Unbelievable highland calf cuteness incoming.
“Here’s a baby highland cow to brighten your day,” shares LADbible to Twitter Thursday. That’s a lofty promise in today’s world, but let me tell you – as a raiser of highland cattle and proprietor of Highland Hill – they’re underselling. There is no cuter animal on the face of this planet than a wee highland calf, and this munchkin’s love of pets showcases every ounce of said cuteness.
The calf below is a red highland, the most popular and/or common coloring in the breed. When they’re brand new like this little fella, red highland babies greatly resemble the “red dog” babies of North American bison. They’re not too far apart on the family tree, after all. Take a look, and marvel in this wee red’s preciousness:
By the time this tiny highland calf sticks his little tongue out and comes straight for the camera with it, you’re heart was fully melted, wasn’t it?
All that hair – multiple layers of insulating and temperature-regulating fur – comes with its fair share of itchiness. Highland cows love a good scratch as a result. Non-tame highlands will use anything to scratch an itch; from trees to the side of just about any structure. We’ve fixed old street broom brushes to tree trunks for our girls, and they’re in heaven every time they use one.
But just like this wee highland calf, our girls love nothing more than some thorough scratches and brushing.
Born at 50-70 lbs, Highland Calves Grow Like Weeds
If this little guy looks about as tiny and precious as you’ve ever seen, that’s because he’s as small as highland weans come. He’s no more than a few weeks old and probably around 60-pounds.
Highland cows give birth to calves weighing anywhere from 50 to 70, sometimes close to 80-pounds. Like many hooved animals, they’re up and walking in no time, too. Then, it’s time to grow like a weed on mum’s milk.
By the time a highland’s 1-year-old, they can weigh 300+ pounds. Our red highland, Bonnie Jean, just turned 1 yesterday, and she’s already over 300 pounds. She’s a big girl. Her little white sister Sigrid, however, is only two months her junior and weighs a good 50 pounds less, if not more. Genuinely, these beauties grow so fast that a two-month gap means this large a gap in size. By the time Sigrid is 1 in November, she’ll likely surpass 300-lbs, too. Here she is being adorable herself as she munches on some hay:
Yet her yearling stage is still just the beginning. Highlands aren’t considered fully grown until around 4-5 years, depending on the cow. A cow (female) will weigh anywhere from 800 on the low side, to 1,500 at the top when fully grown. Bulls, however, are immense, averaging 1,500 to over a full ton (2,000 lbs).
A Highland cow is already set to begin reproducing after the 2-year mark, however. Some breed before, but we’re not in that camp. It’s best to let youngins be young! I can understand it being hard to wait to have more precious highland calves like the little red wean above, though.
All in all, they’re the most fantastic domesticated breed of livestock on this planet, if you ask this Outsider. And the proof, as they say, is in the