Highlands & other breeds...

Juggler

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Anglesey
Up to a few years ago I bred pedigree AA, prior to that, ped Lims & Blues also, never in my life did I envisage asking about keeping highlands but times change, and so have I.
Anyway, small farm, there will come a point in the not too distant future where no-one will be home during the day (anticipating this was partly the reason behind getting out of cattle a few years ago) we both work full time off site.
I didn't anticipate keeping cattle again but youngest daughter is very keen as she missed out on the years we kept and showed cattle and all the rigmarole that goes with that.
Decided to buy a couple of baby fatstockers for her to show but she really fancies breeding cattle, we've a rough patch of ground that could be home to a couple of highland heifers & a young bull, I cant see the point in getting back on the Lim or any other continental treadmill as I cant be arsed with the whole thing and don't fancy the stress of pulling big calves etc.
Outside Scotland, is there a market for small scale produced Highlands? and if so in what form, also, what other breed would fill the same remit?
Need to be out all year round, could be able to put up a field shelter type of arrangement (sheds that used to hold cattle now used for other stuff) calving ease is the biggest requirement along with docile temperament, they wont be far from the house and would be checked daily but don't want to go back to the big arsed pedigree world if I'm honest, no disrespect, it's just not for me anymore.
 
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choochter

Member
Location
aberdeenshire
So, you want a breed where the calf is born small - so I will say Bazadaise, as that is a strong feature of the breed.
But Salers and Whitebred Shorthorn would also fit the bill.

I find Bazadaise easy on the eye, quiet - and they are also a very good shape so quite commercial.

But it also depends on what takes you and your daughter's fancy as well.
Highlanders are not very commercial, slow growing and have inconvenient horns.
 

AftonShepherd

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
East Ayrshire
Need to be out all year round, could be able to put up a field shelter type of arrangement (sheds that used to hold cattle now used for other stuff) calving ease is the biggest requirement along with docile temperament, they wont be far from the house and would be checked daily but don't want to go back to the big arsed pedigree world if I'm honest, no disrespect, it's just not for me anymore.

Galloway would do the same job or dexters
Really?
 

JP1

Member
Livestock Farmer
To be fair, the last contact I had with Galloways was in the days before tagging and birth and they'd only be brought in once a year for weaning. Yours might just have a bit more human contact lol.

I shouldn't have judged the breed on that alone.
When I started I bought various cows to become a flying herd. A few were just a bit skittish, when you went in the field they'd always swivel so their head faced you , not nasty. I had one who just was too much of a handful so she went down the road. After 12 years I've got cattle as calm as any others of other breeds that I know
 
For your daughter to show then Highlands would probably be ideal and they should be hardy enough for you to keep outside.
I don't know anything much about them but I imagine they are like most things that are popular with the show crowd there will be some that are ruined by mollycoddling and be as hardy as a Fabergé egg. I'd try and find some that aren't so you can treat them like cows and leave them outside like they should be without them falling to pieces.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
For your daughter to show then Highlands would probably be ideal and they should be hardy enough for you to keep outside.
I don't know anything much about them but I imagine they are like most things that are popular with the show crowd there will be some that are ruined by mollycoddling and be as hardy as a Fabergé egg. I'd try and find some that aren't so you can treat them like cows and leave them outside like they should be without them falling to pieces.
I was talking to a retired judge a couple of years ago, who had moved up from London to the Shropshire borders. On his ‘farm’ he had a fold of Highland cows, and he was feeding them a few nuts every day to keep them friendly.
It must a common thing as he was buying in ‘Highland nuts’, made specially for the job.🤐

I suspected straw nuts, in a fancy bag, with a ‘specialist’ price.
 

egbert

Member
Another vote for one of the various hues of Galloways.
(nothing against Highlands, but why bother with the antlers?)
Belts/Whites/Riggits all have following around the country, including smallholders/parkland type locations, easy care specialist beef applications, and conservation grazing.
Whereas -if I may speculate- the solid blacks tend to be limited to commercial hill men. This is leading them along a path i don't subscribe to myself, chasing size and shape and length....but each to their own eh.

Behavioural issues are 95% down to handling and handler attitude. As @JP1 has said.
For sure there's occasionally odd snotty ones - but you can trim their feet up to the ears to cure that.

As also said, the show circuit/smallholder-itis sometimes leads to less than careful selection criteria, but as long as you keep it in mind, you'll be fine.
Get ahead, get a Galloway!
 

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