Highland cattle are part of a system.  They are the hardiest of cattle with the highest food conversion factor.  Crossing them with other breeds produces a faster growing and more commercial animal without losing the hardiness and low maintenance of the pure highlander.

We put about half of our pure highland cows to polled beef shorthorn bulls.  This “cross” produces high quality suckler cows which can be put to a variety of terminal sires. 

Highland cross cattle

We keep a herd of about 50 SHOX cows which are bredto an Angus bull producing the “second cross2 finished article.  We are considering also using a shorthorn bull for the second cross to produce a ¾ shorthorn ¼ highland cow which we feel may make an ideal cow for commercial herds.

Homozyygous shorthorn bulls (i.e. ones which have the polled gene) are hard to find but in the last 2 years 90% of our first cross calves are naturally polled.  This saves much time and stress for the animal.  All second cross calves are polled as Angus are a polled bread.  The steers finish at around 22 months but are also very popular if we sell them as suckled calves or yearlings.

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