Eadon Highland cattle
Scottish highland cattle are a Heritage breed that are instantly recognisable by their elegant long horns and thick coats. These are a solid colour: red, black, brindle, yellow, white, silver or dun. Highland calves are very appealing with their teddy bear looks.
The beef from a Highland cow is very tender, which has been proven in two studies from Glasgow University. Originally Highland Cattle were used for skins and hair, meat and milk but as a beef breed they are not usually milked, however there is no reason why they cannot be milked for the house.
We began our Highland Cattle Fold in 2005, and now have more than 100 cattle. Our fold has both Purebred and Full Blood highland cattle of all ages, and most have A & P Show passports.
We usually have a variety of livestock for sale, including in-calf cows or cows with calves at foot, yearlings and two-year old’s for sale - as well as some bulls and steers. The bulls are always assessed after then have turned one year old, in accordance with the NZHCS regulations, by three assessors, marking the bull against the 1882 breed standard, and then offered for sale or retained for our own Fold.
Like all animals, Highland cattle vary in temperament, however, as a cattle breed in general, they are very quiet, and some can be hand-fed with food such as bread, lemons and grain. The more they are handled, the quieter they become.
All our Highland bulls are very placid: we see this as essential for breeding. Many of our cattle have been shown at A & P Shows with great success, and a quiet nature is an important factor in helping to move the cattle through spectators safely.
Highland cattle are slow-growing cattle but they generally live longer than other breeds. They calve ideally as three year old cows, a year later than most, however they continue to calve up to the age of 18-20. This beautiful cattle breed is smaller in size, meaning a farm can carry more of these endearing animals than other breeds of cattle.
They are "lighter on their feet" so they won't cut the ground up as much as the heavier cattle.
This breed of cattle is versatile and suitable for many climates. Highland cattle have a double coat of hair: one short one, and a longer and thicker for winter wear, which protects them from rain, snow and freezing temperatures. In the spring the longer hair begins to thin for the hot weather, but the hair remains longer and still beautiful, thickening up again in autumn.
Highland cows are excellent mothers and seldom have difficulty when calving. They love their calves and very rarely abandon them.
A highland cow can live to around 18-20 years and can rear 15 or more calves during this time.
beneficial properties of pure pedigree Highland beef
HIGHLAND BEEF STUDY CONFIRMS ORIGINAL FINDINGS
A paper produced by Charles Bruce at the University of Glasgow in 2010 confirms the beneficial properties of pure pedigree Highland beef, previously studied in 1997 by Dr Ivy Barclay amongst others.
Samples of sirloin were taken from all over Scotland and Yorkshire for the study. A rapid slice shear force test determined the tenderness of the samples and chemical analysis included measurements of moisture (juiciness), iron, protein and cholesterol content.
Pure Highland beef was shown to be almost 23% more tender than commercial beef. Compared with commercial meat, pure Highland meat contains almost 7% more protein and almost 17% more iron, averaging over 4% less cholesterol. Intramuscular fat, low in saturated fat and seen as marbling through the meat, gives Highland beef its tenderness, succulence and distinctive taste.
An interesting finding was the lack of expected correlation between fat content and cholesterol levels.
(Taken from the Highland Cattle Society UK Winter 2011 Newsletter)
Our bulls have won the Champion Bull award at the North Island Highland Cattle Show since 2013. With these three handsome bulls, we have had a wonderful "crop" of heifers including many Show cattle.