A compiled list of our most frequently asked questions that we receive on Instagram.
By no means is this a 'how to' guide on starting a Ranch from scratch. Believe me, I couldn’t write that book if I tried. But I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to possibly help shed some light on anything you might be wondering.
let's get into it
I have broken it down by category:
(Jump ahead by clicking any above listed category)
Why Highland Cattle?
Do you Cross?
Did you or your husband grow up around cattle?
➊ Foragers: They can live on less than ideal pastures (if necessary) and still find something to eat.
NOTE: They are not goats. They do need proper nutrition and access to food and water. We just admired that they will eat more than just grass / hay.
➋ Beef: Their beef is very low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein. Their hair acts as an insulator which eliminates a good majority of fat. We do plan on having beef for our family however we do not sell beef cuts or shares.
➌ Self Sufficient: Highlands are pretty self sufficient. In our experience, we have not had to intervene much. We like to leave things as close to nature as possible. We do tag / give supplements at birth as well as vaccinate and deworm annually and we will step in if necessary to keep our animals safe and healthy.
➍ Mothers: They are really great mothers. They take amazing care of their calves and typically calve with ease.
➎ Shelter: Their double coat is amazing in the winters which means they do not need a barn (where we live). We definitely get hit with snow and wind and they will find a safe spot in the trees if they feel the need. But providing shelter was not something we could do and they do not require it to survive.
➏ Docile: In general, Highland’s temperament is extremely calm. They do have horns and we are very aware of that when we have our kids out with us. We also know that a new Mama is not going to be friendly. But for the most part we are able to be around them without any issues.
We purchased Galloway Pairs in 2021. Those pairs have now been bred by our Highland Bull which means their calves with be Galloway x Highland.
What is the benefit of a cross? We have seen that these calves show great vigor when it comes to their growth. Additionally, they do not have horns. So if you are interested in a quick growing, hornless option that has the same beef quality and look as a Highland, this is your best option!
No. Simply put, neither of us had any prior ranch, farm or cattle experience. Everyone is going to be new at something at some point, I truly do believe that. BUT, I also believe in really educating yourself in the area you’re new at before you just jump in with both feet. Find people who you can trust that have been doing it for a while that will lead you in the right direction.
Can I have just one Highland?
We do not believe in having just one animal. They are herd animals and love being around other cattle. We genuinely try our best to keep things as close to natural as possible and I personally don’t think that secluding a herd animal for an extended period of time is in their best interest. Two or more would be the goal!
For clarification purposes - when we say we started Hillside with just one heifer, she was only alone for roughly one week before our bull arrived.
How much does it cost to get started?
How many acres do you have?
How many head do you run?
Are you looking for Ranch help?
This has always been a tricky one for us that we have never felt comfortable answering. Call us old school, but there really isn’t a golden number of how much you need to save or spend to feel comfortable with starting a Ranch. If it is truly something you want to do, you will find a way to make it work for you (and it doesn’t have to be all at once).
We also do not really discuss how many head of cattle we run or how many acres we live on because again — we do not believe in talking dollars ☺.
I understand the general nature of this question - how many head of cattle can you put on a certain amount of land? I am not an expert on this and honestly cringe anytime someone asks me because I don't have the answer. But heres the deal - if you want to squeeze multiple cattle on a smaller portion of land, you'll just have to feed more.
Not at this time! We are currently running the Ranch by ourselves and loving every second.
Do you allow visitors / Ranch tours?
We are located in Eastern Washington. We had zero plans of staying in Washington but God had other plans for us. We tried to find a spot in ID, MT and WY but nothing felt right. We gave up looking for about 2-years. Keith randomly sent me a text with a link to the property and it was love at first sight ☺. We called our Realtor and came out as quick as we could for a tour — we quickly made an offer and the rest is history.
Where is your Ranch located?
How did you find it?
We strongly believe in allowing others to see the beauty within the Ranch.
This is something we have discussed wanting to build towards however right this second, no we do not offer public tours.
Don't compare yourself to anyone else; do things the way in which best suits your situation.
You can't compare your beginning to someone else's middle or end.
