THESE SIMMENTAL triplet calves were born last week at Carsgoe Farm, Halkirk, Caithness, and all are thriving, being well looked after by farmer James Gunn and his son Graeme.

It was Graeme that delivered the triplets – while out observing the 130 Simmental cow herd, he noticed a six-year-old cow that was about to give birth in the straw bedded cattle pens, and delivered the first calf from a breached position, and then the following two which were coming heels first. The calves were sired by the farm's Simmental stock bull Team Glencoe and out of a home-bred Simmental cow.

Local AI man Willie Mackay, who is a regular visitor at Carsgoe Farm to inseminate Simmental heifers and is now in his 49th year covering Caithness and North and East Sutherland, said: “I remember the first set of triplets that were got by AI in Caithness way back in the summer of 1973, some 46 years ago, and over the years there have been a few sets of triplets in the county after farm stock bulls, just as happened at the Gunn's Carsgoe Farm. But it is very rare indeed – twins are more common but multiple births are decidedly rare. The chances of triplets in cattle breeding are a massive 100,000 to 1."