Kenfig National Nature Reserve
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Highland Cattle Graze on Kenfig NNR in Sping 2009 The oldest registered breed of cattle have been brought in at Kenfig NNR to help control the spread of scrub, brambles and other rank vegetation. Grazer, Rob Williams has purchased 20 Highland cows and they will spend the spring, summer and autumn on the northern dunes rearing their young calves. The breed that originates from the Highlands of Scotland have a reputation as a very tough animal that can thrive on poor quality vegetation and in all weathers. They are widely used on nature reserves as a habitat management tool. The Highlanders will be joined by 30 or so conventional cows later in the spring.
The breed is unusual in that it does not have a layer of fat under the skin to keep warm, instead two layers of hair do the job. Inner insulating hair keeps the animal warm and a thick long outer coat keeps out the wind and rain. The lack of fat in the meat makes this animal popular as a healthier beef option.
The long horns give the animals a fearsome appearance but these tough little animals have a gentle nature. The horns are used to beat back brambles and scrub while feeding. However, as on all farmland containing stock, dog walkers should keep their pets under close control and keep their distance. Cows with young calves may become agressive if they feel threatedned. If a dog is chased by a cow, owners should keep away from their dog or they may be chased too.
To learn more visit The Highland Cattle Society
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