I really do believe that if you feel called to something, you will eventually make your way towards it. While you are making your way — because often times it doesn’t happen overnight (it certainly didn’t for us), make sure you are soaking up every ounce of information you can get your hands on. Join groups, ask questions, really understand and make sure it is right for you. Ranching isn’t like the TV shows. It is 24/7, 365 days a year. Unless you have someone else helping you, there is a chance some sacrifices (vacations) that you might not have thought about will come up. For us, vacations weren’t huge on the priority list. But we can no longer travel during the winter as we need to make sure the cows are fed and have access to water daily. We are not picture perfect examples — we started with a Mother’s Day heifer and I would 10/10 NOT recommend starting the way we did. I think if we really didn’t want it as bad as we did, we would have failed miserably.
Cattle are animals, not pets. Their calves are the actual cutest but that isn’t a good enough reason to go buy one without fully understanding what you are getting into. Our intention was not ever to have a backyard cow, our goal was always to start a Ranch BUT, I think we underestimated how much we had the cart in front of the horse.
Simply put, just take the time to make sure you have the basics down:
➊ Food, Water, Minerals | both readily available and sourced + the ability to feed (tractor, etc.)
➋ Fenced property | Keeping your cattle safe in your fenced area is really important + knowing how to fix fences ☺
➌ The ability to medically intervene | Make sure you find a local vet + the ability to doctor if needed (chute/squeeze, medicine, vaccines, prep for calving season etc.)
➍ A load out area | THIS IS HUGE. It is so easy to get them in, but how will you trailer them out if you sell or have any other reason to move them.
➎ Equipment | Might not be the top of the list but it is cheaper to trailer in your own hay and trailer out your own animals if needed (I’m not talking huge cattle pots, just if you are small scale transporting).
What is your best advice for someone who also wants to start from scratch?
Do you sell your beef?
Are your Highland Cattle Registered?
Are you a photographer?
Do you do sessions?
No, we only sell our weaned calves / bulls when rotating.
If we have anything for sale — we list everything on our:
However we are still in our growing stages and do not plan on parting with any of our heifer calves for the next couple years.
Animal Sales Page.
We have started purchasing Registered Heifers and have a Registered Bull. We do plan on selling our registered calves while also keeping an unregistered option available.
I still laugh every time someone asks me this (extremely flattering!) But, no! All of my brand deal photos are taken by Keith and edited by myself. We are no where near professional but we do love photography. The cattle photos are primarily taken + edited by me. I am working on putting together a store where you can purchase them from.
Do you work with Brands?
Yes! We absolutely love shooting creative content for different brands.
If interested, check out our portfolio,
Yes! We absolutely love shooting creative content for different brands.
If interested, check out our portfolio,
Do you live in a rural area?
Do you feel isolated?
Was it an adjustment to move to the Ranch?
Do you make a full time income from the Ranch?
Yes-ish. We don’t live right next to town where we can easily just go to the store if we forget something.
We traded city life to live on the outskirts of town and even though it isn’t always easy - it was worth it for us.
I personally do not feel isolated simply because I am a homebody. If I was actually in the middle of nowhere, I honestly don't think I would mind one bit. BUT I do work full time. So I am connected in that sense.
We also are able to go to Church every Sunday in town (45min drive). And we grocery shop every other week (30min drive).
For those of you reading that aren't as familiar with our story, we purchased the Ranch in January of 2021.
We didn't move to the Ranch until the end of that year.
When we purchased the Ranch, we decided it would be easier on our family to not sell the house we were living in at the time of purchase but slowly move everything over.
So we would leave our Western Washington home every Wednesday evening after we worked a full day and drive 4-hours East to the Ranch. Then on Sunday morning, we would pack up and head 4-hours West, back to our other house.
We would either be hauling an enclosed trailer stuffed full of our personal items or we would be hauling a cattle trailer and move animals over to the Ranch.
We eventually did sell our Western Washington home and became full time residents at the Ranch.
Because we do work full time jobs, there are times when we do travel back West to the main office but it is no longer a weekly event.
It was a huge adjustment for our family to constantly be living out of duffel bags and traveling back and forth weekly. When that came to an end, we felt so at peace and thankful for the opportunity we had been blessed with to make our dreams come to a reality. Even though it was very difficult, it was worth it.
When you start from scratch, that means you are purchasing EVERYTHING for the first time.
Equipment, land, animals, feed, troughs, gates, the list literally goes on and on.
There is absolutely no way we could have done this without continuing to work our desk jobs.
We love what we do for work and it is a nice balance right now with our current size. We will continue to work our desk jobs because it does give us the financial ability to do what we do.
show me the calves
We sell limited calves annually - click the button below to see if we have any available.