Episode 2 This Farming Life


Episode 2

An insight into modern farming life. Our old friends newlyweds Mel and Martin Irvine return to the series and introduce their newest member of the family, four-month-old Erin.


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Transcript


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Across some of the most beautiful and remote landscapes

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of the British Isles...

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There's not many views like that. It's absolutely stunning.

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..Scotland's farmers work day and night,

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producing our milk and our meat.

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Trying out new ideas...

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Buffalo doesn't want to do something,

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you're going to find it very difficult.

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Hey!

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..and striving to turn a profit in tough economic times.

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We're struggling, we're definitely struggling.

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Over the course of a year,

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six very different families let cameras onto their farms...

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Everything that could've gone wrong there went wrong.

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The idea of lying on a beach - bliss.

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..to share their struggles...

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We have to get her out or she's going to die.

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..and their triumphs.

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Thank you!

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It's not about the pay cheque, it's about the lifestyle.

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It's mid-autumn in Scotland.

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As the season advances,

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the last of the warm weather makes way for rain and early frost,

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and farmers are under pressure

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to get ready for the winter months ahead.

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In the rolling farmland of Fife, on the East Coast...

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..it's time to move an unusual herd to their winter shed.

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Scotland's first water buffalo.

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I absolutely love cattle - huge part of my life growing up on the farm.

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As it got to the stage where I was looking to create a business,

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I was looking for a unique product which I could market.

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The path was much clearer with the buffalo meat,

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as opposed to normal beef, which there's already a host of, you know...

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Scotland's full of great producers of quality beef.

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34-year-old Stevie Mitchell spotted a gap in the market.

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And because buffalo meat is unusual, and low in cholesterol,

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the business has taken off.

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Now he keeps a herd of over 400.

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So, these are all nearly coming up for two years old.

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These are all young boys, which were bred for meat.

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Today, Stevie needs to move his bull calves

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from the hills into their winter housing.

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Normally we do this by lorry, because it is a bit of distance,

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but the fields in between our farm

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and the farm we're taking them to just now are in stubble.

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So to save a bit of money, we're going to try and take them by foot.

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So, it'll be an interesting project.

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There shouldn't be too much trouble, but famous last words.

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Good boys.

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The bull calves are keen...

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..but Stevie's prize stock bull, 007, is having none of it.

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He's a big fair lump,

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but we need to move him out of the road, so we can bring the...

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..these young bulls up, but...

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the only thing he's bad at is he really hates other males.

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He's top dog.

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We bought him as a calf probably about eight or nine years ago.

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He's father now to most of our females that we keep,

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because he's got such a good temperament.

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He may be well-loved, but buffalo are notoriously stubborn.

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007 weighs over a tonne.

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Come on.

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Stockman Eddie lends a hand.

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It makes it quite difficult for us sometimes,

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because he's so headstrong and weighs so much.

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Trying to get him to do anything.

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Come on, big fella, let's go.

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He's got such a thick skin and big horns, he doesn't feel anything.

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Come on! No!

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Hey! No, come on!

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The other way. Come on, turn around!

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Come on, don't be silly. Come on, boy.

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Come on, ho! Come on!

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Hey!

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Good boy. That's a boy.

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With 007 shifted, Stevie and Eddie can finally get going.

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Come on, then, guys.

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HE WHISTLES

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When the buffalo get out, they behave quite different to cows.

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Cows tend to get quite excited, but buffalo just march,

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and they can get quite far.

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Domestic water buffalo are more commonly seen

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tilling the rice paddies of Southeast Asia.

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They stick as a group, they stick as a herd.

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They are, I think, crafty. They're definitely quicker.

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They run faster than cows -

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they're an extra five or ten miles an hour quicker,

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definitely, than cows.

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I mean, it's how people shifted animals back in the day.

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All the drovers shifted them from market to market, you know?

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So, it's quite a modern thing, these big livestock lorries.

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They're getting ahead of me, so I'd better crack on!

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45 minutes later, the buffalo arrive at their winter home.

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Feeling quite good about things - that all went really, really well.

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Just need get them up around a shed.

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Home sweet home.

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They'll spend the next few months being fed indoors.

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Come on, guys, out of here.

