the Scottish highlander

The Scottish Highlander has more than proved its worth as a grazer of Dutch nature. Without this animal’s rustic appearance and calm character, natural grazing would never have taken off. This animal has been used in grazing projects for more than 40 years. We started with our first highlanders in 1991 and have never been able to say goodbye to them. Whereas the Tauros can be a bit too challenging for some smaller terrains, the Highlander is a full-fledged stand-in.

The Scottish Highlander has proved its worth. For more than 20 years, this bovine has been used in grazing projects in the Netherlands.


Scottish Highlanders are descended from Scotland’s oldest breed of cattle, which roamed this rugged landscape thousands of years ago. They are superbly adapted to the harsh weather conditions and sparse grasslands of the Scottish Highlands. Over time, these robust animals have developed their tough and winter-haired coats to brave the cold. Scottish Highlanders still have several primitive characteristics and are able to store a lot of fat reserves in their tissues. They grow small calves and therefore have hardly any birth problems. Slow juvenile growth and late sexual maturity are also primitive traits. This allows them to survive well in harsh conditions.

External features

Scottish Highlanders have an imposing appearance and are very recognisable. They have long, curly horns that are found on both bulls and cows. The colour of their fur can range from red, black and blonde to a combination of these colours. The thick coat of Scottish Highlanders protects them from the cold and gives them a robust appearance. They also have an imposing physique, with a broad chest and strong legs that enable them to walk on uneven terrain.

Grazing behaviour

Scottish Highlanders are known for their excellent grazing behaviour. They are very efficient grazers and can feed on a variety of grasses and plants that are less suitable for other cattle. The animals have wide molars and a very strong digestive system, which enables them to extract nutrients from tougher grasses.

Social herding behaviour

Scottish highlanders display an engaging social herding behaviour that is essential for their survival and well-being in their natural habitat. They often live in herds consisting of several generations. A typical herd may consist of cows (females), calves (young cattle) and sometimes a few bulls (male cattle). This herd structure helps provide protection from predators and contributes to social cohesion. They are particularly protective of their calves. They keep their calves close to them and the whole herd works together to protect the calves. The animals communicate with each other through body language, sounds and scents. For example, low roars or roars can indicate that danger is imminent, while gentle whinnying or sounds of calves can be a sign of calm interaction. Within the herd, young calves learn important skills and behaviours from the older animals. This includes, for example, learning grazing areas, recognising danger and navigating the landscape.

view the habitat of the common highlander

view other grazers

The Tauros is our showpiece. Glistening black and brown, extremely strong and weather-resistant. The primeval cattle 2.0!