Highland cattle were first imported into Australia by the mid-nineteenth century by Scottish migrants such as Chieftain Aeneas Ronaldson MacDonell of Glengarry, Scotland. Arriving in Port Albert, Victoria, in 1841 with his clan, they apparently drove their Highland cattle to a farm at Greenmount, on the Tarra River, preceded by a piper. Samuel Amess, also from Scotland, who made a fortune in the Victorian goldfields and became Mayor of Melbourne in 1869, kept a small fold of black Highland cattle on Churchill Island. They were seen and survived in Port Victoria during the late 1800s, but other folds were believed to have died out in areas such as New South Wales. In 1988 the Australian Highland Cattle Society was formed. Since then, numbers have been growing and semen is being exported to New Zealand to establish the breed there.
The Highland Cattle Club of Finland was founded in 1997. Their studbooks show importation of Highland cattle breeding stock to Finland, dating back to 1884. The Finnish club states that in 2016, there were 13000 Highland cattle in Finland.
The beef from Highland cattle is very tender, but the market for high-quality meat has declined. To address this decline, it is common practice to breed Highland "suckler" cows with a more favourable breed such as a Shorthorn or Limousin bull. This allows the Highland cattle to produce a crossbred beef calf that has the tender beef of its mother on a carcass shape of more commercial value at slaughter. These crossbred beef suckler cows inherit the hardiness, thrift and mothering capabilities of their Highland dams and the improved carcass configuration of their sires. Such crossbred sucklers can be further crossbred with a modern beef bull such as a Limousin or Charolais to produce high quality beef.
The exhibit included articles on the history of the Highland cattle breed, their place of origin and how people became interested in supporting their genetic line. It also documented some of the older periodicals like "Highland Cattle Society of Scotland"'s first herd book from 1885 and a news article from "The South Dakota Stockgrower" from 1954. Information from these sources also documented the first Highland cattle brought to the United States.In 2021, a cow from Ray and Janet's Highland herd featured on the cover of the wall calendar for the "Heartland Highland Cattle Association.
The exhibit, while filled with colorful stories, was also filled with colorful awards taking shape as ribbon, medals, plaques, trophies and letters of commendation. There were newspaper and magazine articles (both local and national) about the awards as well. Images of Ray and Janet with their show-winning cattle and award banners span their career with the Highland herd. There was also general information about cattle shows and the process of breeding award-winning cattle.
In recent decades the Kerry cattle breed has experienced significant population fluctuations due to changing socioeconomic and agricultural circumstances. During the 1980s, the number of breeding females decreased to less than 200, prompting the Irish agricultural authorities to introduce a Kerry cattle conservation scheme (McParland, 2013), which has continued to the present day in the form of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Kerry Cattle Premium Scheme (Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, 2017).
The formal conservation policy and supports initiated during the early 1990s led to a significant increase in the Kerry cattle population, such that by 2007 the number of breeding females had increased to more than a thousand animals (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2007). In recent years, however, due to deteriorating economic circumstances in Ireland post-2008, the Kerry cattle population has substantially declined once again and is classified as endangered and under significant threat of extinction or absorption through crossbreeding with other breeds (McParland, 2013; Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, 2014).
The Kerry cattle breed was one of the first European heritage cattle breeds to be surveyed using molecular population genetics techniques. We have previously used autosomal microsatellite genetic markers and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequence variation for comparative evolutionary studies of genetic diversity in Kerry cattle and other British, European, African and Asian breeds (MacHugh et al., 1997, 1998, 1999; Troy et al., 2001). In addition, Bray et al. have used microsatellites to examine admixture and ancestry in Kerry cattle and the Dexter and Devon breeds (Bray et al., 2009). Results from these studies demonstrated that Kerry cattle exhibit markedly low mtDNA sequence diversity, but autosomal microsatellite diversity comparable to other cattle breeds native to Britain and Ireland. More recently, analyses of medium- and high-density SNP genotypes generated using genome sequence data from an extinct British B. primigenius subfossil have shown that Kerry cattle retain a significant genomic signature of admixture from wild aurochs (Park et al., 2015; Upadhyay et al., 2017). This observation highlights the genetic distinctiveness of the Kerry population and has major implications for conservation and management of the breed.
