The miniature highland is all about the size. They are the same as a standard highland but their height must be under 42inches, measured at the hip bone when fully grown, which is generally 3 years of age. There are three categories for the miniature Highland -
under 36 inches (91.4cm) at 3 years old is considered a Micro Miniature and are very rare.
Between 36 inches (91.4cm) to 42 inches (106.7cm) is a Miniature, difficult to find!
Between 42 inches and 48 inches (122cm) is a Mid-Size highland.
Anything over the 48 inches is a Standard Highland. The cut off for measurement is final at 3 years of age
DefinItely the cute factor
Highland Cattle are not a large breed - However it is important to note that miniature and mid size highland cattle, are still a significant size. One should not assume the word “Miniature” refers to a ‘dog like size’. Cattle that are below 42 inches are classed as Miniature. Between 42.0" (106.68 cm) and 48.0" (121.92 cm) are Mid-size. Anything over 48" is considered a standard size in all breeds. Miniature Highland are measured from the hip which is used along with the World Standard Miniature Breeds recommendations.
The average size of a standard highland female is about 48 - 50 inches and above and a bull could be about 50 to 53 inches. Age is another key factor used in the determination of full and mid size miniatures. Most miniature cattle look smaller and weigh less when they are born compared to the standard size highland. However there are some that just stop growing and remain small. There is an average growth rate that takes place (see frame chart). The frame chart can be used to approximate where a particular animal might be in a year or two. This is based on the average gain which can also be monitored. All measurements start at six months of age because it's hard to predict the eventual height of the cattle at an earlier age.Because of the three year cut off and monitoring the average gain it's not likely that an animal scoring a predicted height of 0 or less at the age of 6 months, will be over 48.0" at three years. It can and does happen however. For this reason registration certificates issued by the Poll Highland Cattle Society Inc. are temporary until three years of age. They can be initially registered as miniature but a second height measurement is required at three years of age or older for permanent status. Height standards are the same as those for every breed as per the International Miniature Cattle Breeders Association and apply to both genders. It needs to be said that when you're dealing with nature there are no absolutes. All of the standards must be considered estimates and that no one can estimate a height size from the parents' size, they may be bigger or may be smaller.
Be aware that some "Miniatures" may have been underfed and not looked after and therefore may be very small cattle.
Breeding highlands before they are two years old will definately hinder their growth rate and therefore it is a very important question to ask when purchasing your animals, how old were they when they were firsted mated?
Remember that they are still cows, no matter what size and what age!
Miniature highlands should look structurally the same as a standard highland, just smaller.
While breeding small cattle it is extrememly important that you do not mate small cattle to a large framed bull. This is extremely dangerous for the calf and for the dam. Please contact our Society for more details