highland cow

Highland cow

This painting is based on a photo we took in Scotland in Oct 2020. As we were trekking in the jungle of the Loch Lomond southeast Balmaha route, we encountered a herd of delightful cattle. 

Highland cattle, or Scotland cows, are often known as the gentle giants of Scotland. With their long horns, and flowing red locks, these iconic beasts are easily recognised, but how much do you really know about them? 

Highland cattle
By David Zong

Type: Acrylic painting on canvas

Size: 60cm (W) * 50cm (H)

Fun fact 1: The Highland cattle is the oldest registered breed of cattle in the world!

Queen Victoria is said to have commented on a trip to the Highlands that she preferred the red coloured cattle. 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.

Fun fact 2: These cattle are a hardy breed, designed to withstand the conditions in the Scottish Highlands.

Their long hair is actually an unusual double coat of hair – on the outside is the oily outer hair, the longest of any cattle breed, and it is covering a downy undercoat underneath. The bulls can way up to a whopping 800kg, and the cows up to 500kg, and their milk generally has a very high butterfat content.

Fun fact 3: Are Highland cattle Friendly?

Yes! These fantastic beasts have a reputation for their fantastic temperament. They are known for being a very docile animal, never showing any aggression and are very low stress to keep and manage. Within their herds they have a great understanding of their own social hierarchy and never fight. They also enjoy the company of humans, often approaching walkers seeking affection.