Convince me to buy Highland Cattle

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by heather, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    I'm starting to do some research on Highland Cattle

    I still need to do a lot more before deciding!

    I've noticed that some of you here have Highlands & I've read some of your comments

    Could you convince me to get into raising Highlands??

    THANKS!!

    PS - the only animals we've ever had are dogs, ducks & guinea pigs, so keep that in mind! :eek:
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Why will you be having cattle? For hobby, for showing, for meat, for milk, for profit, etc.? Knowing the above will better equip someone to respond.
     

  3. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    Good question

    To start, I'd like them as a hobby & maybe milk

    As our girls get older, maybe showing

    Probably not for meat or profit
     
  4. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    There are likely as many devotees to different breeds are there subscribers to this forum, and all of them are correct in choosing the breed they choose.

    If you like the looks and temperment of Highlands then they are certainly the breed for you.

    As with most breeds Highlands can be as wild as deer or tamer than the family dog. They are not the quickest beef, nor the best milkers, but they are a handsome breed with a lot of faithful enthusiasts.

    If you are a hobby rancher/farmer it's not about the money it's about the fun; kinda like buying a Harley, vintage car, or a fishing boat except you have to fence it in and tend it everyday.
     
  5. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    I love my Highlands! So I'm biased. You've been warned.
    Highlands look fearsome but are quite gentle as long as you remember they are a large animal with strong survival instincts and long, pointy horns.
    I started with Beth in December of 2002. At the time she was not quite two, pregnant, and came with an unrelated six month old steer. In June of 2003 she gave us a bull, Nigel. In June of 2004 she gave us another bull, Orlando. This past June she gave as a heiffer, Serenity. Nigel is in the freezer, Orlando is lonely in the pasture while Beth and Serenity are away so Beth can be bred back. Serenity is going to become our milk cow. People often stop along the road to admire them, so be prepared to show off. Highlands are excellant mothers and will keep predators out of any pasture they are in. Highlands do not push fences like so many of the beef breeds. The fences here would not keep any other cattle in, I've only had two "escapes" by calves. One ran through a fence while playing tag and another found he could push under the field fence where a post had broken at ground level. Quick repair jobs and they never got out again. They love having their tailheads scratched. Doing that is almost as fast a way to get to their hearts as treats. They are easy keepers as they prefer pasture and browse to anything else. During the winter the cow, steer and calf will eat one 60lb bale of local hay per day. I don't feed grain except for some wet COB when I need to confine them for worming, grooming, etc. They don't need, or want, a barn. Some shade to keep the sun off in the summer is all they want. Rain and snow don't bother them at all. The Highland doesn't begin to loose bodyheat until minus 18 F. Their milk, while not copious, is 7 to 10 percent butterfat. Thier hides make wonderful rugs and hangings. The horns look great as a horn mount, This year I am making Nigel's horns into drinking horns.
    PM me if you want anything more.
     
  6. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all of the above accept that they are slow finishers , that is changing and if you look for good bloodlines and are carefull with your breeding , you can get your steer finished in comprable time with most other beef breeds . They are not as large a carcass and to some that is a benifit but anymore hanging at 600 lbs by 20 months is becoming more the norm ..as apposed to lucky if you hung at 450 at 36 months 15 or so years ago
    Highlands are very intelligent (far to... ) and easily halter broken that is if you work around them and with them from a young age .. but they can be very fey if not .. having had the herd from .... a few years back and chased them all over the township for weeks on end .. it was a commercial herd we had bought for strickly beef production .. it took me two years but all went into the freezer .. bring that point up for a beginner .. I personally wouldnt buy a highland that doesnt walk off the trailer on the end of a lead rope .. I tell that to all who call and enquire wether they buy from me or not .

    some of the cons ..?
    well ... highlands are very intelligent .... always remember that .. if there is a week point in your fence you can bet they will find it .. and go through if nothing more than to see whats there .. years ago .. I got a call from a neighbor well to the NE of us .. hey did you know your herd has been dining in your cornfields on the other side of the woods every night for the past 3 weeks ?.. no .. since they were always in the pasture when i did my daily walk about and always came thundering out of the woods in the afternoon for a treet of appl;es .. in fact they were out there right then .. well they were in our side meadow when I came in to call .. now you have to understand we arent talking about a small amount of acerage .. couple hundred .. with a fair size woodlot to boot .. it took my days to find where they were escaping from .. seems the lead cow figured if she got sown in the creek and traveled upcreak alomst 300 yds through teh woodlot she could get up out of the ravine pretty easy .. taught all the others to follow .. solved it by chaining a telephone pole across to float on the surface
    about midway up the distance ..
    highlands are hard on barn furniture .. those horns will work havoc on your feeders , partitions, gates ,bunks , you ...what have you .. build em stout .. and keep your hammer and nails handy high tensil is the only fencing I have found that they dont eventually tear down

