Animals / Mammal Facts / Bovids - Hooved, Four-Stomached Beasts / Scottish Highland Cow - Unruly Mop Bovine

Scottish Highland Cow - Unruly Mop Bovine

red moo


Looking more like a cross between a woolly mammoth and a bison than anything resembling traditional western cattle, Scottish highland cattle are one of the more durable breeds in the world. Originally bred from two separate breeds in the early 20th century in Scotland, this hearty breed has now been exported all over world, including to the United States and Australia. Their thick coats allow them to survive the harsh conditions of the Scottish Highlands and any other unforgiving climate that most cattle would perish in. They also survive just about anywhere because they're great foragers, and will often eat plants and grasses that other cattle won't, and will also traverse dangerous terrain (mountains etc.) when others won't. However, with those unruly mops, they might not find the tropics to their liking.



red emo mop


red hairy cattle


Highland cattle have become very popular in the trade and sale market because they have such a handsome appearance and their meat is so tender and lean. This lean-and-mean-ness is the result of their woolly coat creating a lack of need for body fat and their harsh terrain climbing builds-up good muscle. But the same muscular quality has occasionally been a bane to their popularity (as a beef product), with western butchers wanting a more "marbled" (or fat-laced) cut of meat. The cattle are now often crossbred with less lean cattle to create more desirable cuts of beef. As a domestically controlled and valued cattle, they are currently in no danger of extinction. So next time you drive by a farm and see a prehistoric beast, don't worry, it's just a Scottish cow!






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