– A Mini Lesson for New Highland Enthusiasts –
– Meet a Few of the New Additions –
– Winter at Elm Hollow Farm –
– Overstocked on Bulls –
– Another Scammer: How Disgusting!!!! –

Our first calf with Braxton as sire arrived on November 8. Her name is Makenzie as requested by our granddaughter. We were also pleased that we were able to continue the tradition of a Veteran’s day calving. Major arrived early in the morning of November 11, and then on Thanksgiving day, Elm Hollow celebrated the birth of Mayflower.

A Mini Lesson for New Highland Enthusiasts

During tours when introducing our calves, I’m often asked why their names all start with the same letter. There is a reason! The American Highland Cattle Association assigns a letter to each year to make tattooing of registered calves more uniform. Before registration, each calf is tattooed with green ink in their left ear using the call letters of the farm on which they were born, in our case EH, followed by the number that represents that calf’s order of birth. For instance, Melody was the sixteenth calf born at Elm Hollow in 2023 so her number is 16. Finally, the tattoo ends with the letter that represents the year the calf was born. Melody’s tattoo will be: EH16M.

Meet the New Additions!

Elm Hollow's Major

There are fifteen new babies in the pastures so far. Some have already stolen my heart, like our Veteran’s day calf, Major. You’re welcome to schedule a tour to meet the calves in person. None are ready to go to new homes just yet. Well-adjusted calves should stay with their mothers for the first 6 months of life if possible. There are unfortunate cases sometimes when that just can’t happen, but we never opt for a calf to leave mama before weaning time. Then we spend 4-6 weeks evaluating, socializing, halter training, and vetting to be sure the calves will make us proud to carry the Elm Hollow name.

Some breeders, Elm Hollow included, choose names for the calves beginning with the letter assigned to the year in which they are born. It will take at least a decade, but eventually, when all or most of our breeding stock consists of Elm Hollow cows, we will be able to tell the age of a cow just by knowing her name. This practice can leave you scrambling to find names by the end of the year and looking forward to January. Naming is another aspect and does have meaning.

Elm Hollow's Makenzie
EH Mo Tharbh Beag

Often a calf is given the same name as either its sire or dam with 2nd, 3rd or II, III tacked on. This is customary in many countries, but not as common in the US. AHCA guidelines recommend that a calf’s name should carry the name of the farm where it was born or at least the call letters of the farm and the name is limited to 30 letters/spaces. Most of our calves are named “Elm Hollow’s _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ “ e.g. Elm Hollow’s Makenzie, but occasionally they are “EH _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ “ e.g. EH Mo Tharbh Beag, which means: My little bull in Gaelic; we’ll call him Mo.

Winter at Elm Hollow Farm

Here are a few of the other calves. Snow doesn’t stop them!

Adalida is teaching baby Miles the proper shiver stance. Miles will run back inside the building with the other calves as soon as he finishes lunch. The calves have a nice bed of straw, and they all snuggle up in a pile at night. When the sun comes out and the temperature rises to a balmy 2*, it is time to come outside and play or nap in the sun!

Adalida with baby Miles

Little Nancy, just 10 days old, is with mama Janie and Aunt Cridhe out enjoying a break in the weather too!

These hardy little ones don’t mind a little chill. Better that than hot summer days.

Major and Mirk provided a little calf sass for the camera to make life interesting. 

If you want to see all the calves in person, be sure to watch the weather and send me an email to [email protected] to arrange a tour time. 

Here’s the link for more tour information. Please DO NOT send a deposit before arranging your time with Nancy. If a change has to be made (even at the last minute) because of bad weather, we will be happy to accommodate.

With the arctic cold coming, we’ve prepared a stall with a calf warmer bed just in case. We seldom bring the cows inside to calve, but if a calf seems cold, we want to have a place ready where mom and baby can be comfortable for those important first few days of bonding. It looks like we might have a need for it! Hang in there Darcy!

This year, as usual, we will wean calves at 6 months old.  We then spend 4-6 weeks socializing, halter training, and vetting the calves so they are health, happy, and ready for their new homes.  Our first calves will begin to be available in mid July and then through the summer as their sale prep is completed.  As a calf is ready, I will announce its sale date in an individual newsletter about that calf.

Overstocked on Bulls

This fantastic little bull, sired by Big Ridge Fergus, will be having his first birthday on January 23rd.  It was one of our hardest decisions, but we had to choose between two of Fergus’s bull calves.  I’m still not certain we made the right choice!  Elm Hollow’s Murdoc will be posted on our website as an available yearling bull for $4000. If we keep him and prove him, his price will be higher.  More details about Murdoc are on the website: https://elmhollowfarm.com/highlands-for-sale/elm-hollow-murdoc/

Another Scammer: How Disgusting!!!!

This is a scam site: https://miniaturehighlandcattlefarm.com/

Do not purchase a calf from this site. The names of the calves/cows were all stolen from the Elm Hollow Farm website along with the registration numbers of our cows. This scum bag does not own nor has he ever owned any of these cows or calves. He did at least steal the photos from other sites so I didn’t find out right away, but always check out these “miniature” Highland sites.

Thankfully a very alert buyer did her homework and looked up the registration number on the calf she was about to buy. She discovered that I owned the dam, the calf is 3 years old, and it belongs to the person who bought it from me.

Ask for registration numbers and look them up in the AHCA Herdbook! Ask to come to the farm and see the calf, even if you don’t live nearby. If you are told no, it is a scam.

To access the AHCA herdbook, click “Herdbook Search” in the left navigation bar of the AHCA web site: https://www.highlandcattleusa.org/

Or use this direct link to the herd book: https://abri.une.edu.au/online/cgi-bin/i4.dll?1=232B2F&2=2431&3=56&5=2B3C2B3C3A 

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