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It's both better for them and the fields,

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which can grow new grass for the spring.

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All done. That went all right.

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It's just so much nicer for the animals.

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You could see how happy they were.

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Almost going out for a leisurely stroll this afternoon.

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Most of the bulls will spend their last winter here.

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But one of these young fellows could get lucky

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and live on to become Stevie's new stock bull.

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It's a funny noise they make, isn't it?

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It goes... During a still night, it goes for miles.

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It's really funny.

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BUFFALOS GRUNT

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135 miles north, in the Highlands near Inverness,

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Robin and Penny Calvert run a croft.

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A traditional small-scale holding,

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unique to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

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A croft...possibly even more than a "proper farm" in inverted commas.

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It almost becomes part of you, it's a funny thing to say.

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It's the seasons, the way the colours change.

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It's the weather, they all, sort of,

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get under your skin over the course of time.

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Make sure that calf goes in, Penny.

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Peggy, just stay there.

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They make money by butchering and selling meat

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from the animals they raise.

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Okey dokey.

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So when a cow nears the end of her breeding life,

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her value to the croft dwindles,

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and Robin and Penny need to sell her while they still can.

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This morning, we're preparing our cows to go to the market,

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and we're having them ready overnight,

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and then we'll take them early next morning.

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Up for sale are 12-year-old Honey and 11-year-old Blondie,

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and Blondie's three-week-old heifer calf.

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They're still capable of having maybe two or three calves,

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so somebody else can make use of them.

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And selling one with a calf at foot is always a good thing, as well.

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Right, we'll leave them there for now.

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Highland cows will fight to establish a pecking order

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when they're contained.

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The problem we got at the moment is these two

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have never been terribly fond of each other.

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So we're going to have to put them in a trailer tomorrow morning,

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so I want them absolutely used to each other

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before they go in there, these two.

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Oh, no, no, no, no, no!

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Hang on! Whoa!

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Calf's on the wrong side.

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All right, we'll have to bring her back around.

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They're just organising their pecking order...

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and she jumped the fence.

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Right, Penny, I'm just going to have to lead her down.

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So, she's no longer in the fank, she's actually in the hen run.

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The difficulty being that she's going to have to leave her calf

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over the fence in order to get round the corner and back,

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so that might be a little bit difficult.

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Robin lures Blondie with some tasty treats.

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That's with having them in a tight space.

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If I had opened them up, we wouldn't have had that happening.

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Let's open this gate here.

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Come on, good girl. Good girl.

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That wasn't very nicely tempered of you, was it?

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They're back together for now.

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They're fine now.

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I'll be sorry to see that old cow go - she's been a good one.

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But I really don't want her around here

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when she's getting old and grey, like me.

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But, tomorrow, it's market day,

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which means an even tighter squeeze in the trailer.

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South-west in the Inner Hebrides,

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the Isle of Mull is home to new entrant farmers

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Janet and Alistair Taylor.

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They're tenants of a small farm on the south of the island.

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Along with two horses, ducks, and a large brood of hens,

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together they look after 180 sheep...

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This is Toffee, and this is Chantelle.

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Quite eager to get some breakfast.

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..and 20 Highland cattle.

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So, that's Hazel, Goldilocks and Patience in front of us.

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That's a lot of mouths to feed.

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Janet and Alistair depend on subsidies and grants to survive.

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The only income the farm's livestock have brought in this year

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is from the sale of lambs - a mere £2,000.

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What are you doing out, old fool?

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No shooting for you!

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So to boost their income, the couple take paid work on other farms.

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This autumn, Alistair's hoping to take over

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a potentially lucrative job managing red deer on three estates.

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It could provide the struggling farmers

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with up to £9,000 extra a year.

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Alistair's learning the ropes from Callum Entwistle.

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Callum's always in charge.

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That way, if we don't get anything, it's Callum's fault.

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Safety is absolutely paramount.

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This is Mull, and here,

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there's a pair of binoculars behind every bush.

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People are perfectly entitled to be out here.

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Pest as it is for us doing our job, but it is part of life,

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so we just have to accept it.

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There are over 7,000 red deer on Mull,

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and they have no natural predators.

