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Highland Cow or Coo

Highland Cow by Barbara Ballard The native Scotland Highland cow is distinctive among cattle breeds with its shaggy coat of brownish wavy hair and its spreading horns. Cow horns point up, bullís point down. Contrary to their looks, they are known for being gentle animals. They are also considered intelligent for their breed.

Highland Cow calf by Barbara Ballard At one time there were two separate classes: a smaller black Kyloe that lived in the islands of the west coast and a larger class with a reddish-brown coat that frequented the Highlands. Now both classes are considered as one breed. Sometimes yellow, dun, and silver-white Highland cows are seen.

Their known history dates back at least as far as the 12th century, but archaeological evidence dates them from the 6th. They number around 50,000 worldwide. They have been exported to other countries in the world and thrive where other cattle cannot survive as they can live in severe weather on poor pasture. They are disease resistant as well, so they are easy cattle to rear compared to others. Their long lashes and forelocks keep flying insects away from their eyes.

You can see the cattle by chance as you visit different areas of Scotland. For further detailed information visit the Highland Cattle Society website.

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