scottish highlands and electric fence

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Paul Wheaton, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    missoula, montana
    I'm looking into getting some scottish highland cattle and just heard that there could be a problem with electic fence since they have so much hair.

  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    I don't know, but one trick is to hang soda cans on the wire. They get curious, go to take a sniff and get zapped right on the nose. Once is usually enough, even for the most problematic animal.


  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    I used high tensil barb wire for my cattle fences. The barbs will go through the hair far enough to zap them. I had some cows that would jump a cattle panel, but they would never try to jump one barb about three feet high. I have seen them graze below the wire when the charger was off. As soon as they felt a barb against their neck they would jump back like they were shocked. I hung the barb on old T posts about 50 feet apart.
    Many people are afraid to have barb wire on the property. If they don't put it up properly it can cut an animal trying to crawl through the fence.
  4. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

    Mar 12, 2004
    Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
    Highland cattle are among the easiest to confine as they are known for not challenging fences. They will feel the shock through their hair just like a shorthaired breed. All my cross fencing is single wire electric on pigtail posts for easy moving. Unless driven by outside forces they won't go through it. I've had my cow go through it once as she went after a coyote. Calves, because of their size, need two or three strand cross fencing. Perimeter fencing is three strand barbed wire backed by four foot hog fence. The hog fence helps to confine the chickens that free range with the cattle during the winter. Enjoy your Highlands, they are wonderfull beasties.
  5. phantompark

    phantompark Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2003
    We have 14 scottish highlanders and in the past year (we got them last year) have had NO problems with them challenging the electric fence. They are docile and calm animals (or should be). We have 2 strand electric fence and only have the occaisional calf slip under to have a snack in the yard. The herd likes to stay together so that helps. If you don't aggrivate or scare them you should have few problems. Contrary to rumors this is one of the calmest cattle breeds. I think the horns intimidate people more than the actual actions.
  6. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Aug 10, 2003
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't think it should be that much of a problem, she shed out to almost slick in the summer if you have any sort of heat at all. I also don't find them to be agressive about fencing, it's not really in their nature to push at fences. Just make sure you have them on a good rotation so they aren't in depleted pastures. They tend to be browsers so they tend to enjoy more variety thus allowing them to stay on a pasture a bit longer than conventional cattle. I do hope you get some soon, I need another Highland guy to share information.
  7. SpaceCadet12364

    SpaceCadet12364 Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    south central KY 75 miles SSE of Louisville
    After we fixed our fencing last year (replaced the old barb wire with 6 strand high tensile with a solar charger), we have not had any problems with our Highland ladies or gentleman. Currently running a small fold of 5 cows, 1 bull, 2 heifer calves and a bull calf. Well, also an Angus and her calf, a simmental steer and 2 jersey steers.