The Highland cows are the oldest registered breed of cattle. With hairy coats, curved horns and a trendy fringe, the highland cows are a pretty sight. The beautiful beasts are regarded superior in many aspects, as compared to the other breeds. However, people living in the cities do not know much about these beautiful creatures. When travelling to the highlands, some are lucky enough to spot the cows and click a picture or two. But, if you truly want to enjoy the hairy cow experience and spend time with the animals, you can stay at the roundhouse in Newtonmore.
Highland Cows – The First Choice of Herders
The unique long hair of the highland cows consists of two coats. The outer coat is coarse and can be around 33cm long. The inner coat is shorter, woollier and softer. The double coat offers natural insulation from winds, rainfall and extreme cold. This allows the highland cows to stay outdoors throughout the harsh winters, withstanding cold and snow. This makes it economical for herders to breed the Highland cows as there is no need for expensive barns and shelters. As such, highland cows are the popular choice of herders in Alaska, Western Highlands and several Scandinavian countries.
The Friendly Nature of Highland Cattle
Breeding in extreme cold and living off poor grazing grounds, people often think that Highland cattle are grumpy. In reality, the cows have a great temperament and are known for having a friendly nature. Since the hierarchy and social structure of the cattle are clear, there are rare instances of aggressive behaviour or fights. Their friendly nature is also a result of their positive interactions with tourists over time.
Due to their nature, herders breeding highland cows often allow tourists to visit the animals and spend time with them. Many herders also train the cattle to entertain the guests and put on shows. One can easily indulge in a hairy cow experience in a roundhouse in Newtonmore. The hairy creatures love being talked to and being combed. You can visit a roundhouse to see the animals, take them on a walk and also learn about the history of the Highland breed.