Meet the Highland Cows

Avon would like to say hello from the pasture. LiTerra Avon is our lead cow. She keeps watch over all the other cows, and during calving season, she greets every calf that is born here at Elm Hollow Farm.

LiTerra Avon

LiTerra Avon, our lead cow.

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LiTerra Nadia

LiTerra Nadia, our previous lead cow.

It is always interesting to observe the social order of our cows and this year, we even witnessed the changing of the guard. Our previous lead cow was LiTerra Nadia, who could have been Avon’s twin. She moved to another farm to take over as lead there. Although there was a bit pushing and shoving among the cows to establish who fit where in the social hierarchy, it seemed that all of the cows just assumed that Avon would run things.

The duties of a lead cow are fairly straightforward:

  1. Calmly watch over all cows and calves.
  2. Follow the directions of the shepherd in moving the herd.
  3. Sound the alarm if danger is present.
  4. Greet new babies and make sure mothers are ok.
  5. Keep the herd bull company when the shepherd allows it.

LiTerra Avon with calfAvon is a beautiful brindle and her calf this year looks brindle coated in this photo, but don’t be fooled! Look at his nose. If his nose stays black, odds are he will be black as an adult. The lighting is very different in these photos, with the first taken inside a shelter with a flash and the second in a sunny pasture. Highland calves are known for changing coat colors as they mature. This calf seemed dark red at birth, two days later, he looked brindle. His nose was black but now seems lighter? It is a guessing game with calf colors unless you DNA test for color. Here, at 2 and a half months, Mackay’s nose is red and black. Maybe he’s a brindle just like mom and dad.

LiTerra Avon with her calf MackayOne thing that doesn’t change is the watchfulness of the lead cow. One of my favorite pictures of Avon is this one. She is teaching her baby, Mackay, how to calmly guard the herd. Mackay can often be seen mimicking his mama as he watches over the other calves.

Avon asked me to introduce all the girls she oversees and let you know that she welcomes visitors to come and meet the moos in person. Here’s a link to our tour information:

The cows are introduced in order of their age, with the eldest first. Highland cows live to an average age of 20 years, with some living several years longer. Some may continue to have calves into their mid 20s, while most stop calving around age 15. We have some older girls that are amazing us with their seeming good health and longevity.

Double R Hunny Bunny, AHCA # 43542*

Hunny is our oldest cow. She is gentle, calm, and an ancestor to nine of our other cows and calves.

The * after her number indicates that she is an impact dam. That status is awarded to cows that begin calving by age three years and four months and produce four calves by the time they are seven years and four months.

Hunny has gone on to produce a total of at least 11 calves and we believe there was a 12th in 2018 that she was not credited with.

Although Hunny came to us just a couple of years ago, she is a favorite and will live out her years here simply because she has so much of her family still on our farm. I’d loved this girl from afar because of the beautiful cows we’d purchased from her line. When the opportunity came to bring her to Elm Hollow Farm I jumped at the chance. D.O.B. 5/25/2005

Double R Hunny Bunny

Muirneag of Locustbrae, AHCA # 48580

Muirneag presented us with twins when she was 14 years old! Muirneag came to Elm Hollow with Hunny Bunny during the summer of 2022. She brought with her a daughter, who will carry on her genetics.

The birth of twins was hard on Muirneag, so we really don’t expect her to give us any more calves. If someone wanted a pair of beautiful cows just to look at and pet, Hunny Bunny and Muirneag could go together to a loving retirement home. D.O.B. 10/3/2008

Muirneag of Locustbrae Highland cow

CCZ Janie, AHCA # 49837

Janie also arrived with Hunny Bunny during the summer of 2022. Because she is just a bit younger, Janie is still actively calving and gave us a beautiful little heifer in January of 2024. Janie will be a part of our AI program for calving in 2024. D.O.B. 4/21/2010

CCZ Janie with calf in snow

CCZ Bristol, AHCA # 49838

One of the most stunning girls we have is Bristol, the fourth of the five cows that joined us in 2022 from Legacy Cattle Company. Bristol became a favorite of mine the day she arrived. She’s already given us two sweet calves that have the temperament of cuddle cows. Bristol is Hunny Bunny’s daughter. D.O.B. 4/25/2010

CCZ Bristol Highland cow

CGH Angel’s Grace, AHCA #51,328

Angel to us, but Gracie to her former owner, is a wonderful mother. The calf in this photo was awarded reserve champion in his division at the Southeast Highland Cattle Show in 2022. Levi stayed on to sire some calves here at Elm Hollow. This year, Angel presented us with a beautiful little yellow heifer, so her genetics will live on.

