Estonian winter no challenge to Ida-Viru County Highland cattle herd

A herd of Highland cattle in Ida-Viru County have been taking the recent heavy snowfall in their stride, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Tuesday.

The herd, owned by the family-run Aia farm in Mäetaguse, near Jõhvi, numbers around two dozen, an 30 ha of grazing land (see gallery).

Aia farm manager Heldi Aia told AK that: It seems that they like winter more than the hot and muggy summers. While they move around less in winter than summer, at the same time, they do better then; their fur gets much thicker than in summer, in other words, they change their winter coats just as animals generally do."

This does not mean that there have not been some anxious moments with the shaggy assemblage.

"One evening, we noticed that one animal was lying on the ground, while the others had congregated together, that is, the whole herd was there with this cow," Aia went on.

We thought about what we were going to do, were they going to the big creator's herd in the sky, or maybe we could save them," adding that the issue was one of a build-up of stomach gas, which was alleviated by punching a hole in the animals side and into the stomach, to release the gas, and the animal lived.

"At that moment we realized that we were part of the herd, and it was they who had adopted us," she added.

Highland cattle are noted for their long horns and shaggy, red coat, and were gradually bred until the breed familiar today emerged, in the nineteenth century. They are primarily raised for beef and also as a public and tourist attraction, and several other herds are present in Estonia.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

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