Research before or regret later
It has been our belief that we need to do research and lots of it before we make big decision. years ago I spent months researching chickens before we got our first. I was an expert in all the best kinds for our environment and everything that I needed to know to raise happy and healthy hens
we researched and met with breeders before getting our pigs and even keep very full records so we can learn from ourselves.
we researched types of ducks for the weather, friendliness , ease of care and meat and egg laying. We were as prepared as we could have been and it has come in handy when something goes wrong.
We want to know what to feed and what not to feed; what is traditional and what methods are used by most people. We want to have people near by that are knowledgeable. We want to have books on hand. We research illness and common problems. We have supplies on hand for those problems or know where to get them. We watch countless hours of videos of people who are experts and people who are figuring things out for their selves. We read and meet people who have been where we are. we do everything we can to be sure that what we are about to do is really something we can handle, we want to do, and we will be able to do physically and financially.
so when we decided to again consider adding to our farm, we did the same. Videos and reading and research, research, research! Today Justin took one of the last research steps before getting prepared. He took a “field trip” to a farm not far away called Rosewood Ranch. They are ranchers of Registered Highland Cattle. Justin was able to actually meet these amazing creatures and ask tons of questions. check them out here:
Highland Cattle (Scottish Gaelic: Bò Ghàidhealach; Scots: Hielan coo) is a Scottish breed of rustic cow. They are the oldest registered breed in the world. It originated in the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland and has long horns and a long shaggy coat. It is a hardy breed, bred to withstand the intemperate conditions in the region. They are wonderful mothers, very friendly when handled often, and produce a very rich milk.
I was in love at first sight. Look at that face and those bangs! Nobody is quite sure if these cows can actually see where they are going! But whether they have super-vision or heightened other senses they certainly manage to find what they are looking for, even with that long fringe, known as a ‘dossan’ blocking the way! Queen Victoria is said to have commented on a trip to the Highlands that she preferred the red coloured cattle and in an effort to please the Queen, this resulted in selective breeding of the reddish colour that we see most often today and the black colour gradually declining over time.Originally, the breed was divided into two classes, the West Highlands or Kyloe, and the Highlander.
Highland cows can be milked on a small scale, they will never make as much milk as a production milk cow, but enough for personal use, one cow can produce on average around 2 gallons per day. (Plenty for us) Their milk has an extremely high butterfat content, up to 10%, which some farmers may find appealing, but others have stated is a required taste!
Breeding for meat is why a lot of farmers keep the Hairy Coos. Their meat is lean, but well marbled, normally rated as premium beef. Pure Highland beef comes at a price, pure Highland beef commands a premium price due to its fine texture, succulent flavour and high protein content. Numerous tests in Scotland have shown that Highland Cattle meat is lower in both fat and cholesterol than even chicken! It also is high in Iron. It is the only beef the Queen of England will eat.
so there you have it....
we already have the strangest pigs that produce the best quality pork in the world. Why not have the best beef and milk, too? With Justin’s Scottish heritage and our farm named Carnoch (”on rocky ground” in Scottish), it seems like it was our destiny. More to come... !!!