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Without some being culled every year, the population would explode,

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leading to the ransacking of vegetation across the island,

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and disease.

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But, today, the deer are proving elusive.

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They're hiding at the moment.

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I think if they've got any sense,

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they're hiding in the trees out of the wind.

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German pointer Driesh is learning the ropes, too.

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He's a gun dog - an ideal candidate for deerstalking...

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..and half an hour in, he picks up a scent.

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He's saying they're that way.

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The tail's stiff, and he was scenting the air.

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He can smell a stag.

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But it's over 200 metres away.

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239 metres when we first saw him.

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And then he spun.

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He was head-on to us,

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which is not a shot you would take at that distance.

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He'll live for another day.

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That's stalking.

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-Driesh could smell him.

-Yeah.

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When we came halfway across there, we stopped, because he was...

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..turning towards there.

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To the kettle! Tea time.

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Before he can take over from Callum,

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Alistair needs a stalking certificate,

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which means passing a shooting exam.

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Driesh was really good today - I was really pleased with him,

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cos he was calm, and he didn't get frustrated

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when we were waiting around,

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and didn't make any noise, so really pleased.

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Driesh has passed his first test.

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Next, it's Alistair's turn.

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120 miles east in Fife,

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Stevie's also putting his animals through their paces.

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He's hoping to spot a new stock bull

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while weighing all the buffalo he moved earlier.

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Stevie's invested in a brand-new bit of kit for the job.

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A special cage for holding cattle called a crush.

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Been looking forward to getting this crush for quite a long time

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so that we could get some facts rather than going on instinct.

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By weighing the bulls, they can work out how much feed they need

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to reach their optimum weight for slaughter.

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But as water buffalo are a new species in Scotland,

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Stevie's always on a steep learning curve.

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So, it should say 172 kilos.

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I don't know what weight I am, though.

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You know you're 72 kilos, eh?

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I think I'm 100, but I'm not sure.

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It's something we probably should have done a long time ago,

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but, you know, this crush wasn't a cheap piece of equipment,

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and you've got to prioritise.

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-When we're right in the middle, it's right.

-Yes.

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-What was that, 100 kilos?

-112 kilos.

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It's saying I'm 112 kilos?

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-Yes.

-It's saying you're 72.

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-Uh-huh.

-Right in the middle.

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We're not...

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-It's probably got a wee bit of wiggle room, so...

-Yeah.

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Right, let's get started.

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Stevie has 160 obstinate bulls to weigh...

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Come on, boy. Up here.

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..but these boys have never been in a crush before.

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Don't be stubborn. Good boy.

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So, we're writing down all their weights.

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The plan is that we'll do this again in 30 days' time,

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and just see how much they've grown.

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No, come back.

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Good boy.

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Buffalo can be extremely stubborn,

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and the good news is that of all the traits they've got, they never kick,

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whereas the cattle beasts are... quite dangerous from behind.

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Get on. In you go.

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Hup, hup!

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Just go forward.

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Back, you.

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There we go. Phew!

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The buffalo's on...

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..but the scales aren't...

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Have we not had that at zero?

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HE COUGHS

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Right, we'll have him back out.

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..so he has to come off again.

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514.

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The buffalo, like, you just have to accept that it takes time.

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The more you get stressed, the less co-operative they come.

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The more you fight them, the more they go against you.

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Come on, move on.

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Well done, Eddie.

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As the youngsters go through,

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Stevie's been looking for a new stock bull.

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And one of them has caught his eye.

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There's lots to look at in a bull.

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He's got to be good on his feet, decent head, really good top line.

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Without being hard on this beast, it's just not got the same...

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It's not as full, erm...

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Not quite as well put together.

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It's actually, for a buffalo, got a really good shape.

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While the rest of these young bulls are destined for the food chain,

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this lucky fellow could be plucked out to live a very different life.

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He will get a name. The breeding bulls all have names.

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We've got 007, because his mum was 007, and he became Mr Bond.

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Get on, get on, get on, get on, get on, get on.

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HE WHISTLES

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But only if he gets the thumbs-up from vet Simon Ward.

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First time I tried to take a blood sample off a buffalo,

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Steve said it's easier to get blood out of a stone,

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and I didn't believe him.

