The colour blue: inoculating our Highland cattle against the blue tongue virus

The government in its infinite wisdom has decreed that all cattle should now be inoculated against blue tongue virus. Therefore even we smallholders have to oblige and today was our cattle’s second dose after their initial injection four weeks ago. While we humans are always willing to participate, my three month old calves are not and I am sure that they knew what was up. Not surprising, considering last time they saw me in a yellow jacket, two of them lost their testicles. Thankfully this time was just a small injection into their rump.

Having separated mothers from babies – reasonably easy when food is on offer – we then had to coerce the young ones into the crush for their injections. Some were in hurry to get it over with while others decided to play catch-me-if-you-can. All went well, even with Charlie acting as nurse, and the cows can now enjoy the rest of the summer in peace. Well, almost.

I now have planning permission for a new cattle byre which we will be locating next to the car park and in front of the wood shed. Planning have insisted on a pitch roof and Rohaise has insisted on central heating, ensuite bathrooms and flat screen TVs. I do not think she has quite grasped the notion of rearing cattle for beef consumption. Joking aside, the aim of the new byre is to improve  the cattle’s welfare, especially during and around the calving season and hopefully to make more of a feature of them for our guests.

Donald the bull has departed, having hopefully fulfilled his duties and with a little luck we will have 17 head of cattle and a new byre this time next year.

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Dan & Rohaise are proud owners of The Torridon a family run and independent Hotel and resort. Passionate about food, service, provenance and promoting hospitality as an Industry of choice, especially for young people.

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