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TITLE
Life on Buntait Farm, Glen Urquhart (4 of 16)
EXTERNAL ID
KIGHF_MARY_MACDONALD_04
PLACENAME
Buntait
DISTRICT
Aird
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Kiltarlity and Convinth
DATE OF RECORDING
19 March 1982
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Mary MacDonald
SOURCE
Highland Folk Museum
ASSET ID
41238
KEYWORDS
audios
farmers
farming

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Mary MacDonald was born and brought up on Buntait Farm on the Chisholm Estate, Glen Urquhart. In this audio extract she talks about a superstition surrounding the birth of cattle twins.

Mary: There must have been some sort of superstition involved with cattle or cows because I remember my father telling me about a cow which had twins, and this was considered unlucky, so the cow was being sold when - this was when he was quite a young boy - and a dealer came to the farm and was negotiating to buy this cow, which was a very excellent cow. And the dealer, seemingly, couldn't understand why she was being sold, because she was a young cow, and in sort of very good condition and all the rest of it. So, he got a hold of my father outside and started to quiz him and my father, of course, said, 'Oh, she had twins' and the dealer, of course, just laughed. He knew about the superstition; he'd bought the cow. But there was nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with the cow, but seemingly they didn't want it kept in the place because she'd had twins. Today, it would be considered a bonus.

I've been thinking about this superstition and I wonder if the reason behind it was that if a male and a female calf were born at the same time, it is now known that the female never breeds and it's distinctly possible that most of the female calves were kept for breeding and only the males were sold, and it would be, have been very trying for them to have found that they had kept this female for a year or two and then never got a calf from it.

(Image - Buntait from Corrimony © Copyright Angie, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence 2.0)

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Life on Buntait Farm, Glen Urquhart (4 of 16)

INVERNESS: Kiltarlity and Convinth

1980s

audios; farmers; farming;

Highland Folk Museum

Highland Folk Museum: Life on Buntait Farm

Mary MacDonald was born and brought up on Buntait Farm on the Chisholm Estate, Glen Urquhart. In this audio extract she talks about a superstition surrounding the birth of cattle twins.<br /> <br /> Mary: There must have been some sort of superstition involved with cattle or cows because I remember my father telling me about a cow which had twins, and this was considered unlucky, so the cow was being sold when - this was when he was quite a young boy - and a dealer came to the farm and was negotiating to buy this cow, which was a very excellent cow. And the dealer, seemingly, couldn't understand why she was being sold, because she was a young cow, and in sort of very good condition and all the rest of it. So, he got a hold of my father outside and started to quiz him and my father, of course, said, 'Oh, she had twins' and the dealer, of course, just laughed. He knew about the superstition; he'd bought the cow. But there was nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with the cow, but seemingly they didn't want it kept in the place because she'd had twins. Today, it would be considered a bonus.<br /> <br /> I've been thinking about this superstition and I wonder if the reason behind it was that if a male and a female calf were born at the same time, it is now known that the female never breeds and it's distinctly possible that most of the female calves were kept for breeding and only the males were sold, and it would be, have been very trying for them to have found that they had kept this female for a year or two and then never got a calf from it.<br /> <br /> (Image - Buntait from Corrimony © Copyright Angie, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence 2.0)