• Highland Cattle •

Miniature Highland Cattle

A little bit about the history of highland cattle: Highland cattle originated from the highlands of Scotland.  Their unusual double coat of hair gives them the advantage of withstanding the harsh conditions of the highlands.  Their distinctive long hair not only is stunning but provides protection from bush, undergrowth and flies.  Their hair does get shorter in summer and does not grow as long if bred in warmer climates. These cattle are scavengers! The Highland cattle have a wonderful reputation for their docile temperaments.  Very little aggression is ever seen in their folds (groups of cattle generally are known as herds but Highland cattle are known as folds). They have a great understanding of their own social hierarchy and never fight.  They also enjoy the company of humans often walking up to seek affection. I can attest to these qualities.

Meet Espen.

Espen is a miniature Scottish Highland heifer and English white mix.  She will get approximately 42 inches.   She was born in April and came to live with us in June 2021.  She is dun in color and has the wonderful messy hair associated with highland cattle.  Her horns are just starting to grow in.  Right now their horns are not catching anything in the barn, but I’m sure that will change very soon.  

Espen is a mild-mannered cow who just enjoys being with us and the other animals.  She loves her bedding and will immediately push it around and lay in it as we put new out for her and Duncan.  She loves to zoom through the pasture  kicking up dirt and grass as she goes. It makes us laugh! She doesn’t get into as much mischief as her “brother” Duncan…

Meet Duncan.

Duncan is our miniature highland steer mixed with English white.  He will reach an approximate height of  42 inches as well. We picked him up along with Espen in June of 2021.  He was more timid at first compared to Espen, but soon settled in.  Oh boy, when he settled in nothing was off limits.  I didn’t expect  cattle to be as curious as they are, Duncan is curious.  He, more than once, gotten into our tack room, which was closed off, and got stuck in there.  Poor baby!  But that did not stop him, he finds ways into the feed room and together with Espen will knock over the feed cans in an attempt to eat as much as they want.  He will push open the room with the hay stored and help himself…can you see the theme?  Yes, he is motivated by food.  Once on the pasture, he loves to zoom about as well.  He and Espen are quite the sight!  

Duncan has attached himself to our pony, Rosie, who stays in the small pasture with the miniatures on occasion. He loves her while she tolerates him.  It’s a budding friendship.  

I mentioned how Espen liked when we cleaned out the stall to place new bedding down.  Well, Duncan does as well in a different way.  He will “charge” the straw bales  or pine bedding bundles fling them up with his head and then jump around in the falling bedding.  Once the bedding is “spread out” he waits for us to open a new bale to help us spread it.  Delightful! Who says cattle are not helpful?

These two are so much fun.

Every time we are out with them, they come to greet us.  If we are in our drive way and they see us they moo their hellos from the pasture.  It’s a wonderful greeting. Now that it is spring, they stay out in the pasture happily munching on the grass.  Because the grass is so rich and can cause some bloating, they get to stay in the smaller pasture.  They have plenty of room to zoom around the perimeter, through the center, around the goats and sheep and then stop to graze again. 

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