Mini Highland cows are some of our favorite homestead companions! When most people think of Highland cows, they think of the unkempt (and massive) creatures often used as tourist attractions or featured in commercials. However, we know about a smaller version of this Scottish cow gaining popularity – miniature Highland cattle!
As their name suggests, these cows are much smaller than their traditional counterparts. And they make great pets or dairy animals for small-scale farmers.
We’re about to analyze these magnificently mini cattle creatures in detail!
- The Ultimate Guide to the Mini Highland Cow
- Are Mini Highland Cows Good for Anything?
- How Big Do Mini Highland Cows Get?
- Are Miniature Highland Cows Friendly?
- How Much Does a Highland Cow Eat Per Day?
- How Much Land Does a Mini Highland Cow Need?
- Can Mini Highland Cows Live Alone?
- How Fast Do Highland Cows Grow?
- What Age Do Highland Cows Grow Horns?
- How Long Does a Mini Highland Cow Live?
- How Much Does a Highland Cow Cost?
The Ultimate Guide to the Mini Highland Cow
If you’re considering adding a mini Highland cow to your farm or homestead, read on for everything you need to know about this exquisite breed of cattle.
Are Mini Highland Cows Good for Anything?
Yes. Absolutely! The mini Highland cow is a friendly and docile cattle breed from the Scottish Highlands. These cows are smaller than their full-grown counterparts, making them easier to care for and handle.
Mini Highland cows are also known for their thick fur coats, which protect them from the cold weather in their native homeland. In recent years, mini Highland cows have become increasingly popular as pets and working animals due to their easygoing nature and gentle dispositions.
If you're new to mini Highland cows and other mini farm animals - here's one of our favorite resources from Storey and Sue Weaver. It's Storey's Guide to Raising Mini Livestock! The book covers more than just tiny cows. It also talks about miniature goats, donkeys, pigs, sheep, llamas, and horses.
If you have a small homestead and want the advantages of miniature cattle without having dozens of acres, then it's an excellent resource. The book contains 465 pages! Some reviewers cite how the book isn't advanced enough for their taste. So - the book is best if you're new to miniature farm animals.
How Big Do Mini Highland Cows Get?
Miniature Highland cattle typically weigh between 500 and 600 pounds – or 227 to 272 kg. They are also relatively short, with a typical adult height of 36 to 42 inches (91 to 107 cm). The bulls are generally slightly larger than the cows.
Although they are much smaller than their full-size cousins, miniature Highland cattle still possess many similarly distinctive features, including long curved horns, shaggy coats, and wavy eyelashes. Miniature Highland cows make excellent pets – due partly to their docile nature and compact size.
Are Miniature Highland Cows Friendly?
Yes. Absolutely! If you’re looking for a friendly pet, you might want to consider a miniature Highland cow. These cows are known for their sweet dispositions and love of being around people. And they look like giant teddy bears. Ultra fuzzy teddy bears!
They are markedly curious creatures, so they’ll often follow you around and try to investigate anything that catches their eye. Highland cows are also relatively easy to care for and raise. They even make excellent lawnmowers! Many people get mini cows specifically for this purpose.
Read More – Raising Mini LaMancha Goats!
How Much Does a Highland Cow Eat Per Day?
Cows usually eat around 2% of their body weight daily. A full-grown miniature Highland cow weighs approximately 500 pounds. So – expect your mini Highland cow to eat roughly 10 pounds of hay daily. (500 pounds * .02 = 10 pounds.)
This number is just an estimate! Your mini Highland cow could certainly eat more than 10 pounds per day. But, we’d be surprised if the total amount exceeded 20 pounds of hay daily.
This amount may seem like a lot for such a little fellow! But it’s far less than what many other types of cattle consume. For example, Angus cattle can eat up to 35 pounds of hay daily. And we’ve heard of some hungry Holstein cows eating as much as 50 pounds of hay!
Of course, the amount a miniature Highland cow eats will also depend on factors such as age, weight, and activity level. Younger cows tend to eat more than older cows, and cows used for breeding or milking need more food than those kept as pets.
How Much Land Does a Mini Highland Cow Need?
A mini Highland cow can live comfortably on as little as one acre of pasture. Most reliable cattle-raising sources agree that you require two acres of forage space per cow. But, mini Highland cows are half the size of regular cattle. Sometimes, even smaller!
So – one acre per mini Highland cow should be sufficient – as long as you have decent forage crops. (We also advise supplementing your mini Highland cattle’s diet during the winter!)
Highlands are known for their hardiness and ability to thrive in challenging conditions. They’re also relatively low-maintenance, which makes them a good choice for those who want to raise livestock without taking on too much work.
Can Mini Highland Cows Live Alone?
Mini highland cows are social creatures that enjoy the company of other miniature bovines! When they get kept alone, they can become stressed and even depressed. Isolating mini Highland cows can also lead to health problems such as poor appetite and weight loss.
Therefore, mini highland cows should always have at least one other mini highland cow for companionship. While they can get along with other animals, such as sheep or goats, mini highland cows do best when they are with a herd.
Read More – How Long Do Cows Live? Beef and Dairy 101!
How Fast Do Highland Cows Grow?
We’ve noticed that Highland cows are slow-growing. Their slow growth means they take longer to reach full size than other breeds. However, once reaching adulthood, they are larger than most other cattle breeds.
Adult Highland cows (not the miniature versions) typically weigh between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds. The average bull can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. While the exact growth rate varies depending on the individual cow, most Highland cows will reach full size by four or five years old.
After that point, they will continue to put on weight until they reach their peak at around seven or eight years old. Thanks to their slow growth rate and hearty appetites, Highland cows have a reputation for being very efficient grazers.
What Age Do Highland Cows Grow Horns?
While male and female Highland cows have horns, they don’t start growing them until they reach adulthood. Most Highland cows don’t start growing their horns until they’re between one and two years old.
Once their horns start to grow, they’ll continue to grow throughout the cow’s life – typically reaching full size after about five years. Highland cows can live to be 15 or even 20 years old! That means their horns can keep growing for a significant portion of their lives.
How Long Does a Mini Highland Cow Live?
In general, miniature Highland cattle have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. However, some mini Highland cows purportedly live up to 20 years, while others may only live for ten years or less. Factors that affect a miniature Highland cow’s lifespan include diet, genetics, and environment.
For example, cows that are well-fed and living in a clean and spacious environment are likely to live longer than those that are neglected or living in cramped conditions.
How Much Does a Highland Cow Cost?
These gentle giant cows fetch a premium cost! Mini Highland cattle prices range from $1,000 to $4,000. The cost depends on factors such as the age and gender of the cow, as well as the breeder. For example, a calf is typically less expensive than an adult cow. Similarly, a female cow will generally be more expensive than a male cow.
Miniature Highland cows are becoming increasingly popular on small farms and homesteads across the country. And worldwide! They’re versatile animals that can provide milk, meat, or fiber. And they’re a great way to teach kids about agriculture and animal husbandry.
But – if you’re interested in adding miniature Highland cattle to your farm, conduct your research first! Make sure you have enough space for them to roam and consider their needs before making a final decision.
What about you? Have you ever considered raising miniature Highland cattle?
Or – maybe there’s another miniature cattle breed you love more than Highlands?
Let us know your thoughts!
And – thanks so much for reading.
Have a great day!