Farmer steps in to ensure safe arrival of calf at The Buffalo Farm, near Kirkcaldy

A Kirkcaldy farmer stepped in to ensure the safe arrival of a calf born at The Buffalo Farm, near Kirkcaldy recently.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 2:04 pm

Steve Mitchell had been filming one of his buffalo, who was a first-time mum, giving birth for a television programme he is currently involved in when he realised the calf was coming out backwards.

He stopped filming and went over to assist.

Fortunately no equipment was needed – just a gentle pull and the calf came out, safe and sound.

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Steve Mitchell with the buffalo calf he helped to deliver. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

The incident was unusual as Steve said this is the first time he has had to get involved to help with the birth of a calf as buffalo are normally extremely efficient at doing it themselves.

The buffalo calf was the 20th one to be born since calving began at the beginning of March. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

He said: “I have become so accustomed to buffalo calving themselves – they are very efficient at it – and I have never had to assist one before until now!

“One of the strong points about buffalo is that they are very good at giving birth unaided.

"I’m not 100 per cent convinced the buffalo wouldn’t have managed herself – she was a first time mum – and it is actually very rare to see them giving birth because they are so good at it - they do it very quickly so you don’t see so much of it.”

He continued: "I had just popped my head in to check up on them and was doing some filming when I realised the calf was coming out backwards and could see she needed a wee hand. We didn’t need any equipment or anything, just a gentle pull and out came the healthy calf. It is always a privilege of being a farmer to get that experience.

"When the calves are born they get an ear tag to identify them and just like cows people might be interested to know it gets a passport. It has details of who its parents are and the passport stays with it for the rest of its life.”

He added: "We started calving at the beginning of March and this was the 20th calf born. But we have had nearly 2000 buffalo calves born here since we started 16 years ago.”

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