WHILE they may be the most picturesque things on the planet, Highland cows have a mind of their own – as Lairg farmer, Gyle Lawrie, found out to his cost last week.

You won’t find many Highlanders calving inside and Savalbeg, where Gyle farms, there’s no namby pamby in-bye calving, just out on the hill. So when one of the old horny ladies calved last week and then proceeded to reject its own calf in favour of another, it required some Highland ingenuity to solve the problem.

So Gyle’s trusty Land Rover Defender, with its oversized, almost tractor-sized wheels, took to the hills with a set of gates to make a pen and the coo was duly penned up with her calf.

To make matters worse, when Gyle was heading off he could see said recalcitrant coo making off out of the pen, which was in disarray, being chased by shepherd Angus MacDonald. And as Gyle stepped out to watch the chase, the Land Rover – with no handbrake applied – disappeared off down the hill.

The outcome was not as messy as you might expect. The Land Rover hit a series of ruts and stopped and the cow has now made up with its own calf – and it would be brave man that tried to separate them now!

Splash the stowaway

Recently David ‘Simmental’ Craig was having a bad day. His little truck had a problem and he had feed to deliver, so using his quick thinking he took the tote bags from his truck and loaded them onto a flat trailer, covered them with tarpaulin with a little help from his wife Susan and feeling quite good about his new transport he set off for Stirling, stopping at the side of the A77 to check the straps, and at Castlecary for diesel.

On arriving at his destination he started to remove the tarpaulin only to find his wife’s favourite cat Splash, looking rather shocked, as a stowaway passenger beside the tote bags. It seems that Splash used up all of its nine lives in one trip, but had anything happened to the hapless moggy, it would have been David’s life that would have been at risk.

Farms are smelly – really?

There’s an old saying ‘if you can’t stand the heat, keep out of the kitchen’. Well here’s another one – ‘if you don’t like farm smells, keep out of the country’.

That’s the message from farmer, Stephen Nolan, in Lancashire, who is fed up with complaints about his animals – so fed up he has erected a this sign warning incomers: ‘They smell bad and have sex outdoors’.

Stephen who farms Laneside Farm, in Higher Wheelton, issued the tongue-in-cheek alert after four years of moans about his hens, planning wrangles over his Clydesdale and Shire horses and other problems.

The notice is aimed at ‘townies’ who want to move to the countryside for a peaceful life, but then whinge about its noises and whiffs. He said: “This property is a farm. Farms have animals! Animals make funny sounds, smell bad and have sex outdoors.

“Unless you can tolerate the above, don’t buy a property next to a farm. I find it baffling that people choose to live in the country then expect there not to be animals,” he added.

The last straw came when a neighbour opposed planning permission for new stables for his horses and even threatened to take the local council to court.

Shh ... pandas breeding

ON THE other side of the coin to the story about farm smells upsetting the neighbours, the zookeepers at Edinburgh Zoo have lodged a complaint that noisy building work disrupting the breeding process for their famous Giant Pandas.

Apparently, experts think the stress caused by the ongoing work to convert the former Corstorphine Hospital into new homes could affect Tian Tian and Yang Guang’s sex life.

Pandas are said to have ultrasonic hearing and can pick up noises at very high frequencies, sparking concerns about prolonged construction work a few yards from their home.

Never mind the pandas, what about the locals!

A heady cocktail!

MAYBE IT is all part of a Baldrick-style cunning plan, but is it a coincidence that when a renowned milk and milk product marketeer retires to spend more time at his Campbeltown holiday home – and then the creamery is up for sale?

Yes, we’re talking about Mr Milk, Sandy Wilkie, who has recently been a huge part of promoting the Gintyre gin festival last weekend. No doubt the fact that First Milk had put a ‘For Sale’ sign up at Campbeltown Creamery was the talk of the steamie over a gin or two at that boozy event as there would have been little doubt that with some free booze beckoning, the local farmers would have been out in force!

Joking aside, for any potential new owner, there’s no better man to have on your side.