    Highlands are reagal , lovely animals I think any cattleman would say they are certainly the most picturesque , most of them have good personallities
    they are fun to show , and the folks that own and show highlands are some of the most helpful , fun folks to be around
    A high percentage of highland carcasses if finished right will grade out prime At the denver national in teh past 30 yerars a highland or a highland cross has taken grand champion carcass 95 % of the time (most coming from the stroh ranch )
    They tend to be healthier cows .. (that isnt to say you dont need some type of health program )
    And while a barn isnt necessary .. it is awful handy , and the ladies will use it ....sure is nice when your vet is there and its pouring down rain !!
    My main herd stays outside year round even calving outside in dead winter .. though I have had to bring the occasional momma and baby in barn in particulally nasty weather .
    Can you tell I like highlands ? right now th count is somewheres around 45 head ... and i started with three way back some time in the 80's ...

    Paula
    Hyde Park Farm
     
  7. phantompark

    phantompark Well-Known Member

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    Having bought a herd of 10, 2 years ago, that were not tamed. I would recomend find either a calf to raise or a VERY well behaved cow. We still have 3 of the original wild women cows, they have since calmed down alot but still can't be touched at all. They will go beserk if we try to contain them. Not good to say the least. The young ones are much calmer but not tamed but are going in the freezers next week. We raised a heifer last year on the bottle and what a difference. Calm, sweet and a show off. We have people stop for a farm tour and "Clover" comes right over for the attention. The rest of the herd keeps their distance.
    We did make a good move and purchased a new bull last year that had been hand raised since weaning. He is calm and easy. Which helps with the wild women cows. We have found that is best for all living beings not to get between the momma and her baby. OVERLY PROTECTIVE! At least ours are.
    But, any Highlander (or any other cow for that matter) that has been allowed to go "wild" is trouble if you aren't used to cattle. For us we were used to cattle but these guys were something. It is well worth all the money to buy a well brought up, well behaved Highlander. They are hardy, mostly few health issues and gorgeous. The meat taste great too. Good Luck and go for it. Tricia
     
  8. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, we had Highland cattle for two years. I have one big thing to say about them. BUY TAME ONES!! THe ones we had were wild as can be and were nigh on to unmanageable. Having said that, they do have very good meat and are a beautiful breed. But I also think Jerseys have excellent meat, give much more milk and are easier to handle......so we still have our Jerseys, but our Highlands are history. :happy: Try them out, its the only way you'll know.....but please do buy tame ones to start with.......=)
     
  9. bull

    bull Active Member

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    in addition to what has allready been said about hioghlands thay are a good deterent to burglers and are kind of like a big dog. one time my friend had to put his bull in with his sheep for a little wile.the first time he wnet in to feed them all the sheep run up to get to the feed first.the bull must have thought that the sheep were going to hurt my friend because he runs up and starts using his horns to throw the sheep to the sides. he iginores the feed and looks at my friend like ok buddy i got your back. i would not want to try and mess with thah man when that bull is around.
     
  10. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Go and see the cattle before you buy!

    While a breed of cattle may be said to be tame, that doesn't always hold true for the individual cow or bull. I've seen Highlands that were very docile, and I've seen Highlands you wouldn't want to go into the pasture with.

    If you don't feel comfortable around the cattle, don't buy.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  11. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    You Know Ya Need More!
     
  12. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Did you ever cross the highlands with the jerseys?

    I've been trying to decide on a good breed for us.
    I want milk and oxen.
    Jerseys would be the hands down choice, but they are so tender and our climate is cruel.

    I think Highland oxen would be just perfect crowd pleasers for our
    agri-tourism endeavors. They are stunning! I know I could fill of wagon of
    city folk eager to be pulled up the hill by a pair of them....
     
  13. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

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    highlands make good draught animals I am currently breaking in my second yoke of highlands .. to smart sometimes for their own good .. gota watch in the summer when its hot though .. they can overheat pretty easily but if all you want them for is a small amount of work .. and exibition .. they do fine
    lost my off ox from my old yoke .. (they were 14) this winter from the liver fluke problem .. I am working now on training the near ox to ride .. well with saddle that is .. I could ride hime before that ...
     
  14. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

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    I only have 1 named Brigid. She is so cool. She is tame and very nosy. But, I know that Highlanders can be wild so it depends on the animal it'self. One thing I have a problem with is that cotton pickin' cow will just walk thru my electric fences if she decides too. I think her long hair protects her. The other cattle avoid the electric but if she decides ok, today, I'm going over there, then that's where she goes, electric or not. I would like to get a black one someday. Brigid is red and she will freshen this spring. Dh bred her too his registered Simmental bull.
     
  15. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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