People Who Think They Know What This Strange Creature Is Are Usually Way Off The Mark

Chances are, if you have an Internet connection and a lot of spare time, you’ve seen just about every cute pet the world has to throw at you. That includes tiny little Munchkin cats and enormous horses with curly manes down to the floor.

But what about big, red, fat fluffballs with adorable grins that could melt even the coldest heart? Well, just north of Asheville, North Carolina, snuggled in the Appalachian Mountains, you might find a pet just like that.

Yup, the animals at Happy Hens and Highlands Farm may not immediately strike you as a backyard house pet, but once you see some of these cuties up close, you’ll see why people are going crazy for them!

If you take a trip to the mountains of North Carolina, about 45 minutes north of Asheville, you’ll find the open pastures of Happy Hens and Highlands Farm. There, you’ll spy these red-haired bundles of fluff that some people are making their household pets.

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You might be wondering just what exactly these animals are. After all, it’s not every day you see a four-legged ball of fur grazing beside packs of hens and chickens or tearing through open fields like a happy-go-lucky puppy.

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You might be surprised to learn that these aren’t some rare creatures from another planet. In fact, while they look like a strange new species, they’re actually quite familiar—though you won’t find them in many back yards!

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Believe it or not, they’re cows! Scottish Highland cows, to be more specific. At Happy Hens and Highlands Farm, they’re raised and tended to by farm owners Adam and Emily. Of course, they live outdoors, which is just how they like it!

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As their name implies, Scottish Highland cows originated from Scotland—and it gets pretty cold there. With temperatures that frequently dip below freezing come wintertime, you’ve got to have some insulation to get by.

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Because Highland cows have so much hair, their bodies stay insulated the same way as anyone would if they were wearing a fur coat. And, if it becomes so cold that their fur can’t do the trick, these cows receive special treatment. Here, Tiny Tim got a new coat!

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Those fur coats don’t just come in one color, either. On a typical Scottish Highland cow, fur can be anywhere from black to yellow to white, and a single strand can reach 13 inches long. Unfortunately, having luscious fur isn’t all fun and games for these fellas.

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Their fur is double-layered, meaning these cows have an inner layer of fur for warmth and an outer, more oily coat to repel rain. Sounds cool, right? That’s not all their fur can do, either.

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With thick fur coats, Scottish Highland cows can sport year-round beach abs. They don’t need to store fat for warmth, and research shows that pays off at the scales: they carry 38 percent less fat than other beef brands. While we may think it’s always great to be lean, it’s not such a good thing for cows…

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Sadly, lean, low-cholesterol cows sometimes need additional help to get nutrients. But while your average cow breeder might see dollar signs when he or she looks at Highland cattle, Adam and Emily at Happy Hen are anything but average farmers!

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“We started out by raising our own poultry for eggs,” Emily and Adam note on the farm’s website. “We then added cattle to the farm with the intentions of raising grass-fed beef. We quickly realized we could never eat these amazing creatures.” Phew!

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Emily and Adam interact with their cows every single day so that they’re docile and friendly—the perfect pets. “We started raising the cows for breeding stock,” their website continues, “and we only allow our babies to go to amazing homes.”

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Just how do Scottish Highland cows make good pets? Emily and Adam have answered that question with about a thousand examples on their Instagram account. For instance, check out this clip of Tiny Tim kissing the family dog! (Whether that love was ever reciprocated is up for debate.)

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If you’re like most cat and dog owners, then chances are you know the pain of trying to get your pet in a costume. With a Scottish Highland cow, there is no pain. Only the opportunity for Star Wars puns. These guys have some serious energy, too.

Lando Cow-rissian anyone? No? Fine then. Here’s a cow dressed as Obi-Wan.

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When a Scottish Highland bull is fully grown, he can weigh up to 1,800 pounds—that’s nearly a ton! Maybe you can’t keep one in your living room, but if you put him outside, he’ll impress you with NFL-caliber speed-to-size ratios.

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Of course, Emily and Adam’s bulls and cows weren’t born that heavy; newborn Highland cattle start out at about 60 pounds after about 290 days of gesticulation. And when it comes to caring for their young, Highland cows make for grade-A parents.

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Highland cattle are like overprotective dads with teenage daughters. If a bull or cow feels you’re threatening their young calf, you’re in for a world of hurt. And rumor has it, the cows produce milk with a high butterfat content. You know little cows love that!

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But whether it’s a bull or a cow, a child or an adult, the Scottish Highland cow really knows how to get into the festive, holiday spirit better than any dog or cat. Adam and Emily, in fact, share that holiday spirit with whomever visits their farm…

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You know how your sister-in-law sends out the perfect holiday card of her cat each year? At Happy Hen farm, you get the opportunity to one-up it. Emily and Adam’s perfect-pet cows are so friendly, they can pose with kids without causing harm. Can your cat do that?

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When looking at Highland cattle, some might see a cash cow: lean meat on four legs. But at Happy Hen and Highland Farms, Adam and Emily have committed to helping others see them more as pets—or cute, friendly fluff balls with admirable haircuts!

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These “big babies,” as Adam and Emily describe them, are a big hit—and it’s easy enough to see why! If you want to see more of these cute cows, be sure to follow Happy Hens and Highlands Farm on Instagram.

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