Monarch of Gray Brae

Highland Cattle are one of the oldest and undoubtedly the hardiest of British breeds of cattle. Having lived for centuries in the rugged mountains and islands of western Scotland, they have adapted perfectly to cope with atrocious weather conditions, midges and poor upland grazing. Today, their popularity has spread worldwide and there are Highlanders to be found everywhere from the heat of Australia and South Africa to the arctic winters of Canada and Finland.

Despite the long horns and shaggy coats, all of our cattle are very easy-going and seem to enjoy their contact with humans. Our calves are born outdoors in the spring and remain with their mothers and dad until the start of the following winter, when they're about nine months old. By this stage, the cows are heavily pregnant and thoroughly deserve a few months off before the arrival of the next calf in the spring.

Once weaned, the young cattle stay together in small groups of similar age and size because we find this avoids stress and behaviour problems that can arise in large mixed-age groups. The youngsters of both sexes are haltered and individually fed every day, particularly through their first winter, and rapidly get used to being handled. This is also our chance to train them out of any bad habits!