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HE LAUGHS

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Come on, big fella. Come on.

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It is your luckiest day ever.

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Hopefully, provided the vet thinks that you're up for the job.

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Come on, keep going forward.

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Come on, son.

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Stevie wants Simon to size up his great new hope.

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They have notably smaller scrotums.

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Simon will have felt more...

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..bulls' balls than I have, so he'll maybe...

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I was wondering where you were going there!

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He'll maybe be able to tell us how different they are, but...

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So what we're looking for is symmetry of the two testicles,

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are they both present, is there a hernia above it?

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And particularly down at the tail of the epididymis,

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is there a hardened lump on them?

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And they both feel perfectly symmetrical.

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-They do?

-Yeah.

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If the young bull passes muster,

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he'll be put straight to work, as Stevie's favourite,

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007, has recently been firing blanks.

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007, for the first time ever, didn't get his cows in calf.

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So this is why we're picking out a new bull to...

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At the moment, help 007, potentially have to replace 007.

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-Seems all right. Yep.

-Good as gold.

-Yep.

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-Yep.

-Ah, well, Eddie, looks like we've got a new stock bull.

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-Well, thanks for that, Simon.

-No bother.

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-So now just a puppy.

-Puppy!

-THEY LAUGH

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Last up is Stevie's latest acquisition.

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This is our wee friend Maple.

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So she's just eight weeks old.

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Before starting her career as a gun dog,

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Labrador Maple needs to be vaccinated and microchipped.

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I'll put you in my jacket. Warmer in here, eh?

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Looks like butter wouldn't melt.

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Normally, she's running round like an absolute terror, aren't you?

0:19:080:19:12

Whirlwind.

0:19:120:19:14

Destroying everything in her sight.

0:19:140:19:16

I thought this would be nicer than having to go to the vet.

0:19:170:19:20

The vet's come to Maple, cos she's special.

0:19:200:19:23

Good dog. That's it.

0:19:260:19:28

We will get a wee whimper off this one.

0:19:280:19:30

This is her microchip.

0:19:300:19:32

It is a very, very big needle I have to put in the back of the neck,

0:19:320:19:35

so they tend to let a wee whimper out.

0:19:350:19:39

MAPLE WHIMPERS

0:19:400:19:42

It's OK, Mapes, you're OK.

0:19:420:19:44

Brave dog! Brave dog.

0:19:440:19:47

I feel a little bit...

0:19:470:19:49

..un-farmer-ish right now. But she is lovely.

0:19:510:19:54

HE LAUGHS

0:19:540:19:55

On the West Coast, it's an early start and a big day for Alistair.

0:20:140:20:17

He's taking the ferry from Mull to the mainland,

0:20:210:20:24

where he'll be sitting his deerstalking exam.

0:20:240:20:27

I need this certificate to be allowed to sell venison

0:20:330:20:35

into the food chain.

0:20:350:20:36

So without it, all the deer I shot

0:20:360:20:38

wouldn't be available for sale to the public.

0:20:380:20:41

So that would take away any profit from shooting deer,

0:20:410:20:45

so it's pretty important.

0:20:450:20:46

It's about as important as they come for tests that I've got to do.

0:20:460:20:50

I'm feeling suitably nervous about getting it done!

0:20:500:20:53

Cos I HAVE to do it, there's no...

0:20:530:20:55

There's no, "I can't do it," or, "I maybe wouldn't do it."

0:20:550:20:58

So, if I don't pass it, I have to come back and do it again,

0:20:580:21:02

which just costs a fortune.

0:21:020:21:03

Adding to the pressure, Alistair's absent for the farm for five days -

0:21:050:21:09

the longest he's ever been away.

0:21:090:21:11

While I'm away, Janet's mostly quiet.

0:21:130:21:17

Hopefully, there shouldn't be any problems with anything.

0:21:170:21:20

Maybe it's easier when I'm away, and I'm not there to make a mess.

0:21:200:21:23

Alistair and Janet met when they were teenagers,

0:21:240:21:27

and have been inseparable ever since.

0:21:270:21:29

It's really unusual for the two of us to be apart,

0:21:290:21:33

so this going away for five days is quite a big thing.

