Being a Successful Highland Buyer
Many new Highland breeders have possibly never raised cattle or if they have, they raised cattle when they were younger or with their parents when home on the farm. These are some questions to ask the prospective Highland breeder who are selling their animals.
Ask how long they have raised Highlands
Where their breeding originated from
Ask to see the animals in their natural setting, pasture or corral etc.
Ask about conformation, have the seller explain the looks of the animal
Ask to see the dam and sire if available (check out the dam and sires hooves, also the size of the teats and milk bag on the cow)
Check out how docile the dam and sire are as well as its offspring
Ask to see the registration papers
Have the breeder explain the tattoo and look for the tattoo in the ear
Ask about immunizations for the animal, the feed it receives, grain or grass
Is the animal halter trained, docile and eats some sort of treats
Ask about overall farming items, such as pasture per animal, fencing needed, how they work their animals, head cute & corral
Ask about grooming tips they may do with the animal
Ask if the registration papers will be transferred to the buyer and if that is included in the sale
Ask if the seller is sponsoring the new breeder to the national registry
If the cow is pasture bred, ask about a pregnancy test to assure a date of calving
Visit several Highland breeders
Attend some show/display or Agricultural Highland display to talk to breeders and see how animals react in different situations off the farm
Ask about a networking group such as a Regional Highland Association and the national registry
Ask about sponsorship to a Regional Highland Assoc.
If purchasing out of state, ask about health regulations for transfer
Check with your state vet on regulations of transporting from state to state
If purchasing Highlands from pictures, and not seeing them live, be sure that they are the animals from the picture when delivered.
If looking to purchase unregistered Highlands, these same questions apply except for the registration papers. Nevertheless, be sure to ask many questions about the unregistered animals as they may have been crossed or bred up in there lifetime and you never know when a gene can show up in an offspring.
Ask questions as to how long they had these animals
if they bred them
did they purchase the dam and sire when they were young
Very important is when purchasing a bull:
Any bull two years and older must have a TRICH test done by the vet, which is a blood test
It is very important even in private treaty transactions/sales to have a blood test done before putting that bull with a new fold of cows.
That can be included in the selling price or the buyer can be responsible for the cost
Ask your vet for more information on TRICH tests.
Any virgin bulls under two years old do not need a TRICH test
Very important when purchasing unregistered bulls