Last Thursday we were on site discussing the new cow byre. We had pegged it out and I was happy with everything. The steel has been ordered and we had every intention of laying the foundation this week. I happened to mention that the electricity power lines were quite close but my comments were dismissed and that the HSE would not have a problem.
The maintenance team left to go home for the weekend and I thought to myself it would be sod’s law if the cows started calving this weekend.
Well Mr. Sod is always appearing at Torridon and as Rohaise came home Friday night she told me that she had heard a lot of grunting and ‘mooing’ in the field and that she would not be surprised if there was a calf being born. I thought I should go and check but in the middle of the darkness I would not have been welcome. I decided to rely on Mother Nature and low and behold as I went to have a look at 7am, there he was a, little bull calf. Not wanting to take any chances, John carried the calf in to the small field and the mother duly followed us, not best pleased that we had kidnapped her son. I was concerned that he was not suckling and wanted to make sure that mum would let him feed . With 10 minutes of gentle persuasion and whisperings, she moved into the crush and we locked her in and maneuvered the calf onto the teat (or two). After 5 minutes he had grasped the know how and we let him feed until his belly was full.
I stood there looking at the cow shed plot and thought how good it would be if we had somewhere to put the cows when they were or had calved….hey ho! I consoled myself with some 6 nations rugby knowing the shed would be up soon enough.
Sunday is lie-in day and I was just drinking my cup of tea when Robert called to inform me that one of the housekeepers on her way into work had thought one of the cows was calving. “Another one, are you sure Robert?”….”it is lying on its side with one leg in the air….does that help?”. Angus and I jumped on the quad and rushed to see what was happening. By the times we had got there…..5 mins…..there was another bull calf on the floor being tended to by a proud mum.
Today I have spent the day discussing proximity of new builds to overhead power cables, something I assumed planning would have picked up on. It looks like we will have to make some adjustments to the building and the location to satisfy regulations. No-one said it would be easy.
You may be wondering who Ron and Geoff are. Big Ron and his family were staying with us this weekend; long standing visitors to Torridon and great fun to have to stay. It was suggested by a member of staff that the first calf should be called ‘little Ron’ and that the second calf should be called ‘little Geoff’….in honour of his friend and another regular guest. We shall have to wait and see if they make good godfathers!