It's a family affair for Queenie, Dolly and Fiona, the three women of Rural Hill.
The three female Highland cattle, who roam the 265-acre historic site of Scottish heritage, also share the land with the site's only male, a family member named Bubba.
"Bubba just hangs outs; he cannot breed," says Ed McLean, Rural Hill's executive director. Queenie is the mother of Bubba and Dolly. Fiona is the Dolly's calf.
Highland cattle are a long-hair, long-horn breed of livestock with Scottish roots, McLean said.
Although Rural Hill currently features a small quantity of the breed, he said, there was a time when the site boasted seven times as many animals.
Three and a half years ago, the site hosted a 28-member herd.
However, the expense required to maintain such a large herd and the need for additional parking spaces for Rural Hill's year-round activities and educational events led to the decision to reduce the herd to four blonde and reddish-brown cattle.
"People don't like parking where cow patties are," said McLean.
Rural Hill found a home for some and some were sold and some went to our freezer for use at the farm, McLean said. "We feed volunteers when they are here during events and on Saturdays," he said.
A 1,300-pound black bull named Scotty is mounted on the wall in the meeting room located inside the main office.
"He's huge; he looks like a buffalo," said McLean.
The site received its first calf in 1996 from Egypt Bottom Farms in Anderson, S.C.
Each year, Egypt Bottom would increase its calf donation by one. In 1997, Rural Hill received two calves, followed by three calves the following year, and so on.
In 2009 Rural Hill was given the entire 13-member herd produced from Egypt Bottom's annual breeding, including the livestock used to breed.
However, in 2010, Rural Hill stopped breeding.
"We are not really a breeding site; we are more into the educational aspect of Rural Hill's programs," says McLean. "It's a lot of work to maintain a lot of stock herd, so we just do sampling to share the Scottish heritage."
He said it is essential for animals get proper care.
"When you're trying to run a business, you have vet fees if you are going to maintain them properly," he says.
Care includes timely vaccinations and a suitable diet. Because cattle eat grass, they are rotated among three different fields at Rural Hill in order to keep the grass at equal levels.
"They will eat the grass down on one field so we put them on another field while the grass grows back," said McLean.
In addition, cattle eat hay. Rural Hill grows hay for its own cattle and sells hay bales to local horse farms.
Although hay is one source of income for the site, its primary source of revenue is corn, also used for its annual fall corn maze, the Amazing Maize Maze.
Rural Hill once spent more than $500 in an attempt to save a breeched calf, McLean said. Although they were unable to save the calf, the mother survived with the aid of a local veterinarian service that specialized in large animals.
But cattle aren't the only animals that have inhabited Rural Hill. "We had some chickens, but we think coyotes may have gotten them," McLean says.
The site also plans to obtain more animals in the future. "We would like a variety of animals," says McLean.