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Various Colours of Highland Cattle

About the Breed

History of the Breed

The highland breed of cattle has a long and distinguished ancestry, not only in its homeland of western Scotland┬ábut also in many far-flung parts of the world. 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. Written records go back to the 18th century and the Highland Cattle Herd Book, first published in 1885, lists pedigrees since that time.

In 1950 *Mr. A W Howat established himself in Rigg Farm in the north of Dumfries-shire, where he took to rearing Highland Beef steers on a commercial basis. For no apparent reason, in the 1970’s (a good 20 years after starting out) he became concerned that black Highland cattle were becoming very rare to see. This prompted him to ensure that a pool of black high-quality stock with the typical characteristics of the highland breed were preserved. He was so successful that 10 years later Rigg not only had the largest head of Highlands in Scotland, but he also held the largest number of blacks. Mr. Howatt holds the more traditional view that breeding prime quality beef stock for commercial sale is of much higher priority to registering his animals and taking them to shows. This means that in some cases their trail is exceedingly difficult to trace further back than the 1950’s.

Credit – “A Keen Eye” Una Cochrane, published 1996

The Black Fold at Killochries

Killochries Fold black cattle were selected from the best of the Rigg. Killochries are both proud and privileged to breed from these great black cattle.