CGH Angel's Grace with Levi

Muirneag 3rd of VH, AHCA # 52636

I can’t say enough good things about this girl. Muirneag is easy going and loves for visitors to comb her out. She is a super mother with a great udder and she has given us wonderful calves every year since coming to Elm Hollow Farm from Big Ridge in 2018.

A Highland cow named Muirneag standing by a round bale feeder

Big Ridge Callie, AHCA # 54244 *

Callie is a cow to make you proud! She is an impact dam and she likes to tell the world when there is a new calf born on Elm Hollow Farm. You can be sure that when the loudest mooing you’ve ever heard begins, someone has had a baby. Occasionally, she will sound the alarm if something is amiss, like the hay feeder is empty or someone’s calf sneaked out under the fence to get to the grass in the driveway. Callie has had seven calves in her 9.5 years. An amazing record for any cow. Her calf in December 2023, Melody, is the smallest calf ever born at Elm Hollow farm. She was just 30# at birth! Callie’s D.O.B. 10/5/14

Red Highland cow standing up on a ridge

Loc Moire NicAodhan AHCA # 54796

Pictured here with her most recent calf, Moire just makes me hear bagpipes every time I look at her. We are happy to have Moire join us in December of 2023. She was just in time to be one of the cows in our very first attempt at AI. Moire is due to have a calf for us in late December of 2024 and I can hardly wait for that big event! Moire’s D.O.B. 11/10/14

Loc Moire NicAodhan

Cridhe of Legacy, AHCA # 55000

Another of our very Scottish Girls is Cridhe of Legacy, the daughter of Muirneag of Locustbrae. She is an outstanding example of correct Highland conformation. You might notice her Bus Dubh, the black ring around her nose that is present in only a few Highlands. Cridhe is also the great-great-grandaughter of our Hunny Bunny on her sire’s side. She holds a special place in our hearts because of that. D.O.B 3/24/15

Cridhe of Legacy Highland cow

Literra Adalida, AHCA # 55421 *

Adalida was one of Elm Hollow’s very first breeding cows and she remains an important part of our program with six healthy calves to her credit. She’s a great mother and her calves carry on her good temperament. D.O.B. 3/30/15

LiTerra Adalida highland cow

Big Ridge Dubh Darcy, AHCA #54688

Darcy came to Elm Hollow as a heifer the same year her famous sire, Big Ridge Voodoo Magic arrived. That year, Darcy taught us just how difficult a heifer could be with her first calf! Since then, she has become one of our very best mothers. She will be here for many more years. D.O.B. 5/13/15

Big Ridge Dubh Darcy with calf

Windemere Dare, AHCA #55236

Dare has been our most productive cow here at Elm Hollow. I say that because almost every calf she has produced has been of keeper quality. We did keep two of her heifer calves and even one of her bull calves! This lovely sweet tempered cow has earned her spot here and will stay with us for her lifetime. D.O.B. 9/5/2015

Windemere Dare highland cow

Deirdre of Legacy # 56149

I’d admired this girl and her half sisters that came from my favorite Highland farm in upstate New York for years. Deirdre came to visit Fergus at Elm Hollow farm and produced a beautiful white bull calf, Windkist Acres Judge. She must have liked it here, because when I went to visit her at Windkist Acres and meet Judge, she decided to come and live with us! She gave us our first calf of the season on Veteran’s Day in 2023, Elm Hollow’s Major. D.O.B. 3/6/2015

Deirdre of Legacy highland cow with calf

Caitlin Rudah of Legacy # 56154

Caitlin has a unique set of horns that sets her apart. She also has that deep body that makes her a very desirable cow. Caitlin and Deirdre have been together since they were tiny calves and they stay close to each other in the pasture here. Their calves almost always seem to bond too since the moms are close. The family order in Highlands is important. D.O.B. 4/26/16

Caitlin Rudah of Legacy highland cow with unique horns

Ban Diuc of Legacy, AHCA #56155

Ban Duic has been a stunning cow since she arrived at Elm Hollow in late 2017. Each year, this cow amazes me with her conformation to the Scottish standards, her wonderful maternal instincts, and her beautiful calves. D.O.B. 5/13/2016

Ban Duic of Legacy highland cow

GAM Grace Suk, AHCA #58654

What a happy cow! Her name did not fit her at all, so since her tag # was 22, Tutu seemed to be a more fitting name. This outstanding mother cow has even stepped up to adopt a calf that wasn’t getting enough milk one year. Tutu is easy going and dependable. D.O.B. 7/3/2016

