Fanciful

10 Things you probably didn’t know about the SCOTTISH HIGHLAND COW

Lookit this guy. Just lookit ‘im.

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This is a Scottish Highland cow.

And once I was like, “Hey, readers, I will write about something if you ask nicely,” and someone was like “Scottish Highland Cows” AND BEFORE YOU THINK I RENEGE ON MY PROMISES…ahem. Read ye on. Ten things you probs didn’t know about Scottish Highland Cows.

10. Scottish Highland Cows started out as two different breeds of cattle, centuries back. Those two breeds  eventually merged, and the remaining breed is the Scottish Highland Cow we know today.

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9. These suckers were born and bred in (surprise!) Scotland, where they developed their thick coats in response to the harsh conditions of that bonny isle. The highlands served as a catalyst for natural selection, so the cattle who survived were the heartiest and healthiest. To this day, the breed remains vigorous, and they aren’t susceptible to many of the diseases that impact other cattle.

8. That hair-in-the-eyes? It’s called a “dossan.” And it doesn’t phase ‘em. In fact, it helps keep the bugs and other irritants out—which means the Highland cattle have fewer problems with eye diseases, pinkeye, and cancer than other cattle breeds.

7. Those early days of natural selection still come into play, Highland cattle can survive in snow and ice easily. They eat things other cattle wouldn’t touch. They can survive in weird and sloped terrains, and enjoy them. You can find the breed as far north as Alaska and the Scandinavian countries. ALASKA.

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6. Even though the cattle are great at surviving the cold, they also thrive in warmer climates as well. Herds of Highland cattle can be found in Texas and Georgia, too. They eat the peaches and stuff.

Just kidding.

But, they are known for eating things that other cattle won’t eat, so, maybe they do eat peaches.

5. The first herd book for cattle was established in 1884. And the good ol’ Highland is the oldest registered breed. In that same year:

  • Geneticist Gregor Mendel died.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, eventual First Lady of the United States, was born.
  • The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid.

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4. Today these cattle are spread across Europe, North America and Australia. North American farmers noted the breed’s strength around the turn of the twentieth century, and interbred other cattle with Highland cattle, strengthening the cattle of North America and, in some ways, paving the way to the success of the American Cattle Industry.

3. How do you spot a Highland cow? The answer is: its long haired coat. That coat is double-layered for extra warmth: a soft and fluffy undercoat that is covered with a long outer coat. The outer coat is the longest of any cattle breed, and they come in many colors, too. The long coat means they don’t need to have the same requirements for shelter as other breeds of cattle.

They also have horns, but how the horns grow depends on the gender of the beast. Bulls’ horns grow forward-facing, cows’ horns grow in a softer pattern, to the side.

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See how these horns are different?  Lady Scottish Highland cow and Gent Scottish Highland cow.

2. I’m a vegetarian, so this matters not to me, but apparently the meat is excellent—well-marbled and lean, and also low in cholesterol. Their milk also has a high percentage of butterfat.

1. Apparently they’re also smart and curious and not prone to stress, farmers of the breed are often impressed by the “personalities” of the animals.

Also, You can buy one on Craigslist.

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You know you want one. Especially after this helpful info. 😉

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One thought on “10 Things you probably didn’t know about the SCOTTISH HIGHLAND COW

  1. I won’t lie. This is my favorite post ever, and I have liked a lot of your posts. Thanks for actually writing about what I asked you to write about! Also, thank you for all the pictures of Highland Cows! Finally, I loved the historical context #mendel4ever

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