0:21:330:21:36

Cuillin, Cuillin. Cuillin, Cuillin. Come on!

0:21:430:21:46

We've got eight collies and Driesh.

0:21:460:21:49

Cuillin, Moss, Duke, Shaw, Bria, Pip, Rusty and Driesh.

0:21:490:21:55

And Bud.

0:21:550:21:57

-Forgot one!

-SHE LAUGHS

0:21:570:21:59

People always ask me how I keep track of them,

0:22:000:22:03

and I've trained them to keep track of me, so they know where I am.

0:22:030:22:07

With so many dependents,

0:22:090:22:11

Janet knows Alistair will be feeling the pressure.

0:22:110:22:13

It's a big thing.

0:22:150:22:17

It's going to make us a bit busier,

0:22:170:22:19

but it's got lots of benefits to it, too.

0:22:190:22:22

I think he's probably quite nervous!

0:22:220:22:24

He needs this for the job,

0:22:240:22:26

so he needs to pass, and everyone he's spoken to keeps saying,

0:22:260:22:30

"Oh, yes, when I was on the course, I passed,

0:22:300:22:32

"but quite a few people failed."

0:22:320:22:34

Which doesn't help!

0:22:340:22:36

In the Highlands, north of Inverness,

0:22:420:22:45

it's market day for Robin and Penny.

0:22:450:22:47

Come by!

0:22:470:22:48

Blondie and Honey have been kept together in a pen overnight

0:22:500:22:53

to encourage them to get on.

0:22:530:22:55

Sometimes they'll go in with a bucket, sometimes they won't -

0:22:560:22:59

we'll just have to see what happens.

0:22:590:23:01

Now they need to coax the pair, and Blondie's young calf,

0:23:010:23:04

into a small trailer.

0:23:040:23:05

Now, Honey, are you going to come in like a good girl,

0:23:060:23:09

or are we going to have to coerce you in?

0:23:090:23:10

No, she's very nervous.

0:23:150:23:16

-I think we're going to have to hurdle them in.

-Yes.

0:23:160:23:18

So I'll put the bucket there.

0:23:180:23:20

As an incitement, inducement.

0:23:210:23:23

OK.

0:23:250:23:27

-Now, keep coming in with me with that gate.

-Yeah.

0:23:270:23:29

Robin has a plan.

0:23:290:23:30

He's going to take the hurdles and gradually pull them in,

0:23:310:23:35

and diminish the area that they're in, and push them in,

0:23:350:23:37

and push them until they've got only one way to go.

0:23:370:23:40

On you go. Ho! Ho! Ho!

0:23:420:23:44

Come on. On you go. Come on. Come on. On you go. Come on.

0:23:440:23:47

These two cows just don't want to be absolutely close together.

0:23:470:23:51

Ho! Come on, in you go.

0:23:540:23:56

-Mind that gap, Pen.

-Oh, the calf's going to get out of the other side.

0:23:560:24:00

Go on, get up.

0:24:000:24:02

God's sakes!

0:24:030:24:05

The calf escapes, and Blondie's not happy.

0:24:050:24:09

Now we've got a problem.

0:24:090:24:10

Where's the calf?

0:24:110:24:12

MOOING

0:24:120:24:13

No! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

0:24:150:24:17

That's the problem we've got.

0:24:170:24:18

Where's the little one?

0:24:200:24:22

Fine. We'll worry about the calf later.

0:24:240:24:26

Undo that rope, Pen, quickly.

0:24:270:24:28

Whoa!

0:24:310:24:32

Blondie's in...

0:24:330:24:34

..but Honey's not keen to join her.

0:24:360:24:39

Just go into the front, open the front gate,

0:24:390:24:41

and rattle these nuts here.

0:24:410:24:42

Quick as you can.

0:24:420:24:43

That's it.

0:24:470:24:48

OK, you two, just steady on.

0:24:590:25:00

Right. Where's the calf? Any idea?

0:25:010:25:04

Don't let that calf jump in with the others, whatever we do.

0:25:040:25:07

Sheepdog Meg's herding instincts kick in.

0:25:070:25:10

Meg, come to heel. Come to heel.

0:25:110:25:13

Good girl. Keep it going that direction.

