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Highland Cattle

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by DairyGoatz, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. DairyGoatz

    DairyGoatz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2013
    North Carolina
    I was wondering if anyone raised and milked Highland cattle, if so how much do you get per day per cow? I'd really like to know. We're thinking about purchasing a registered 1 1/2 year old heifer as our first cow because they're supposed to be hardy and good foragers... The only problem is that she isn't tame, so how do you tame a skittish calf?... also she's less than half her mothers size, the owner says that she'll grow up by next summer and to breed her then, is that correct?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    http://www.highlandcattleusa.org/
    We've had Highland cattle for pets/meat for about 20 years. I don't know anybody who milks them. Like any cow, they could be milked, but they are primarily beef cattle over here. They are definitely hardy/weather tolerant and make good foragers. They are very slow maturing, and they are not very big cows as adults, especially compared to beef breeds like angus. They are usually bred at around 1.5-2 years old for their first calves. From my experience with them, I would not buy an unhandled one as a milk cow, they are very protective of their calves and to me are reactive, often overly.
     
  3. DairyGoatz

    DairyGoatz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2013
    North Carolina

    Thank you for the information. I know they're normally meat cattle nowadays but the used to be triple purpose from what I've read... we need a small cow and we don't need alot of milk but the 'protective nature' of the cow coupled with their horns makes me a little uneasy, especially since I'd rather have a Dexter but my mom wants the highland because their foragers... But we won't be getting that calf, they decided not to sell her.
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
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    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    I think most more heritage breeds that are not specialists (dairy like holsteins, or beef like angus) will be decent forgers, and they tend to be small. You might want to consider something like the milking shorthorns or dexters like you said if you want something that is a milk cow but doesn't produce like the commercial ones, but is still a decent beef cow. My first reaction on the idea of getting an unhandled two year old highland heifer to milk was along the lines of only if I want to die :)
     
  5. DairyGoatz

    DairyGoatz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2013
    North Carolina
    We really just want to make butter with the cow's milk, our goats supply all the milk we need.... I'll keep what you said about the heritage being good foragers but my mother thinks the Dexter's look to boring and normal :barnie ... The heifer's mother wasn't tamed until she was 7 and at 12 the new owner started milking her in the middle of lactation (getting 1 gallon without separating the calf and milking sporadically sounds okay to me) so I was rather hoping the calf would inherit her mother's nature.
     
  6. uncle3tio

    uncle3tio New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2015
    I have searched the net the Highland Milk Info is not available, so be the first! get some highland cattle milk them record the data and publish it. I would be interested to know

    if I don't beat you to it!
     

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