The Luing | Luings Cattle Society

The Luing Cattle Society

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The Luing

About The Luing

Why Luings? The Luing breed has much to offer as the hill and upland sector of British agriculture seeks to offset higher feed, labour and building costs. Developed as a cow breed for purely commercial purposes, the Luing continues to fill a critical gap in beef production.

The Luing is extremely hardy and an efficient and fertile mother. Its ability to rear a suitable calf in adverse weather conditions is widely renowned. Hornless, with good sound feet, and a strong bone structure its considerable merits guarantee a good investment and currently place it high on many farmers' wish lists.

History of The Luing Breed

The Luing breed was famously evolved by the Cadzow brothers on the Island of Luing in Argyll off the west coast of Scotland. Admiring the outstanding complementary qualities of two great beef breeds – the Beef Shorthorn with its fleshing qualities and the Highlander with its ruggedness and hardiness, in 1947 they selected some of the best first cross Shorthorn/Highland heifers that could be procured.

These heifers were bred to the Shorthorn bull, Cruggleton Alastair. Two sons of this breeding were kept and mated to their half-sisters: Luing Mist in 1952 and Luing Oxo in 1953. From then on, by following up this in-breeding with line-breeding, the Luing breed was firmly established and with many generations sired by Luing bulls, they proved themselves as breeding true to type. The British Government officially recognised the Luing as a breed in its own right in 1965.

The breed is now a 'breed of our time' and is currently thriving right across the UK, Ireland, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South America.

Hidtory of The Luing Breed 1
Hidtory of The Luing Breed 2

Breed Guidelines at a Glance

“Sound, practical reproductively efficient cattle with good temperaments and longevity will never go out of style”.....Duello 1955

Bull Selection

One bull can break your herd. Take great care when selecting him. Check out his dam too if you can.

Bulls offered at annual February sale to be at least 18months old on day of sale and not less than 52” high at shoulder and min 38cms scrotal circumference.


  • Bull producers should be totally confident in their bulls' ability to produce sound, reproductive cattle
  • Use the best sire possible
  • Check out his dam for feet, locomotion, udder, milkiness and Luing characteristics
  • Aim for the right balance between conformation and milkiness - 'bullish' looking with heaps of character through his bold head
  • Good muzzle and side jaw
  • Good disposition, placid eye but with enough sparkle and presence
  • Strong back with plenty of muscle on top
  • Good crest on neck
  • Strong tail with decent switch
  • Hind legs really good with clean hock
  • Enough crank to give flexible action
  • Big, good sound feet absolutely essential



  • Keep her ladylike!
  • Kind, sweet well proportioned head
  • Fairly broad muzzle
  • Not too short between nose and eyes
  • Large ears
  • Quiet, gentle eyes
  • Clean, pink nose now essential
  • Black noses – now unacceptable at the premier sale
  • Polled cattle now becoming increasingly sought after
  • Medium length coat with mossy underlay - correct for outwintering
  • Thickness of skin under the hair that helps animal withstand the cold
  • Fine, graceful neck
  • Clean brisket
  • Fine shoulders leading to fairly lengthy top
  • Good width over the hooks
  • Plenty of length between the hooks and pins - aids easy calving
  • Heart girth - both depth and spring of rib
  • Bit of middle or tummy acceptable
  • Select characteristics associated with ease of calving
  • Udder - good, set fairly high, medium sized teats
  • Pendulous udders and big teats - HIGHLY undesirable
  • Point of tail should reach point of hock
  • Short tails highly undesirable


  • Reds, roans and yellows most popular
  • Broken colours and pure white less desirable

Legs and Feet

  • Breed generally renowned for good feet and legs
  • Sound feet crucial
  • Foot should have a broad hoof
  • Straight toes
  • Good depth of heel
  • Undesirable – straight hind legs


  • Generally good
  • Make allowances at calving time......
  • As good mothers – can be very possessive during first few weeks
  • Avoid stary, goggle eyed cattle

Frequently Asked Questions

The U is silent… ‘LING’ is the right answer!

For a list of Members click here – many of our members will be happy to show you their stock if you contact them. Otherwise contact the secretarywho will also be happy to help you out.

No – the pure Luing evolved in the 1940s when the Cadzow brothers crossed the Beef Shorthorn and the Highlander. This line-breeding programme firmly established the Luing Breed which has been bred pure since the early 1950s.  See ‘The Luing – History’ for full details.

There are three official sales for Luing Cattle. The Premier Sale kicks off the season in early February (usually the first Friday of the month). This sale features a good entry of bulling heifers (often over 150 head) as well as good consignments of in-calf heifers and around 20 two year old bulls.

This is followed by the most recent addition of a spring breeding sale held in the third week of May at Dingwall Auction Mart in northern Scotland.

Finally comes the autumn breeding sale, now in its 36th year, which is held in the new Stirling Agricultural Centre towards the end of October. Members have the benefit of being able to enter Luing, Sim-Luing or Luing cross cattle at any of these sales (with the exception of the Premier Sale which is only for pedigree Luing cattle).

Other sales such as the well established May breeding sale run by United Auctions or the autumn calf sale at the Oban Livestock Centre in late October will often have large consignments of Luing, Sim-Luing and Luing cross cattle forward for sale.

Our website will keep you up to date with all the latest sales information.

Yes. The Luing Society developed its own unique Dam Classificaiton System in 2004. This system involves a panel assessing the dams of potential stock bulls for various traits including locomotion, feet, udder and teats. For a bull to be approved for use in the pedigree herd book, its dam must have been assessed and have scored above the breed standard (5 out of 10). Recently the Society was awarded grant funding to investigate the potential development of this system and whether or not Estimated Breeding Values could be established to support it.

Click here to read the report from SAC into that subject.

Go to ‘Stock for Sale‘ – this is the first stop shop for cattle currently for sale. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please ring the secretary, tel: 01250 873882.

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