0:25:130:25:15

Good girl.

0:25:180:25:19

Come to heel!

0:25:200:25:22

We've got her.

0:25:240:25:26

Steady. Steady now.

0:25:280:25:30

Doing fine.

0:25:300:25:31

We've got her into the fank,

0:25:310:25:32

we're now actually going to put her through.

0:25:320:25:34

If we open the gates up, we're going to lose the cows out of there.

0:25:340:25:37

I think the only thing I can do is actually physically...

0:25:370:25:39

..pick up the calf in here,

0:25:400:25:42

and then put it through the small door in the trailer.

0:25:420:25:46

Come and get the head lock, quickly.

0:25:460:25:47

-Pull hard down.

-Pull hard down, then pull the thing towards you.

0:25:480:25:52

Pull the other one towards you now.

0:25:520:25:54

She's not yet three weeks old,

0:25:540:25:55

but the calf already weighs around 45 kilos.

0:25:550:26:00

Right, get that bottom door.

0:26:000:26:01

Fast as you can.

0:26:010:26:03

Help me lift it in.

0:26:070:26:09

As easy as that!

0:26:170:26:19

PENNY LAUGHS

0:26:190:26:21

Basically, everything that could have gone wrong there went wrong.

0:26:220:26:25

Uncooperative cows, breaking out calves.

0:26:250:26:27

-HE SIGHS

-We did it.

-We got there.

0:26:270:26:30

It's all taken longer than Robin hoped.

0:26:310:26:33

Quick change, quick cup of tea, and let's get down to the market

0:26:340:26:37

before we get there too late.

0:26:370:26:39

-DOG BARKS

-Meg! Come and get in.

0:26:390:26:41

Meg! Get in. Go on, get in.

0:26:410:26:43

Now all he has to worry about is getting the cows and calves

0:26:440:26:48

safely to market, and in time.

0:26:480:26:50

There isn't really room for these two to completely turn around

0:26:530:26:56

among themselves, cos they're quite big cows.

0:26:560:26:58

If they do decide to have a bit of a waltz or a tango on the way down,

0:26:580:27:02

then we'll just have to drive accordingly.

0:27:020:27:04

Over 50 miles south-east, near Aberdeen...

0:27:130:27:16

..fifth-generation farmer Martin Irvine rents a 240-acre farm.

0:27:190:27:24

Previously on This Farming Life...

0:27:260:27:28

..Martin's passion was breeding pedigree Limousin bulls.

0:27:290:27:33

Until sheep-loving Mel came into his life.

0:27:330:27:36

Hell of a size of nuts on him.

0:27:360:27:39

Martin, you may kiss the bride.

0:27:400:27:43

Mel and Martin tied the knot on the banks of the river Spey...

0:27:430:27:46

APPLAUSE

0:27:460:27:48

..and they knew exactly what they wanted to do next.

0:27:490:27:52

She's very broody. Very, very broody.

0:27:520:27:55

-Babies, babies, and more babies.

-Really?!

0:27:550:27:57

LAUGHTER

0:27:570:27:59

Now it's 16 months later,

0:27:590:28:02

and they have a new addition to the Irvine clan...

0:28:020:28:04

..baby Erin.

0:28:050:28:07

ERIN CRIES

0:28:080:28:11

Four-month-old Erin is already showing signs

0:28:110:28:13

of having farming in her blood.

0:28:130:28:15

Oh, she'll definitely be a sheep gal.

0:28:150:28:17

-Definitely.

-ERIN SQUEALS

0:28:170:28:19

See?

0:28:190:28:20

MEL LAUGHS

0:28:200:28:21

You like sheep!

0:28:210:28:22

Huh?

0:28:240:28:25

Today, Mel and Martin are planning to worm the sale lambs -

0:28:250:28:29

all 500 of them.

0:28:290:28:30

Shoo! Shoo! Tilly! Come out of there!

0:28:300:28:34

Mel can't get as hands-on as she used to.

0:28:340:28:36

Me and Erin do some back pinning.

0:28:380:28:40

The safest bit for her.

0:28:400:28:42

Isn't it?

0:28:420:28:43

Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!

