Whitebred Shorthorns feature at Highland Cattle
Whitebred Shorthorns have featured at two Highland Cattle
Open days held on Friday 9th September 2011 at Glenturret Estate
and Saturday 10th September at Loch Katrine.
On Friday 9th September some of our members attended the Highland
Cattle Society Open Day to see the Highland Cow in her traditional
surrounding at the 6000 acre Glenturret Estate just outside
of Crieff in Perthshire. This mainly south facing estate is
free draining and has approximately 4000 acres of heather moor
and has been owned by Mr & Mrs Alex Seldon for over 14
The day started at the main farm buildings with a welcome
from the host Mrs Seldon and farm manager Douglas McCartney.
The Highland Cow plays an important part out on the moors grazing
the heather without any supplementary forage and also helping
with tick control and habitat management which in turn benefits
both the farming and sporting enterprises.
Despite the rain, we were treated to a show of big, quality,
highland cows, in itself was just what the Highland Cattle
Society would have hoped for. But the day quickly turned into
a Whitebred Shorthorn day, when the 100 or so crowd saw the
calves by a Whitebred Shorthorn bull. Currently all pedigree
Highland Cows are put to a Whitebred Shorthorn Bull (Burnedge
Todo) with the cross calves being sold through Oban market
at the end of October.
These February born calves were not only testimony to the
ability of the Highland cow, but showed the many attributes
of calves produced by a Whitebred Shorthorn bull. They were
the main topic of conversation as the visitors moved to the
afternoon seminar at a nearby distillery conference hall, the
speakers being; Willie Thomson, Technical Director from Harbro,
Dr Basil Lowman, SAC Senior Beef Specialist and Donald Hendry
of Forestry Commission Scotland which manages the land around
On Saturday 10th September, the weekend was turned into a
complete Whitebred Shorthorn occasion, when members of the
North of Scotland Highland Cattle Club along with Whitebred
Shorthorn Council members and breeders visited the Loch Katrine
project. Where the forestry commission have taken on the management
of 11,000 hectares and are using Highland cows with a number
of Whitebred Shorthorn bulls.
Our first stop was to see a grazing trial, with pure highland
bullocks and Whitebred Shorthorn X Highland bullocks. This
was to test the performance on the vegetation growing at the
time. The result was impressive.
All the cattle were the same age and had run together on the
same diet over the winter until now.
The Whitebred Shorthorn X bullocks had attained an impressive
50kilo advantage over the pure highland bullocks and looked
like achieving a finished condition long before their second
birthday. Despite the nearly continuous rain it was easy to
see the tremendous potential in the production of future breeding
stock from what is a spectacular scenic area.