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Local Birth, Mother and Calf Doing Well

Published on: 2 Jun, 2021
Updated on: 2 Jun, 2021

The breed is known for calving with ease.

By Martin Giles

Witnessing a birth is not an everyday occurrence for most of us and its wonder is still a sight to behold.

It was not a sight my wife and I were expecting as we commenced our cycle ride home, having just left Loseley’s new farm shop/cafe on New Pond Road, near Compton.

We had already admired, once again, the English longhorn herd in the field by the driveway that leads to the shop and had just started along the main road when we saw one cow lying down in what seemed an unnatural position.

Worried that it might be in trouble and that someone should be alerted, we dismounted. It very quickly became apparent that there was nothing unnatural to concern us, just the opposite, the cow was giving birth, the tiny cloven hooves just showing.

Within a few minutes the blinking head emerged, and then after a pause to gather breath and some essential words of encouragement from your truly, the hips and the back legs.

What a joyful moment which you can share by watching the video below…

From Wikipedia: English longhorn cattle (also formerly known as Lancashire cattle) are a long-horned brown and white breed of beef cattle originating from Craven, in the north of England. The breed was initially used as a draught animal, which its body is well suited for; the milk was also collected for butter and cheese because of its high butterfat content.

An individual farmer would have owned one or two cows; these would have been accompanied by a bull owned by the lord of the manor. The notable long, curved horns that serve to distinguish this breed from others can make an individual appear aggressive, although by temperament they are usually friendly.

Another attractive English longhorn cow and calf at Loseley

Longhorns live surprisingly longer than other breeds of cattle and are also known for calving with ease. They have a white patch along the line of their spine and under their bellies.

In popular culture, two English longhorns can be seen in Mel Gibson’s 1995 medieval epic Braveheart in which they tow a cart carrying the wounded father of a young William Wallace after the initial retaliatory skirmish with English forces.

In his television series, In Search of Perfection, the chef Heston Blumenthal chose longhorn beef as perfection, ahead of more famous breeds such as kobe.

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Responses to Local Birth, Mother and Calf Doing Well

  1. Jan Messinger Reply

    June 2, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    How wonderful. Martin Giles reminds us all of the rural character of our borough despite all the other issues: traffic, housing, population and so much more.

    Let’s hope they name the calf “Dragon”. Martin was in the right place at the right time. Just like so many of the Dragon NEWS pieces.

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