0:28:450:28:47

Got to watch that she doesn't get bashed or bumped,

0:28:470:28:50

either by me pulling a gate, or a sheep.

0:28:500:28:53

But you'll survive, won't you?

0:28:530:28:54

We start off with an easy job,

0:28:550:28:57

and then when she can hold a worming gun, she can do it.

0:28:570:28:59

Until then, Martin has to worm the lambs on his own.

0:29:010:29:04

If they would just stand and open their mouths,

0:29:050:29:07

it would be a lot easier, but the more they fight,

0:29:070:29:09

the harder it is on them.

0:29:090:29:11

Everyone kind of said to us, you know, when you have a baby,

0:29:150:29:17

it changes your life, and, yes, it does,

0:29:170:29:19

but not as much as I thought it would.

0:29:190:29:21

And she's been on the tractor and the digger and the quad bike.

0:29:230:29:26

All before she's five months old.

0:29:270:29:30

Yeah, she's had a good start.

0:29:310:29:32

It takes an hour and a quarter to dose all 500 lambs.

0:29:340:29:38

We did it, didn't we? That's a good afternoon's work.

0:29:390:29:43

But there's no rest for Martin yet.

0:29:430:29:45

He and dad Stephen want to see if their crop of barley

0:29:460:29:49

is dry enough to harvest.

0:29:490:29:51

A late spate of warm weather could save them money on drying costs.

0:29:530:29:56

What we've got here is an unfed grain, just a random pick.

0:30:000:30:03

And we just have to separate the seed from the chaff, pretty much.

0:30:030:30:07

So we just crush it up in our hands.

0:30:070:30:08

What we want to do is just a small handful

0:30:080:30:12

of clean seed to test.

0:30:120:30:13

Martin has a high-tech moisture meter.

0:30:140:30:19

All we're doing is just crushing it.

0:30:190:30:20

Just turn into a powder with the moisture meter.

0:30:230:30:26

And it feels good, I'm guessing...

0:30:270:30:29

19%. What's your guess, Dad?

0:30:300:30:33

19 and a quarter.

0:30:350:30:37

Stephen's moisture meter is a bit more old-school.

0:30:390:30:43

Well, you bite it and if it cracks in your teeth,

0:30:430:30:46

you ken how dry it is.

0:30:460:30:48

If it just squashes... Ken. It's supposed to crack in your teeth.

0:30:480:30:50

The harder it is, the drier it is.

0:30:500:30:53

-Is that right, Dad?

-Aye.

0:30:530:30:55

That's why he's got no teeth.

0:30:550:30:56

HE LAUGHS

0:30:560:30:59

So that's good, that's 18%, so it's getting close.

0:31:000:31:03

We normally add a percent and a half, 2%,

0:31:030:31:05

by the time it goes through the combine.

0:31:050:31:07

So I'd imagine if I combined this now, it would be about 20%,

0:31:070:31:10

and that's just too wet for us.

0:31:100:31:11

If I get it low, 17%, maybe 16% if we're very lucky,

0:31:110:31:15

I've got no drying costs at all.

0:31:150:31:17

So that's us saving money. It is very much a gamble.

0:31:170:31:19

As far as I can see, the forecast's good, so I'll gamble,

0:31:190:31:22

I'll leave it another two days and hopefully it will drop down to just

0:31:220:31:25

where I want it to be.

0:31:250:31:26

Jack. Jack.

0:31:280:31:29

Come on. Come on. Hup.

0:31:290:31:32

Martin's banking on the good weather but if the rain comes early,

0:31:320:31:36

his harvest could be ruined.

0:31:360:31:38

We're not going to get too excited just yet.

0:31:380:31:41

It's coming. The weather's good, it's close.

0:31:410:31:43

You can hear the barley crackling away.

0:31:430:31:45

Patience.

0:31:450:31:46

50 miles west in Dingwall,

0:31:540:31:57

farmers from around Scotland are buying and selling rare-breed and

0:31:570:32:01

Highland cattle.

0:32:010:32:03

On you go.

0:32:030:32:06

Honey and Blondie seem to have put their differences to one side.

0:32:060:32:10

No, we're back on track again.

0:32:100:32:11

The calf seems quite happy, no injuries there or anything.

