The Breeding Journey

Boyd our first Black Bull Highlander

Vivion Red Scottish Highland Cow

Living in Idaho posed some initial problems finding quality registered Scottish Highland Cattle. So we spent quite a few trailer miles getting our first registered cows and heifers. Vivien came to us as a bred heifer. She was gentle to brush but was pretty rough around the edges. She came bred to a Dunn Bull and we got Boyd. He was a darling gentle Bull calf, Dunn at birth and coal black now.

I also came to realize that handling your own cattle from a young age really sets the tone of your herd. I don’t have the fences or the geography to support bulls, not to mention that I have Champayne tastes. AI or Artificial Insemination is a readily available and commonly used practice in the cattle industry. You can bring a bull in based on his temperament, his body type, his calving ease, his feet, and color besides any actual prizes he may have won. And of course, never have the bull on your property in person.

Easier said than done.

WLGenesis Owned and photographed by Highland Genetics

So, I have a lot of respect for cattlemen that make money…. Ha Ha. No for real, this has been a very complicated and fraught with troubles from the start. We lost sweet Vivien to Jaw cancer. We then managed to get our 2 heifers bred using 4 straws to get the 2 cows pregnant. $200 per straw, plus the cost of AI Tech and pregnancy checks.

This is WL Genesis owned by Highland Genetics, and the Bull we are currently using to breed our cows.

Had 2 gorgeous calves including Lovely Louise

Queen Effie and Lady Louise

Louise is a gorgeous silver heifer our Silver Cow Queen Effie produced. But when Fair Phyllis of Far Far and Away gave birth to her Yellow coated son she didn’t take to him. So Moss became a bottle baby of sorts…. very soon after we gave up on trying to make Phyllis love her young son and began giving Moss, and sometimes little Louise a bottle too, Effie decided she liked him and just took him on as her 2nd calf. He quit taking a bottle and that was that.

Moss Yellow Bull Phyllis X Genesis

Moss has moved on to another farm in Southwestern Idaho, and we have struggled to get our cows bred. AI involves timing and cow hormones, and it is all supposed to work but though we are working with professionals, it has been difficult. So we are switching to goal for spring calves which should make working with the cows in the warm months rather than in our often snowy fiercely cold or windy, Nov, Dec and Jan months. A cow carries her calf for right around 9 months.

With any Luck

I will start getting the cows ready in June/ July for Calves in March or preferably April. It can be pretty chilly here in March. Lady Louise will still be bred in October on her 2nd birthday. I Love the silver cows but intend on getting a black and dunn cow as well eventually.

Highland Cows
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