GAM Grace Suuk highland cow

FRF Isabelle # 56748

Isabelle came to us because her owner didn’t think she fit in with his beef herd. We were skeptical, but she was due to calve that spring and we thought, “Why not? If she doesn’t fit here, we can find the right home for her.” Now we know why Isabelle didn’t quite fit with a beef herd. You’ve probably heard the term, “Cuddle Cow.” That describes Isabelle’s temperament. She is the sweetest, most gentle creature. Her topline is not straight and flat, but she will lay down in the pasture and let me lay right with her. She will put her big old head in my lap and close her eyes while I stroke her cheek. We feel guilty that we can’t spend an hour or two with her every day. She craves attention. She loves her babies and takes excellent care of them and encourages them to interact with people. What more could you possibly want from a homestead cow? While we won’t list her on our for sale page, if the right loving home came available, we would consider parting with Isabelle only so she would get more people time. The condition would be that if she ever was to be rehomed, she would come back to Elm Hollow. D.O.B. 9/1/2016

FRF Isabelle highland cow

WKA Annie Get Your Gun, AHCA # 56824 *

What a cow! Shown here with her first calf, EH Wild Bull Hickok, Annie went on to be our first impact dam! She continues to produce beautiful calves every year, but we have one problem. Annie is our lead bull’s sister, so now we must be very careful. This year, she was bred to Elm Hollow’s Levi for a late fall calf. Only because of her relationship with Braxton, our bull, we would consider letting Annie go to a perfect home. D.O.B. 2/18/17

WKA Annie Get You Gun with calf Wild Bull Hickok

LEA Nocturne, AHCA # 56653 *

Nocturne is one of those cows that caught my eye when she was brought to the Southeast Highland sale. I just knew she would be a great asset to Elm Hollow and she certainly is. She has given us five really nice calves and is one of our impact dams. Nocturne is not just a hard working cow, she is beautiful and has a wonderful personality too! I called her my little licky coo. From the time she arrived it seems she was practicing for the day when she would be licking her first baby. I got several washings in the pasture and her calves are the cleanest ones in the pasture. D.O.B. 4/4/17

A black Highland calf in the show ring at auction
A mature black Highland cow with magnificent horns pausing to pose on a beatiful summer day

Big Ridge Abigail, AHCA #57492

Talk about conforming to standards; it is hard to find anything about Abigail that doesn’t hit the target. Her heifer babies are beautiful and feminine just like their mama and her little bull boys are handsome as they come. Abigail is a dream coo.

Stocky yellow Highland cow standing near hay profile view

LEA Never Enough, AHCA #57377

Never is quite aptly named. I can never get enough of her gentle temperament, super maternal instincts, and her beautiful babies. Never had been less than well cared for when we found her at an estate sale. It was her excellent breeding that saved her life while she while she was there. Now that she has been with us for a couple of years, she is enjoying life again. Her yellow coat is shiny and her calves are spunky. We really love having her as a part of the Elm Hollow fold. D.O.B. 4/13/17

LEA Never Enough

Schon Boden’s Isabel, AHCA #56721

Isabel is a big girl and another survivor of neglect, living on the same estate where Never came from. Both girls joined us at the same time. Both are fantastic additions to Elm Hollow. Isabel has enjoyed a good grooming from the day she arrived. Sometimes, she even pushes a pasture mate out of the way for her turn with the brush. Isabel even likes a bath now and then! I learned that she had made a few trips to shows and was very cooperative with the shower that goes along with show preparation. Her calves are known for their great temperament. D.O.B. 5/26/17

Can’t resist adding a photo of her first calf at Elm Hollow. We sure hated to sell him.

Very light red Highland cow named Isabel in tall grass with green rolling hills stretching in the distance
Schon Boden's Isabel's first calf at Elm Hollow

CSF Honeysuckle, AHCA # 54184 *

Note to self, “Never get a number at a Highland auction if you don’t have your trailer with you.” I could not convince Delta Airlines that Honeysuckle was my support animal, but she was so pretty that my hand just kept going up when the auctioneer looked at me. No regrets though. I learned about making transportation arrangements ahead of time in our usual manner. Thankfully the folks at Trinity Farms came to my rescue and boarded Honey until I could get a transporter to pick her up. Honeysuckle is another of Elm Hollow’s impact dams! She is yellow, so the color palate on her calves is varied. D.O.B. 6/10/17