As described in detail by Randhawa et al. (2014), the CSS method can be used to combine the fixation index (FST), the change in selected allele frequency (ΔSAF) and the cross-population extended haplotype homozygosity (XP-EHH) tests into one composite statistic for each SNP in a population genomics data set. For the present study, we used 36,621 genome-wide SNPs genotyped in 98 individual Kerry cattle samples (from both the KY92 and KY12 populations) and a sample of 102 randomly selected cattle (six random cattle from each breed of the EU data set). To mitigate against false positives, genomic selection signatures were only considered significant if at least one SNP from the set of the top 0.1% genome-wide CSS scores was flanked by at least five SNPs from the set of the top 1% CSS scores.
Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic tree network graph with five migration edges (m = 5) generated for genome-wide SNP data (36,000 autosomal SNPs) from European cattle breeds (EU data set). The West African taurine N'Dama breed sampled in Guinea is included as a population outgroup. Coloured lines and arrows show migration edges that model gene flow between lineages with different migration weights represented by the colour gradient.
Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic tree network graph with five migration edges (m = 5) generated for genome-wide SNP data (37,490 autosomal SNPs) from cattle breeds of British and Irish origin (BI data set). The West African taurine N'Dama breed sampled in Guinea is included as a population outgroup. Coloured lines and arrows show migration edges that model gene flow between lineages with different migration weights represented by the colour gradient.
There is significant variation in FROH values among individual animals and between breeds and populations. The non-parametric Wilcoxon rank sum test was performed on FROH distributions for all pairwise population/breed comparisons with application of the Bonferroni correction P-value adjustment for multiple statistical tests (Supplementary Table 4). This analysis demonstrated that the KY12 population sample exhibited a significantly higher mean FROH value than the KY92 population sample (0.098 vs. 0.079; Padjust = 0.0081). This is important from a conservation genetics perspective, indicating that genome-wide autozygosity, which is highly correlated with conventional pedigree-based estimates of inbreeding (FPED) for cattle (Purfield et al., 2012; Ferencaković et al., 2013; Martikainen et al., 2017), has increased for the Kerry cattle population in the 20 years between sampling of the KY92 and KY12 populations.
The highland breed is the oldest registered breed in the world. The coat of a Scottish highland cow is distinctive, with hair sometimes reaching 13 inches. Their long horns help them forage for food during the winter.
Many people consider miniature cattle breeds instead of smaller full-size cows. You will need less pasture and will have less milk to consume. For these people, small-breed cattle may be a more viable alternative, even though the miniature cow costs more initially.
On the other hand, miniature cattle breeds can give you about 1 to 1.5 gallons per milking. That should be enough to give you a few glasses of milk to drink, some butter and cheese per week, and even a little milk leftover for some neighbors. Bookmark this info about mini milking cows and keep reading below.
Your best option is to divide the pasture to smaller sections, and then you can rotate the grazing pattern. You can even tie your small-breed cattle to a tire to let the animal graze in a specific area. Then you can just put the tire in another area afterwards.
Over the last decade or so, the numbers of Miniature Belted Galloways have risen significantly, and so has the demand for them for small farms. They do really well on small family farms. Like so many miniature cattle breeds, they are completely adorable too.
The standard Hereford cattle breed began in Herefordshire, England, about 250 years ago. The breeding program for the miniature Hereford started in the late 1960s, but it was only in 1989 when breeding stock became available for sale.
They were supposed to slaughter the Low Line herd, but it soon became evident that these smaller animals had far greater value than what was first thought. After 15 years of selective breeding the Lowline Angus cattle breed was born.
Thanks for this interesting read on cattle breeds. It was intriguing to read about the variety of breeds and their specific characteristics. We appreciate having reliable information regarding the agricultural world. Keep up the good work!
The highland cattle have an extra-special place on this list (last, and therefore best place) because their entire body is essentially a beard. You cannot have met a highland cattle and dispute this. We have emailed UNESCO and requested that all highland cattle be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of this fact. 2b1af7f3a8