A Caithness cow has joined a very rare club after giving birth to three heifer calves.
All the new-borns are said to be thriving after their arrival at David Coghill’s farm at Tofts of Tain, near Castletown, at the end of last week.
A scan had shown the Simmental cross cow was expecting twins but Mr Coghill kept a close eye on the six-year-old after it continued to pile on the pounds.
As it started to calve, it required next to no help from him as one after another of the triplets appeared within quarter-of-an-hour. The first weighed in at 35kg, the second at 32kg, and the third at 30kg.
All three, by the farm’s four-year-old Limousin stock bull called Whinfellpark Malteaser, were in excellent condition.
It was a first for the farm, with the odds of beef cattle triplets commonly quoted at 100,000 to one and their chances of survival through to maturity put at 60%.
The odds of producing three healthy heifer calves would be much longer.
AI cattle technician Willie Mackay, who witnessed the birth, said: “There have been several calf triplets in Caithness over the years: some have been very successful in continuing to thrive; other have not been so lucky.
“The three heifers at Tofts of Tain are in wonderful condition and the mother is providing an abundance of milk for them.”
Mr Mackay, from Oldhall, near Watten added: “I’m delighted for David who works hard all year round on his farm and this has definitely been one of the most exciting calvings for him.”
The farm runs 35 cross cattle and 140 Cheviot ewes on 150 acres of grazing.