CSF Honeysuckle with calf

Rockhouse Katherine # 57721

Katherine came from the Southeast auction in 2018. I sold her to a farm in Indiana where she matured into the pretty lady she is today. Health problems made it necessary for her owner to sell his much-loved Highlands and I was happy to have my girl back. Katherine was part of our first AI program here and will hopefully present us with a calf from Ruger of Mapleview at the end of 2024. A bit more timid than most of our cows, I look forward to earning Katherine’s trust this summer. D.O.B. 12/5/17

Rockhouse Katherine highland cow

LiTerra Avon # 58147

Another find at the Southeast Highland show and sale. I happened to be wandering the barns and saw Judy giving Avon a bath. I fell in love with her then and there. She is one of those beautiful, frosted girls. Although she is one of our younger cows, Avon has the calm commanding demeanor of a lead cow and she is taking well to that role. Some of the older cows challenge her occasionally, but instead of engaging, Avon walks away and most of the cows simply accept her as their leader. D.O.B. 3/27/18

LiTerra Avon highland cow

PHF Chocolate Pudding, AHCA #58165

I do believe that I’ve had more people make offers to buy Puddin’ than any other cow at Elm Hollow Farm. She is so easy-going and such a people pleaser that she’s almost irresistible. Puddin’ is also Avon’s pasture buddy. The two of them are usually together. In fact, they have calved within 24 hours of each other with their first two calves and should do so again with their third calves, this time because of AI, but the first two times were natural pasture breedings. Puddin’s staying here; Avon would be upset if she left. D.O.B. 5/13/18

Friendly Highland cow black fur with blond highlights
Highland cow with her fuzzy newborn calf

Pae’s Ashes Raisinette, AHCA # 59009

Granddaughter of Shat Acres Cinnamon Bear. I really understood the importance of careful selection of bloodlines when Raisinette matured. As a young heifer I questioned my judgement on buying another red cow, actually brindle as she matured. Raisin had to overcome a tragic loss of her first calf, but her second is a healthy boy. She didn’t let him out of her sight for the first six weeks. He is strong and healthy now. D.O.B.  1/24/19

PAE's Ashes Raisenette

Elm Hollow’s Heather, AHCA # 59800

Heather is the best of both bulls!! This outstanding cow is sired by Big Ridge Fergus and her dam, Big Ridge Dubh Darcy is BR Voodoo Magic’s daughter and mini me. We love what we see in her first calf. He is going to make someone proud as a herd sire.

Heather is so friendly that we call her the greeter. She even brought her first baby up to meet visitors. Heather is the first cow with the Elm Hollow name to have a calf here. During the next decade or so, we plan to make that the norm. Heather was a poser as a yearling and she still likes to pose for the camera today. D.O.B. 12/30/19

Elm Hollow's Heather
Profile view of well-structured Highland heifer calf at about six months old

Elm Hollow’s Jonquil, AHCA # 60254

Another Elm Hollow keeper cow. Jonquil cleans up really well! This deep bodied girl was a hit at the Southeast Highland Show.

Jonquil had a rough start into the world of being a cow. Her first baby was stillborn, but she didn’t seem to know to grieve. We are giving her another try at motherhood because her dam, JHN Denali is an excellent mother. Jonquil and Heather are pasture mates and we often see Jonquil babysitting with the calves. Fingers crossed that she has an easy time of it with her second calf. D.O.B. 3/26/20

Elm Hollow's Jonquill at show
Elm Hollow's Jonquil in pasture

Elm Hollow’s Jubilee # 61320

I absolutely loved this calf and really hated it when the time came that she needed to be sold. In the beginning, there are loads of expenses as you get started, so most calves had to go. She had a loving home, but life happens and her owner had to move to the city, so Jubilee got to come back home! We are thrilled to have this Elm Hollow heifer back at Elm Hollow Farm and are as excited as expectant grandparents to see her first calf. D.O.B. 11/14/20

Elm Hollow's Jubilee Highland heifer

Winkist Acres Lily # 64510

Oh my, what a beauty she is! We were so proud of her performance at the Southeast Highland show in 2023 as an 18-month-old heifer. Lily, although not halter trained as a calf, took to the show ring and all the attention that goes along with that, like she’d been doing shows since she was born. Now we’re waiting to see Lily’s performance as a first-time mother in the fall of 2024. She is half sister to our herd sire, Braxton, so she had some younger suitors. Can’t wait to see the results!!! D.O.B. 1/6/22

WKA Lily highland heifer
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