– Consider Steers –
– Available Calves –
New owners of small homesteads or hobby farms frequently contact us to ask about buying one or two Highlands just to have them in the pasture. Consider steers!
Like many other Highland breeders Elm Hollow has experienced a “bull year” for calves. Maybe it’s water, maybe it’s the bull’s fault, maybe it’s global warming, but whatever the cause, I think it came at a good time.
Small homesteads are springing up everywhere with people wanting to become self-sufficient. Some of them have 3-5 acres of pasture and it makes more sense to have grazing animals than to mow that acreage, so they start to look at cattle breeds. When they discover the docile temperament, moderate size, and hardiness of Highlands it often becomes their breed of choice.
Some want them as pet cows, some want to become self sufficient and provide beef for their family. The choice of steers makes perfect sense for both those goals. Henry and Norman hit the homestead jackpot and are much loved, and their mama says she highly recommends steers!
Steers tend to be more even tempered than either heifers or bulls. Your desire to have pets is easily satisfied with steers and when steers mature they can provide meat for your family. Highland steers mature more slowly than other beef breeds — about 3 years. You must have that mindset from the beginning though. We tell ourselves that our steers live a charmed life here with every need met and they only have one bad day.
Below is a brief line-up of our current available calves. You can see more about them by visiting our website: https://elmhollowfarm.com/highlands-for-sale/
Highlands are herd animals, and they must have an appropriate companion. Please do not purchase a calf that will be by itself. It will be frightened and will try anything to get out of pasture where it is alone, including injuring itself. If it does manage to escape, the chances of it being injured or killed are great. It is much less traumatic for a calf to leave its home if it has a familiar companion. For that reason, I offer a 5% discount on the purchase of a second calf at the same time.
Leon and Louis
Leon (blue halter) and Louis (red halter) are two of my favorites this year. They look almost identical, and both are such gentle spirits. I have them priced at $2200 each, but if they go to the same home, the pair will sell for $4000.
Let me be clear. Leon and Louis are already steers and are pet quality. They are smaller than most of our other ones and they are very gentle. If your goal is to have pasture pets, this would be a great pair.
Lennox, Leige, and Laredo
We have three calves that are currently bulls, but we intend to band them soon. That means they will be neutered for one reason or another. If you are looking for a bull calf and like the looks of one of these three, act quickly and we can register them as a bull. I’ve explained below the reason we’re considering banding each one. They each have some very good traits that you can read about on our for sale page. https://elmhollowfarm.com/highlands-for-sale/ Target date for banding, which is neutering in dog speak, is August 1.
The red calf, Leige, gained weight a little more slowly than some of the other calves. He is catching up now, so he might be just what you’re looking for in a bull.
The black one is Lennox. The reason he is on our list is that he is a little smaller than another black bull calf that was born this year. Lennox is a really sweet boy with nice conformation, just not as big.
Then we have Laredo. Laredo is dun and is a big, gentle boy, but as you can see in this photo, his ears have a split in them. This is called crop ear and is a common trait in Highlands that some consider undesirable. In beef cattle, the conformation and growth rate are the important traits, not the ears, and this fellow scored well in both those areas. He’s a cutie though and would be a great pasture ornament/pet/companion as a steer. He’d also be a productive bull for a beef herd. The buyer will make the choice on that.
We do not register steers since they don’t reproduce, but if the buyer desires, that can be done for a fee of $50. ($25 for the registration and then an additional $25 to have it transferred into the buyer’s name.) A bull calf’s registration is $100 because of the required DNA testing.
Many who are unfamiliar with the breeding of cattle, particularly of Scottish Highlands, don’t realize that is not a good idea for a small farm with limited pasture space to purchase a heifer calf and an unrelated bull calf at the same time.
A Highland heifer is not mature enough to safely breed until at least 2.5 years of age and heifers of smaller stature 3 years or more. A bull on the other hand is perfectly capable of breeding from as young as 9 months to a year and he will sow his wild oats freely.
Another heifer or a steer as a companion is a much better choice. When the heifer is mature enough to breed, you can buy a young bull or use artificial insemination to breed her if desired. Heifers can be expensive, so many people choose to have a steer as a companion animal. The steer can be harvested when it is time to bring in a bull. By that time, you will have more of an idea about your direction with the breed.
Lizzy, Liberty, and Loretta heifer calves
All three of these heifers are daughters of BR Voodoo Magic. I’m asking $6000 for each and I suggest that an appropriate companion would be one of our little bull calves that has been steered or purchase two or all three heifers.
If you were aware of Liberty and Loretta’s sale, the buyer was evidently just a scammer. Once the sale was over, he did not respond to any of my attempts to contact him. So, Liberty and Loretta have been chilling out here and auditing the halter class. Clearly they are only cooperating because of the snacks the participants get for good behavior.
Lucky and Lavanya miniature pet twins
Another little steer in this group is one of a set of twins. The twins are sooo small, that those who are looking for miniature Highlands would be delighted with this pair.
Lavanya is a heifer, but because her twin was a bull calf, Lavanya is a free martin. This means that she will not be able to reproduce. She is the smallest Highland we have ever had on the farm and I’d have to say that size wise, she is a miniature. She is also AHCA registered # 64780.
I don’t normally measure height on our Highlands, but curiosity got the best of me this time and I did measure the twins. Lavanya is 30” at the hip, 29” at the shoulder and Lucky is 33.5” at the hip. They are 8 months old.
These two will be posted on cowmatch.com. This is the first time I’ve used cowmatch, so I really don’t know what to expect. Highest bidder will have some tiny cows! These two are pasture ornaments or pets. Lucky is laid back and Lavanya is a little spitfire! She’s always had to stand up for herself since she’s the smallest.
Lots of love and attention will surely win the day since she is partial to treats.
Are You Thinking About Buying a Cow or Calf From Us?
When I’m asked about the availability of calves or cows, I respond with dozens of questions because 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 the calves!
- 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. Without a companion, a calf will be frightened and may not behave the way you expect.
- 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 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! We chose Highlands after reading about their hardiness and docile temperament. My thinking was that they are hardy enough to survive our inexperience and docile enough that we will survive if we do something wrong. Highlands are truly a wonderful breed for a beginner in the bovine world.