Highland Cattle in Bedfordshire
The Harris Fold was founded in 2011. It was the result of my branching out from Architecture to establish a small quality fold of pedigree highlanders in the rural village of Salford in Bedfordshire. The small holding at Salford glebe comprises of 32 acres of organic pasture.
I wanted a breed that was easy to handle, low maintenance, could be kept outside during winter and finished well on grass and hay. We were attractted to the breed having first come across them in my childhood when we had two in the next door field and their appearance in the snow made a lasting memory. There’s no mistaking a Highland.
I have contact with our highlanders at an early stage to ensure ease of handling.
The Characters in the Fold give great pleasure both in the show ring and at home.
I am also a member of the Highland Cattle Society and a committee member of the Midland & Southern Highland Cattle Club
Our Highlands are raised on milk, organic grassland and haylage which is provided in the winter months.
We frequently handle our cattle in preparation for the showing season.
They all love being washed, shampooed, combed and manicured for the county shows, they seem to react with great pleasure and proud of their appearance for the shows.
Our cows calve in the field , which means a little more stress in being on call – but allows the cattle a little more choice in where they give birth.
Our cattle are mainly grass fed but do receive dry feed when calling them for handling. We creep feed calves from an early age to bring them on.
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The highland breed of cattle has a long and distinguished ancestry, not only in its homeland the Highlands and the Western islands of Scotland. One of Britain's oldest, most distinctive, and best known breeds, with a long, thick, flowing coat of rich hair and majestic sweeping horns, the Highlander has remained largely unchanged over the centuries.
Highlands tolerate cold weather and bitter winds well with their double coat of hair they thrive and breed where no other cattle could exist. The downy inner layer provides warmth, while the outer is well oiled to help shed snow and rain.
They are remarkable for their longevity, and it is not uncommon for a cow to breed to ages in excess of eighteen years having borne fifteen calves. They generally have few health problems and are excellent mothers.
Highlands do well on poorer pasture; being a browser they will eat what other cattle pass by. Their ability to convert poor feed efficiently is impressive. However, they have proved unpopular with most commercial beef breeders because of their relatively small size, horns and slow growth.
Highland Beef is healthy and nutritious with lower levels of fat and cholesterol and a higher protein than other beef. The beef is lean, well marbled that ensures tenderness and succulence with a distinctive flavour.
They are one of the most photogenic of all cattle with a great admiration and affection from the general public who all seem to love them.