small stocky brown/black cattle with long rough coats
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I'm certain this is a Highland cattle, you can get them in brindle, yellow or black. They are normally docile and calm, unless they have calves.
These are Britains hardiest cattle, often enduring thick snow and heavy rain. The long shaggy coat throws off rain.
It is hard to see the distant cows but the animal in the foreground is, I'm almost certain, a limousin/limousin cross. They are now the most common beef cattle, however they only arrived in Britain in 1971. The slightly shaggy, reddish coloured coat is the indicator. Also the general shape, though it is a jizz thing and I can not quite put my finger on exactly what I mean. I should point a friend is a cattle farmer and has a limousin bull for breeding, an impressive animal.
In central France, where the British animals originated, they claim this is the oldest domesticated breed, primarily because there are 20,000 year old cave paintings which depict cattle that look remarkably like limousins.
If they were highland cattle they would have much longer coats and the head would be broader and much heavier looking. Also the body would be more barrel-chested.
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these cows were very small in stature - about half size of most cows i have seen
In that case it is likely to be a dexter in winter coat or more likely a dexter / limousin cross.
There is a 'craze' in America to cross dexters with other breeds to produce miniature cattle which are then sold to people with largish gardens; an edible lawnmower!
Dexters are an Irish breed with is much smaller than then average cow.
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