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Once Again, it’s Time to Shear the Highland Cattle

written by

Carole Soule

posted on

May 22, 2023

It’s that time of year again-Cow-Clipping-Month. Tim Stevens, the owner of the Northern Comfort Hotel in Colebrook, New Hampshire, clips Curious Bleu, a Scottish Highlander steer. Ten more Miles Smith Farm Highlanders need clipping. If you are interested in helping, call us at 603 783 5159 to schedule an appointment.

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Curious Bleu, an 11-year-old Scottish Highlander steer, had a thick coat of hair that had protected him from the cold all winter. But now, with temperatures soon reaching 90 degrees, it was time to shave it all off.

Some Highland cattle, like Ferdinand the bull and Kavi, the cow, shed their winter coats without help, while Sophie and Belina need a vigorous brushing to remove theirs. Still, Bleu and about ten other Highlanders need more help than that.

I had to locate the electric clippers and blades I had put “somewhere safe” last year. Cattle need industrial-size clippers that require expensive removable blades. Sometimes the blades get lost or, after many sharpenings, are discarded. On the clipping day, I was in luck. I found two of my three clippers with sharp blades ready to use.

The Joy of Clipping

Clipping is one of my favorite things, but after the last time I gave Topper a haircut, I spent two days recovering from an allergic reaction to cow hair. It’s sad to be a cattle farmer with a cow allergy, but I manage. Instead, I recruit others who want to try their barber skills on a hairy critter. My first volunteer was Tim, who was picking up a heifer named Hannah at my farm.

After brief instructions (I told him he could do nothing wrong), Tim and his kids went to work on Bleu. The gentle vibration soothed the steer, and if he were a cat, he would have purred as the blades cut off thick hair from his back and around his tail, spots he couldn’t scratch with his long horns.

I’d met Tim in March when he bought two other calves from me, Lil Ray and Hester. Tim and his wife, Kelly, purchased these mini-Scottish Highland cattle for their kids to bond with. He put them in his pasture next to their Northern Comfort Motel in Colebrook for the viewing enjoyment of their customers.

Clip, Clip, Away

Now, back to those shaggy Highland cattle who need a haircut that my allergies won’t let me perform. If trimming the fleece of a woolly mammoth is on your bucket list, I can provide a similar experience. Want to? Please, adults only, and we request a $65 donation to the Learning Networks Foundation. 

You’ll have a great time, the cattle will be grateful, and your donation will help provide food for Curious Bleu and his Foundation friends.

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