Most people could not tell you much about the meat that they buy at the grocery store, or even if they purchase online. Our Mountain Primal Nation is a bit different and knows that understanding our animals and what goes into raising them is not only important for their health, but a key part of respecting the meat that they serve their friends and families. We raise 100% American Highland Cattle with zero growth hormones or antibiotics in their proprietary feed program. That said, there is so much more to these animals than just the meat they produce and taking a moment to learn about them will show you exactly why we choose to raise this specific and fascinating heritage breed.
7 Facts About American Highland Cattle
1) Both male and female Highland Cattle have long and powerful horns, widely known at the ranch as "sabers". The horns are used primarily for knocking down brush to graze, predator control, and also just for a good old scratch. To tell the difference (without a quick look at the undercarriage) the horns on females are generally pointing a bit more forward and have a much smoother texture than those on the males. Male horns sweep majestically outward and are much, much larger. That said, each animal can have its own unique look.
2) American Highland Cattle have a very unique double-layer coat. The longest of any cattle breed, the hair on the outside is the oily outer hair layer that covers a woolly undercoat. This double coat makes them perfectly adaptable for conditions in cold, rugged terrain, with high annual precipitation or strong winds. Highland Cattle have been described as "almost as cold-tolerant as the arctic-dwelling caribou and reindeer”. Highland Cattle have been successfully established in countries where winters are substantially colder than Scotland, such as Norway and Canada.
3) American Highland Beef is a slightly leaner, more succulent cut of beef. Due to their unique dual-layer coat, American Highland Cattle do not need a heavy layer of back fat for insulation like many other cattle breeds. This allows the fat to distribute more evenly throughout the muscles (ie the "meat") and to marble naturally on low input foraging while producing lean, low fat, high-quality perfect cuts of beef.
4) The first record of Highland Cattle being imported to the United States was in the late 1890s. While the breed may be new to you and a bit more rare than most (that's the only way we'd have it), they have been on this great American soil for well over 125 years.
5) American Highland Cattle hides can vary in color from red, black, brindle, yellow, dun, white, and silver. Highlanders shed out earlier in the spring and produce less hair in warmer climates, making them suitable for a variety of environments.
6) American Highland mothers are VERY protective of their young. This is a general rule with most animals (and humans), but our ranch hands must take special care and develop a deep trust with the mamas when handling our calves. One slight tilt of the neck with her horns can send even the strongest man on the ranch flying!
7) Ain't no mountain high enough! Possessing innate food foraging skills allow American Highland Cattle to not only survive, but thrive in steep mountainous, primal terrain. Grazing and foraging plants that many other cattle avoid make these tough motherfuckers the stand-out survivalists of the cattle breeds. Digging through the snow with their horns to find buried plants or easily busting through your fence for tasty morsels on your side of the land, American Highland Cattle are extremely resourceful.
For more general information on our ranch and our cattle, please see our FAQ page HERE.
Article Credit : Mountain Primal Meat Co.