Prior to the Highlanders becoming the main part of the cattle business, we had success in the cross cattle arena with numerous wins at local and national events including the Royal Highland Show, The Winter Fair and Royal Smithfield.
In the 1970s and 1980s J & M McConachie were a regular fixture at both the winter fair in Edinburgh and the Royal Smithfield Club in London. Showing successfully home-bred calves at both.
The calves – much removed from modern ‘show cross-cattle’ were mainly Charolais cross Angus types
Above: Champion and Reserve at The Winter Fair in Edinburgh 1987, the reserve champion, and on the right 'Kojak' at Royal Smithfield in 1975
Today our commercial enterprise focuses on producing a high quality, grass fed easily fleshed animal.
We have used the highlanders best assets, including its hardiness, easy feeding, easy calving and mothering ability to produce a commercial animal that is fit for the landscape it lives in.
Our commercial herd makes the most of our Highland cow by putting a traditionally larger breed over it to ensure a faster finishing, easier fleshed calf which will, in turn produce a carcass for the market.
We take great pride in taking our cross cattle from weaning through to slaughter almost entirely on a grass and forage diet.
We have previously used a Shorthorn bull from Alvie Estate which produced excellent well marbled meat and carcasses that graded tremendously well.
Our previous stock bull, Whitebog Favourite, was a Salers from Alister Mackenzie, who had all the qualities we want in a terminal sire. In early 2015 we sold a draft of yearling Salers cross-calves at Thainstone to 230p per kg. We have since sold Favourite privately but his daughters remain within the herd and are run with an Aberdeen Angus bull to produce a hard-wearing, fleshy and easily kept calf, sold through the ring at Thainstone but also avaliable privately upon request.
In the last few years we have sold all our commercial cattle to the supermarket Waitrose, where they graded very well, most of them coming back as R4L or U4L.
We are always interested in selling our cross cattle privately from the farm, the cattle are all available for viewing, just head to the ‘Contact Us’ page and get in touch.