Heifers make a break for it

Why do disasters only happen on weekends and bank holidays or is that just our luck? Last weekend a bunch of young Simmental cross heifers decided to escape into our neighbour’s field. Dad and I went to get the cattle back and walked quietly around them, but they decided to trot to the corner of the field, leap over the bank, across the lane through a fence, across a field and over another bank and ended up mixing with a bunch of our neighbours young Friesians.

We informed our neighbour, Roger, and the following day myself and six others plus a quad bike turned up to sort the situation out.

Roger enticed his Friesians out with a bucket of cake hoping mine would also follow. It nearly worked until one of mine ‘smelt a rat’ and refused to exit the field. Fortunately, after a little persuasion, she eventually followed.

Now in a lane with banks either side we tried to let some of the Friesians back. Unfortunately, one got spooked and headed straight over the bank, across the field, over the next bank and back to the field from which it originally came. The bucket trick wouldn’t work a second time so a quad was introduced. Eventually we got them back in the lane and straight to the secure handling pen.

They were soon sorted and there was a huge sigh of relief once our heifers were in the box and on their way home. It took four hours, which is not what you need on a prolonged bank holiday weekend with a heavily pregnant wife at home.

Mathew Cole, his brother Neil and parents Arnold and Bridget, farm 1,800 acres on and around Dartmoor. They keep South Devon and Galloway suckler cows as well as Scotch and Swale ewes on the hills with mule lambs bred to sell inby. They also have pedigree flocks of Bluefaced Leicester and Whiteface Dartmoor ewes.

See more