how cold for highlands

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by myheaven, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How low of a temp can highlands handle before you need to start to get concerned. Im talking north dakota weather. I dont have highlands but we are looking at a farm in north dakota and looking at highlands to farm out there. ANy info would be great thanks Beth
     
  2. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    my husband is looking for I guess a number. I know they can handle canda weather. Hes a facts kinda man. Thank you Beth
     

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm up in Alberta and I know my highlands have absolutely no problems with our bitter raw cold. A person still needs to provide deep bedding and wind breaks to keep them comfortable and feed heavy but they do very well. Their coats actually have 2 layers which provides 'loft' which traps warmth near their bodies. Their coats thicken and shed to accomodate most weather and they are notorious for finding situations that suit their needs. In our hot summers, you find them sunning near water where it's a bit cooler. It's actually fascinating to watch the calves, who are born with quite a lot of hair and in our spring storms (which are quite harsh) and they'll be out playing in the bitter, raw wind & snow while everybody else's calves are hidding in straw beds trying to stay warm. I guess if you're looking for a specific number, mine have survived -40 with no divine effort.
     
  4. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    Can't find the referance right now, but I recall that Highlands, even calves, will not begin drawing on reserves until its colder than minus 18 F. At that point you'll need to increase their feed for them to maintain or gain weight. Here at my place it is extremely rare for it to get to zero F, been three years since we've gone as low as 10 F. Windbreaks are appreciated by them, as is shade in the summer.
     
  5. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you wr I gave him the number and it apeased him. Thank you again
     
  6. arcticow

    arcticow Well-Known Member

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    65 below, if they don't have any wind. Provided they are full and have bedding.
     
  7. phantompark

    phantompark Well-Known Member

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    Check the american highlander site, I recall reading they don't start to lose body heat till around -20F? Ours are free to go in the barn in deep bedding and a wind break or lay outside either on dirt or some old hay. Some are outside some inside. When it gets really nasty, everyone is snuggled up and nice to each other inside.
    They are extremely hardy more so than just about any other breed. It's that thick multi layered coat.
     
  8. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    thank you everyone for your replies.
     
  9. de Molay

    de Molay Well-Known Member

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    Alberta weather where I am ranges from -55F to + 35 in the summer, I calve outside sometimes at -25/-30 because the weather is so unpredictable....They have shelter an open faced barn....And bedding....Like any animal they have to have a wind break...It's not the cold it is the cold with the wind that is a problem...If they haven't gotten up and gotten colustrum within 30 minutes I get involved....Have never seen a Highland calf not get up and suckle tho....We had two cows calve at the same time once and it was 20 below, I got confused as to which was which, the one little guy, his mother was a first time calver I did not see suckle, I never leave them alone until I see them nurse...He never rec'd colustrum until the next morning and he made it ok, his mother had hid him in the straw...I milked her colustrum and gave him a bottle and he was on the go in 30 minutes.....