224

We had a cow that nursed a calf right up until she had another then nursed them both for about a week when mom put foot to forehead on the older one. So 11 plus months so I would say they go just as long as any breed..

__________________

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons...for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12/17/12, 12:06 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 554

I see no reason not to milk a highland. I havne't really tried to milk mine but have milked a cross, most of mine would be milkable in a shoot but they also don't get handled daily and are on a huge pasture for the summer so they have to get used to us again in the winter. I have halter broke some and others I could ride depends more on the animal then it's breed. I have jersey, highland, angus and herford, can't ride any of the angus......and wouldn't want to milk them they are not as friendly

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12/18/12, 12:13 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34

Wow thank you so much everyone for all the details. I guess it wont hurt to try then!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12/18/12, 05:08 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 286

Good luck!

Just remember, you usually get what you pay for...as Haypoint has said, not all of them are docile. Any breed of cattle can be difficult to handle if they have been treated poorly. And individual animals may have different temperaments, which often is hereditary.

As I describe to many customers who purchase calves from us for their own farms, you may have this animal for 20 years (Scottish Highlands are productive for a long time, the red one in the prior photo is 15 years old). You can get a cheap one for $600 and buy yourself a ton of headaches for 20 years, or you could pay $1500 and have a cow that you can walk up to in the pasture, slip a halter on, and lead her wherever you want her. Over 20 years, that amounts to $.13 per day. Is the added frustration worth the lower price you might pay?

G. Seddon likes this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12/18/12, 06:30 AM
haypoint's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern Michigan (U.P.)
Posts: 8,154

I saw a photo from the 1800s that showed a boy that had trained a pair of turkeys to pull a little cart. Lots of folks have seen the picture from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, with a buffalo trained to be ridden.
I'm sure you can milk a Highland.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12/18/12, 09:27 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MO
Posts: 2,833

You could buy a Holstein... I have had more than 1 of those that I had to rope, tie short to fence and put a tight heel rope on to vaccinate and they still broke the needle off in 'em, had to be sold before they crippled somebody trying to milk 'em or tore the barn up...

__________________

Home is the hunter, home from the hill, and the sailor home from the sea...

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12/18/12, 10:21 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154

Keep a jersey cow and breed her to an angus bull. That way you have a good milk cow and good beef calves. You aren't going to butcher the cow, so she need not be dual purpose. If she is a good milker she will raise two calves and have milk for your family.

Wanda and pancho like this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12/18/12, 01:38 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 286

Not everybody needs (or wants) the amount of milk a Jersey can produce. Having a milk breed is not for beginners either...milk fever, ketosis, etc. is much more common and difficult to deal with for somebody only wanting a gallon or two per day. You are paying for all that milk no matter what whether it is in hay, grain, etc...

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12/18/12, 02:46 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: On a farm
Posts: 84

The reason dual purpose is rarely seen is that it isn't in demand anymore. Shorthorns used to be of one variety, with few beef or dairy specific bloodlines. Now there are two separate breeds, the ox/milk Shorthorn and the beef Shorthorn.

The only issue with milking a Scotch Highland I would think would be you might get some hairy milk, but good luck. F1 hybrids are always great too.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12/18/12, 03:49 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeportfarms View Post
Not everybody needs (or wants) the amount of milk a Jersey can produce. Having a milk breed is not for beginners either...milk fever, ketosis, etc. is much more common and difficult to deal with for somebody only wanting a gallon or two per day. You are paying for all that milk no matter what whether it is in hay, grain, etc...
Exactly, i have no idea what i would do with so much milk... I think i'd waste 90% of it at the end.. My Great Grandma always had Goats for milk, but the smell... i just can't do it. The cows in my opinion were just easier for me to handle.

Being in Ohio i like the fact they can handle the extreme cold, even though lately our winters haven't been bad. People said trimming of the hair was all that was needed to keep the hair out of the way. But with 10% butterfat maybe i might need to look into another cow. I was reading up on Dexter that could help with that...says 3,000 pounds of milk.
__________________

Last edited by Nicholie Olie; 12/18/12 at 03:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12/18/12, 05:31 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MO
Posts: 2,833

Only problem with Dexters is that some of 'em are so short I almost have to have 'em on a stand to milk... if you're not a tall person, should be no problem...

__________________

Home is the hunter, home from the hill, and the sailor home from the sea...

Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12/18/12, 10:39 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NH
Posts: 49

My highlands were docile.....the ones we kept as breeders. the ones that were flighty, we put in the freezer. I had 2 that I milked, mainly because I could. With only 2 of us drinking it and my sisters 4, we had all the milk we needed. I always shared with the calves...got probably 2 quarts a day from each. I could have got more but didnt need to. Good luck, not everyone needs a jersey to milk (though they are nice animals!).

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12/20/12, 07:14 AM
Jennifer L.'s Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: New York bordering Ontario
Posts: 4,277

As for amounts of milk from a Holstein, just take as much milk as you need. The cow adjusts. I have a lot of Holsteins being treated like beef cows right now, and to look at their udders, you wouldn't think they were a milking breed. The older cows who went through the parlor have "normal" sized smallish udders. The young cows that were never milked have tiny udders that you hardly see between their hind legs, and their calves are growing like gangbusters. So take a quart of milk or two quarts and in a week the cow will be giving that much.

A friend of mine who raised Scottish Highlands had one that he threatened to bring over to me when I was still milking for a living. He had a cow that had really bagged up when she freshened. And a neighbor with Black Angus has also had a cow with a noticeably large udder when she came in.

So I say go for it. Any cow will give a decent amount of milk. The one difference I think that's obvious is the length of lactation. You start to get half beef blood and they start to taper off on milk several months before the Holsteins do. Probably still as good as a goat for lactation length, though. I'm talking petering out at 8 months instead of stretching past ten.

Jennifer

__________________

-Northern NYS

Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Milking and Cheese Making Workshop jucal Goats 5 02/08/11 02:45 PM
New to milking goats and have a few questions janij Goats 23 12/18/10 10:44 AM
Milking Goat Question Muddy Boots Goats 7 06/11/10 11:00 AM
Sold my first Homebred Milking does today...a little sad. Shazza Goats 7 10/03/06 01:59 PM
Milking questions Momof8kiddoes Cattle 6 05/11/05 10:07 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:19 AM.