– Celebrating Veterans’ Day –
– New Cows Join Our Herd –
– What About This Year’s Calves? –
– Upcoming Consignments –
Calving Season Began November 11
Veteran’s day was celebrated in a big way here at Elm Hollow! Not only do we honor our very own veteran, Col. Schuyler Geller, this year November 11 marked the beginning of our calving season! Schuyler is happy to be celebrating by welcoming not one but two new additions to the fold.
First to arrive on this Veteran’s Day was Elm Hollow’s Lieutenant. His mama is brand new to this baby thing, but she did an excellent job and had Lieutenant all cleaned up and nursing in no time!
Hope may be following in her mama’s footsteps to become an impact dam. Lieutenant is the son of Elm Hollow’s Jaunty Lad and EH Adelida’s Hope.
Very shortly after we welcomed our first bull of the season, Ban Diuc of Legacy presented us with our first heifer of the season. Elm Hollow’s Loretta calls BR Voodoo Magic her daddy.
Both Veteran’s Day calves are the beautiful dark red of the traditional Highlands.
If you read our August newsletter, this will be familiar:
No More New Cows!
I’m constantly telling myself, my veterinarian, my insurance company, and anyone else I talk to about cows that we are “closing the herd.” Any new heifers will be produced by the cows we have and that is final. I don’t know if I’m fooling anyone but myself, but I was sure the five new cows that arrived on August 18th would be the last cows I would buy.
Then this happened:
Welcome to Elm Hollow Farm!!!
Another truck will be arriving the first week of December with a lovely cow from Vermont. Welcome to Elm Hollow Farm, FRF Isabelle! Isabelle will be bringing a bun in her oven sired by SFF Merlin the Magician. I just can’t turn down any opportunity to add more magic to our pastures no matter which bull is waving the wand!
Then, two beauties that I’ve admired for a long time became available. Caitlin of Legacy and Deirdre of Legacy have family here, so they have to come to Elm Hollow so their babies, Lily and Luka can get to know their relatives!
What About This Year’s Calves???
Anytime I’m asked about the availability of calves, I respond with dozens of questions like:
- Do you have other cattle so a calf would have an age-appropriate companion? Highlands are herd animals and must have a companion. A steer is the perfect companion for a heifer, bull, or another steer.
- Do you have a facility where you and your veterinarian can safely work on a coo when that is needed (and it will be needed)? Facilities vary in complexity and price. An effective squeeze need not be extremely expensive.
- Do you have a large-animal vet in your area?
- What is your pasture like? Is shade and fresh water readily available?
- What will be the purpose of Highlands for you? Breeding, beefing, pasture ornament/pet?
I need all this information before I even consider selling one of our calves. These are our babies and we try to be sure that the calf and the buyer are well matched. Although I ask about your experience with cattle, I understand the learning curve. When we bought our first Highland, neither of us had ever owned a cow! Highlands are a really wonderful breed for a beginner in the bovine world.
It is important that I know a bit about your farm. Where are you located? If you are nearby, you might want to schedule a farm tour to meet our new calves! Since our calves from this season will be born between November 11 and the end of March, they will not be weaned and ready for sale until June 2023.
We do not begin halter training and vetting until a calf is weaned at about six months old. There will be calves available throughout the summer as they reach weaning age.
The sale of each calf is announced through our newsletter and is done through modified auction. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
I’m often asked how much we charge for our calves. That is almost like asking a car dealer how much he sells his cars for. It varies greatly with the make, model, and features. Each calf is an individual.
We evaluate the calves during halter training and establish a minimum bid price. When they are ready, we sell them through an informal, modified auction.
You can see the results of all our sales for the past two years by scrolling down through the Highlands for Sale page.
Here at Elm Hollow farm, we want to be sure our calves are healthy and well socialized, so we spend four to six weeks halter training them to stand and lead. They are all seen by our vet and receive their first vaccinations. We register all heifer and bull calves with the AHCA and we transfer those registrations into the buyer’s name upon completion of sale. Steer calves may also be registered if the buyer desires, but steers are registered at the buyer’s expense. ($50.00)
Be aware that not all sellers prepare their calves for their new homes. Never consider purchasing a calf from a breeder that advertises bottle babies for sale. That is a cruel practice that often results in the death of a calf.
Some breeders will advertise “mini Highlands” and will endanger a calf by pulling it away from its mother at a very young age. Healthy adult full-blooded Highlands are not minis.
Good breeders know when it is time to rehome even their favorite Highlands. There comes a time when your cows are at their best, but life happens and it is time see that they go to good homes.
Watch for announcements about the sale of some really nice cows and a bull that I love, but is too closely related to many of my cows. These wonderful examples of the breed do not belong to me, but I’ll be selling them for a dear friend.
Following are some photos. More details will be coming in a few weeks.
This beautiful white bull is WKA Judge. His color has been DNA confirmed. Judge was sired by Big Ridge Fergus and his dam is Deirdre of Legacy. Judge is very gentle and easy to work with.
He broke the tip of one horn during play as a calf, but it is hardly noticeable. The horn has continued to grow symmetrically with the other horn in spite of the damage to the tip.
JTM Chloe has the lines we all look for in a correct cow. Chloe is a little stand offish, but is in no way an aggressive girl. If she is unsure of a person or a situation, she will simply move out of reach. I have one of Chloe’s daughters, Annie, and Chloe also produced a beautiful brindle bull.
Since her son is the lead bull, Chloe has not been exposed this year and is ready to breed to the bull of your choice.
Windkist Acres Sassy is a mature heifer boasting genetics from Scott of Craycombe and Broadstone 18th of Stoneclif. She is long and thick, with a nice top line. Her legs and feet are strong and correct. I’m looking forward to seeing her with her very own calf because she tries to be the favorite auntie of every calf she meets.
WKA Olivia is an excellent mother. Her brindle color produces some outstanding calves with beautiful highlights. She has a very nice udder and produces abundant milk that keeps her calves growing quickly right up to weaning. Olivia’s genetic background includes such greats as Osceola Designer Genes, River City Tsunami, DH Alexandria*, and LEA Quandary**.