This Mother’s Day little Bò the calf has been hearing tales about Highland cattle, including the folk legend of the ‘Crodh-mara’ which is Gaelic for sea-cow. To help with Bò’s quest for the truth, we’d better suss out some Highland cow facts.
Have you got a Highland clue?
- ‘Bò’ is Gaelic for female cow and is also a general term for cattle.
- Highland cows are great mothers and can give birth to around 15 calves in a lifetime.
- The majority of calves arrive in spring and summer.
- Hardy Highlands, as they’re also known, thrive in mountainous areas and have two coats of fur.
- They are said to have lived in Scotland from the sixth century onwards.
- Both Highland cows and bulls have horns which come in a range of different shapes and sizes.
- Highlands do actually swim in Scotland’s waters.
- As well as grass they also eat weeds, bushes and even thistles! Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR
Although Highland cows and their calves are very cute, the mothers are fiercely protective of their young, so make sure that you keep your distance and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Spot a Highland Cow
You’ll find Highland cows on farmland across the country and can also see them at many visitor attractions. At Ardardan Estate on the banks of the River Clyde, you can meet the big hair Highland cows and their farm yard friends, enjoy walks in the estate, browse in the farm shop, and visit the tea room.
Meet the ‘Heilan’ Girlies’ at Blackstone Clydesdales in Ayrshire, where you can also ride horses and see alpacas and mischievous donkeys. Or why not look out for Charlie the stud bull and his fold (herd) at Beecraigs Country Park in West Lothian?
You can meet the Highland cows at top visitor attractions, including Scone Palace in Perthshire and even at Auchentoshan Distillery in Glasgow! Whether you take a 4×4 safari on Rothiemurcus Estate in the Highlands, or visit animal attractions such as Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee, you can’t help but fall for these lovable furry creatures!