~ Thank you for visiting our Scottish Highland website. Since you are here you've no doubt acquired some previous knowledge of this graceful and beautiful animal and wish to know more. Well you've come to the right place, as any owner of the Highland breed will easily talk "till the cows come home" about them.
Here at "Double D Scottish Highland Farm" we consider our Scottish Highlanders pets. Of course. we are not your typical cow ranchers either. Upon retirement, we had 5 fenced acres of grassland with a small wooded area and a 6 stall barn. Tired of mowing the farm property.... and our homestead also....we decided that we could use a cow to help keep the overgrowth down. What a great idea, we would also be raising our own grass-fed beef in the meantime! So off we go to the local auction barn....without a clue as to what we were doing. The minute we got there we knew we had a lot to learn. So for the next year we researched, observed, learned and continued to mow. We went to the auction barn three times previous to making our decision. The fourth time, determined not to come back without a "heifer", we borrowed a trailer to cinch the decision. We wound up getting two, 4 month old heifers, so that the one would not be lonely. Two heifers as different as night and day. We have no idea what breed or mix of breeds they are, but "DUSTY ROSE & DARLA" have brought us a great deal of laughs........worry over their first calves.....and joy when they greet us with their bellows. Yes, they have both given us calves....... So where's the bull?
Over time we decided to breed our little "lawn mowers" and double their duty. Of course we had to find a bull to breed them with. Not just any bull, a "Highland" bull. During all our research on cattle we had become more and more intrigued by the very old, very intelligent, "Scottish Highland" breed. Some of their characteristics are that they have lower birth weight, ease of calving and rarely needing help with birthing. That sounded real good for a couple that intended on retiring! We were also aware that Highland beef is 70% lower in cholesteral than most other beef breeds, even lower than poultry if raised naturally. It sounded like a win-win situation.
We had no luck finding a Highland bull to breed our heifers with. We were not really interested in purchasing a bull and the Highlander breed came with a hefty price tag for a lawn mower. Then one day we went by a farm on the highway that raised Highland cattle and though we had been by there a few times in the past we had only seen the prehistoric looking animals once. Curiosity getting the better of us, we decided to stop and inquire. The gentleman that answered the door was a very nice young man and willing to talk to us. We told him that we were interested in the Highland breed and inquired if he still raised them. Come to find out he had 40 acres and a lot of it was wooded, which is where the cows stayed during the heat of the day, or in the pond, which was not visible from the highway. We discussed our situation and he seemed to understand. So off we go on foot to the "back forty" to see if we could find the bull. A few minutes later he excused himself and went back towards the house to a lean-to shed and returned with a long stick. Joking, we asked him if he was going to fend off a spooked cow with it. His answer was very serious, "Yes" he told us. After a few moments of silence he sensed that an explanation was in order and proceeded to tell us that in the Highland fold.....not always, but usually.....the one with the longest horns is the boss cow, hence the long stick, or pseudo horn. This trait was for the cows only, not the bulls. Bulls have a mind of their own. Well we finally found the fold and let me tell you that the bull was mighty impressive! Almost 2000 lbs, and absolutely intimidating! We were also impressed by a beautiful 3 year old mohogany colored cow with a calf at her side. The calf was a 2 month old mahogany red bull, and after watching mother and son interact for a while, we fell in love. And so the addiction of the Scottish Highlander breed began for us. We wanted to get the bull calf accustomed to us as soon as possible, so the owner made arrangements to let us take both mother and son home until the calf was ready to wean. This was a great learning experience for us and we are forever grateful to that young man for giving us that experience.
The Highland breed is very protective of their young and after a couple of weeks we were wondering if we were ever going to get the chance at any human/calf bonding started, as "mama" was not going to have anything to do with it! Being animal lovers from a young age, it didn't take us long to come to our senses and realize that we were approaching the situation from the wrong angle. The way to the calf was "through" the mama. Though we were still intimidated by her strong motherly instinct and those massive horns, we soon found that the intelligence of this animal was to our benefit. With mutual understanding, "mama" was eating range cubes from our hand within a week and before long, under mama's watchful eye, our little bull calf would take them from our hand also. Today that cute little bull calf weighs about 1800 lbs (and still growing) and has an impressive set of horns of his own. He still loves to eat range cubes from our hand and when being groomed will stretch out his neck as if telling us not to forget to brush his favorite spot. Who says cows are dumb? Not ours!
So to make this story short :), we started out looking for a cow to mow our pasture for us...... to buying more land. Land that would be inviting to our Highlanders. Are we passionate? You bet! The sole purpose of this website is to promote Highland cattle and to strive in keeping the genetics pure. All our Highlands are registered and purebred.
Definition of purebred: of or belonging to a recognized strain established by breeding individuals of unmixed lineage over many generations.
We are located in the Northeast part of Texas. Not the ideal place to raise the Highland breed since they prefer a cold climate, but it can be done. Ranchers in far south Texas are doing it with success. Though on a summer day when it is 107 in the shade, we question our own intelligence. On those days our Highlanders LIVE in the pond. Without deep shade and a pond to cool off in, the Highlander breed will suffer in the Texas heat. We top off the fresh water tank for our Highlanders daily, not because it may need it, but the Highlanders come out of nowhere because they love the misting they will get after the tank is filled. Yeah our cows are spoiled!
We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for visiting our website. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. ~
~ FROM ONE VETERAN TO ALL OTHERS, WE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO THANK OUR TROOPS. FOR THOSE WHO SERVE AND THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED. GOD BLESS EVERY ONE OF YOU. OUR PRAYERS ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU. ~