This photo was taken in the early spring 2016. Since then they have grown along with their horns, but this will give you a good idea of what they look like up close.
Lorna Dove wrote and suggested that many people have seen the cute, small cattle at the Perry family’s place (Andy Anderson’s old place, 961 Centerville Highway) and would enjoy knowing more about them. The Perry family happily provided the following information:
HP: We see those cute cattle of yours every time we drive by your place. What breed are they?
PF: They are Scottish Highland cattle. The breed comes in three sizes and we have the mid size.
HP: What is the history of the breed?
PF: The breed is one of the oldest heritage breeds from Europe.
HP: How did you learn of them?
PF: We did a lot of research looking for a heritage breed that was dual purpose, and easy to handle.
HP: Where did you get them?
PF: We got ours from a friend who keeps them as pets in Parkdale.
HP: What made you decide to raise this breed?
PF: Highlands are cold and heat tolerant, and are tri-purpose animals, meaning they are good not only for meat and milk, but can even be trained to pull carts.
HP: Are there other pros and cons to raising this breed?
PF: One drawback is that they are expensive to purchase; they typically cost $1,000 each unregistered, and $1,500 registered. They take longer to grow to maturity, about four years, and they do require some maintenance – in the form of brushing, if you want to keep them looking nice. Some pros to the breed are that they are better foragers than most cattle, they are easier on the ground, and they are very friendly.
HP: How many do you have, and how long have you had them?
PF: We have three, a breeding trio—one male and two females. We have had them just about a year.
HP: How old are they?
PF: They are 1½ to 2 years old.
HP: Is this an all-family project or is one of you in charge of them?
PF: They are a family project; the kids are really looking forward to having our own milk cow. Quinn is considering taking one or all to the fair.
HP: Are they friendly?
PF: Very! They loved to be petted and brushed, and given treats, but we have to watch out for their horns!
HP: Do they have names?
PF: The bull’s name is Max, the red female’s name is Penny, and the lightest colored one is Peggy Sue. [I have to tell you that Peggy Sue’s coloring is just like her mother’s; when we first saw her mom in the pasture when we went to visit, the weather was still cool and she had long, shaggy blonde locks. We were told her name was Farrah. It was amusing that her name fit her so well, and we had to explain to the kids exactly why.]
HP: Do they get along with your other animals?
PF: Yes they do, although Max does not seem to like billy goats.
HP: Are they just as shaggy year round, or does their coat change with the seasons?
PF: Their coat is longest during the winter months, getting about 6 inches long. When the weather warms up, they shed a bit and have a summer coat about 3 inches long.
HP: Do you feed them anything besides pasture grass?
PF: They get C.O.B., that’s corn, oats and barley; and we give them any kitchen scraps they might be interested in. They like cabbage leaves, broccoli stalks, Brussels sprout trimmings, and apple cores.
HP: What other care do they require?
PF: They need regular brushing. It can be done every three to seven days.
HP: What are your plans for them?
PF: We plan on milking Penny because she is the friendliest of the two females, and we will also breed them.
HP: How do people react when they see them? Do people stop to look at them?
PF: Yes, people stop to look at them all of the time. The funniest time someone stopped was this spring. A little white car was driving by, but stopped suddenly just past the girls’ pen. The car slowly backed up until it was right next to where the girls were napping, Penny got up and walked over to the fence and Peggy Sue looked at the car quizzically while the car sat in the road for a few minutes looking at them. Then the car slowly accelerated down the road. A few feet later they spotted Max (who was on the other side of the street), and stopped to watch him also, while he held his head up high and snorted at the car to show them how mighty he was, and to warn them NOT TO MESS WITH HIS GIRLS!!! About a minute later the car proceeded down the road with no additional stops.
HP: Thanks! The whole neighborhood has benefited from your adding these cuties to your menagerie.