AHCA Impact Dam Program A program developed by AHCA to recognize Highland cattle for their productivity.
40% of Maple K breeding cows are Impact Dams. Highland Mist of Maple K(AI) #34,173* Keri Ann of Cherry Point #36,126* Talisher of Maple K #35,710* Misty's Mairl of Maple K #37,516* Peallach of Maple K #40,168* Sobhrach of Maple K #40,167* Gaolach of Maple K #35,709** Fraoch of Maple K #35,708**
Impact Dams Impact Dams are cows that have proven their productivity over time. In order to become an Impact Dam a cow must calve for the first time by the age of 3 years 4 months (1220 days), she must have had at least 4 calves and the calving interval must be 380 days or less. This recognition will stay with cows, as an asterisk (*) will be added to their registration number. Each year new animals that attain this status will be added to the list. Elite Impact Dams Elite Impact Dams are cows that meet the criteria of an Impact Dam, plus have had at least 3 calves whose weaning weight (205 day weight) ratio is 100 or greater. These cows have proven not only to be productive but also shown great maternal strength with above average weaning weights. They will be recognized with 2 asterisks (**) after their registration number. Impact Sires Impact Sires are bulls who have sired 4 or more Impact Dams. These bulls will also be noted with an asterisk (*) after their registration number.
Each year animals that attain Impact status will be added to the list. The report will be generated in February and published in the spring issue of the Bagpipe.
Highland Q & A
How much do calves weigh at birth?
Birth weights are usually 60 - 75 pounds. Highlands are truly easy calvers. The calves' moderate bone structure and slim confirmation along with the cow's wide pelvic structure reduce calving problems such as caesarean and prolapse. They calve without assistance 98.5% of the time. Calves are vigorous at birth with a high survival rate. They make amazingly fast gains, especially under adverse conditions. Highland cows and calves are always paired.
What colors do they come in?
There are 7 recognized colors: red, black, brindle, yellow, dun, light red, and silver. When the Scots formed their Society they did not restrict color. The Canadian and United States societies also accept all the traditional colors. The dominant colors are red, black, and brindle. These colors can be combined with a dominant gene for dilution and create the colors yellow, light red, dun, and silver.
How much does the average cow weigh?
The average mature cow weighs between 900 - 1200 pounds. Cows display high fertility and regularity of calving. Conception rate and survivability of calves to weaning age are both close to 100%. Highland cows often produce a calf every year up to 20 to 23 years old.
What do they eat?
Highland cattle are browsers rather than grazers. Highland cattle require a minimum of management and care. They forage readily where feed is sparse. As browsers and brush clearers, Highlands are unsurpassed, eating what other cattle pass up. Highland cattle can utilize a wide variety of feedstuffs but the nutrient intake, regardless of source, must be adequate. When temperatures reach 18º or below, daily feed should be increased by 1% for each degree below the critical temperature (18º).
Why is their hair so long?
The long hair, along with a short undercoat, provides warmth in cold climates. Highland cattle have a long hair outer coat to shed rain, a short furry under coat to keep them warm, and natural hardiness that allows them to out-winter easier and cheaper than other breeds. Due to this unusual hair combination they have very little back fat. Snow is slow to melt on their back because they lose little body heat through their long hair. Their feed intake does not increase until 18º F as compared to 32º F for most breeds.
Why we chose Highlands?
Highland cattle are docile, low maintenance, and produce high quality meat. Highland cattle are easy to work with, fun to be around, and easy for youngsters to show at the fair. Because they stay healthy, very few adult cattle are lost to disease. Cows have great longevity, greatly reducing replacement costs. They also need a minimum of attention and are famed as easy and good mothers, thus keeping labor costs and vet's bills very low. Highland beef meets consumer demands for lean, tender, flavorful meat with little or no waste.
Do both males and females have horns?
Both males and females have horns. Their horns provide predator protection. Despite their long horns, they are gentle and easily handled. They are noted for their quiet dispositions, superior intelligence and do not stress easily. Horns on females usually fit one of two categories: A. The horns grow out, slightly forward, and then upward; B. They horns grow out, slightly forward and then swirl backward. For bulls a wide level sweep of horns is preferred.
Where are they originally from?
Highland cattle originally came from Scotland in the British Isles. They are thought to be descendants of primitive cattle raised in the Hebrides many centuries ago. The Highland Cattle Society of Scotland was formed in 1884 to "maintain the purity of the breed known as Highland Cattle and to establish a Herd Book in which to register their pedigrees." They are one of the oldest breed of continuously registered cattle in the world. The American Scotch Highland Breeder's Association was founded in South Dakota in 1948.
What are they used for?
Highland cattle are recognized today as a beef producing breed. Historically Highland cattle were bred for beef, high milk production, and docility as draught animals. Highland milk is high in butterfat. Their docile nature made them easy to handle and train. Their lean, tender, flavorful meat has a cholesterol at or lower than chicken.