History - Brue Fold

The Brue Fold of pedigree Highland Cattle was started with the purchase of two yearling heifers at the breed’s premier Oban sale in February 2001.

These two pedigree heifers, Una of Borve and Caileag Bheag 17th of Callachally along with Seònaid 3rd of Crossnish, purchased as a two-year old heifer at the February 2002 Oban sale, were the foundation breeding stock of the Brue Fold.

Other females purchased since then were:
  • yearling heifer, Marree Ruadh 3rd of West Merkland, purchased at the breed’s Perth sale in May 2006;
  • 7-month old heifer calf purchased privately in October 2012, from the Gartchonzie Fold, near Callander, Perthshire. As the Garchonzie Fold owner had retired and that year’s calves had not been registered, she was registered by the Brue Fold as Anna Bell of Brue;
  • yearling heifer Caraid an Teallaich of Broad Bay, purchased privately in July 2013, from the Broad Bay Fold, Gress, Isle of Lewis;
  • yearling heifer Fiona an Teallaich of Broad Bay, purchased privately in July 2014, from the Broad Bay Fold, Gress, Isle of Lewis.
Breeding started in June 2003 with the arrival of the first bull, Angus 4th of Dunvegan, on loan from the Dunvegan Fold as a rising two-year old and used with the fold’s three 3-year old heifers.

In 2004, another Dunvegan bull, Lachlan 2nd of Auchnacraig, was used along with AI from Rìoghail of Balmoral. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, the fold’s own stock bull, Pìobaire Ruadh of Dunvegan was used – purchased as a month old calf from Dunvegan in March 2004. (See History - Pìobaire Ruadh of Dunvegan) In 2007 the fold’s younger stock bull, 2 year old Calum Ruadh of Brue, was used for the 3 year old heifers.

Calum A Mitchell, the fold’s stockman has been involved with the development of the Brue Fold from its initial stages. His first job was to travel from Stornoway to Oban, as a 17-year old, via Caledonian MacBrayne ferry and Citylink bus, armed with the two key essentials – a mobile phone and a chequebook! There he met up with Bob McWalter who was the cattleman at Glengloy Estate, Lochaber, which had previously sold a number of Blackface Tups to Brue. Calum returned with two yearling heifers and the Brue Fold was established – and the learning which began at Oban in 2001 continues.

The sound advice, guidance and assistance from breed contacts made then proved invaluable. They included Bob McWalter, Corpach; David MacDonald and Roddy Bain of the Dunvegan Fold on Skye and John Crilley of the Leys Fold, Inverness, who was also the Highland Cattle Society’s Fieldsman for the Highlands and Islands area. These four breed stalwarts and expert judges of cattle had over 130 years of ‘hands on’ experience between them. We endeavour to heed their advice and aim to meet their high standards.

On 1 January 2015, the Brue Fold numbers stood at:

5 in-calf cows
5 heifers (2 three-year old, 2 two-year old and one yearling)
3 two-year old bullocks
2 male yearlings
2 stock bulls
These two Premium Cattle Health Scheme (PCHS) Accredited Highland Folds also use the Brue Fold stock bulls:
  • Rubha na Sithean Fold, Kirkibost, Great Bernera
  • Broad Bay Fold, Gress.