0:32:110:32:15

These two are quite settled.

0:32:150:32:17

Blondie's looking a bit fed up, she's been here before, a few years ago.

0:32:170:32:19

It's where we got her from originally. But...

0:32:190:32:22

There's a big cross-section of what happens

0:32:220:32:24

to these animals at the end of the day.

0:32:240:32:26

Some people keep them almost as pets, you know.

0:32:260:32:29

Either of these two more or less could go for that.

0:32:290:32:31

The only thing going against them is actually their age,

0:32:310:32:33

which will knock a lot of their value off, because they are quite old cows,

0:32:330:32:36

which is exactly why we're getting rid of them.

0:32:360:32:38

-Come on, girls.

-If he can sell them today,

0:32:380:32:42

Robin will have three less mouths to feed over the winter.

0:32:420:32:45

-Honey, shift down.

-But with the cows' advanced age,

0:32:450:32:49

they might not fetch a good price.

0:32:490:32:51

We just have to see what happens when we get out there,

0:32:520:32:54

I'm really not making any predictions on it at all.

0:32:540:32:56

There's one.

0:32:570:32:59

First up is Blondie, with her calf at foot.

0:33:000:33:04

Very quiet cow, a three-week-old calf.

0:33:040:33:07

It's a nice quiet cow here...

0:33:070:33:08

280...

0:33:080:33:11

It's a good start.

0:33:110:33:13

..40

0:33:160:33:17

60.

0:33:170:33:19

80.

0:33:190:33:20

-MAN WHISTLING

-..on 480...

0:33:200:33:22

They've sold for £480.

0:33:220:33:26

And now it's Honey's turn.

0:33:260:33:27

..not guaranteed...

0:33:290:33:31

Very quiet cow.

0:33:310:33:33

Nice quiet cow. £100 bid.

0:33:330:33:36

120, 140, 160, 180, 200.

0:33:360:33:39

220, 240. Anybody else?

0:33:420:33:44

Going then at 240.

0:33:440:33:47

A total of £720 before commission is a great result

0:33:470:33:51

and a satisfying end to a trying day.

0:33:510:33:54

Whoever's bought them got good value.

0:33:560:33:58

I'm quite happy to get rid of them at that price.

0:33:580:34:01

At least I've got enough back in the pocket there to get myself a

0:34:010:34:03

nice young heifer next spring.

0:34:030:34:05

In Perthshire, Alistair is at the deer certificate assessment centre.

0:34:130:34:17

He needs to pass an exam and a shooting test.

0:34:180:34:22

The stakes couldn't be higher.

0:34:220:34:24

Janet and Alistair need every penny they can get to keep the farm afloat.

0:34:240:34:28

From the written test side of it,

0:34:300:34:31

there's a lot of information to remember.

0:34:310:34:33

As for the shooting side, it's probably going to be, if anything,

0:34:330:34:36

nerves that get the better of me on that one.

0:34:360:34:39

Examiner Donald Muir will be testing his shooting skills.

0:34:390:34:44

We've got to put the mat out, we'll get you down,

0:34:440:34:46

we've got to get too comfortable and then we're going to go into the

0:34:460:34:50

formal shooting test. And I could see the excitement already.

0:34:500:34:53

Oh, yeah! Lots of excitement.

0:34:530:34:55

Once the range goes live, we put you into the shooting position,

0:34:550:34:59

three shots to get within the four-inch circle.

0:34:590:35:02

-Mm-hm.

-You get three attempts at that.

0:35:020:35:04

When we then move on to the deer target,

0:35:040:35:07

then we've to get the six shots into that.

0:35:070:35:10

Again, if we drop any of them, we'll start again.

0:35:100:35:13

OK, you quite happy with what you've to do?

0:35:130:35:15

-Yep.

-Now it'll just have to be "do it".

0:35:150:35:18

To prove he can get a clean kill,

0:35:180:35:20

Alistair needs to place his shots perfectly in the four-inch circle

0:35:200:35:24

set up 100 yards away.

0:35:240:35:26

I've shot on a range before but never had a shooting exam before,

0:35:280:35:33

nothing like this.

0:35:330:35:35

Sun's shining, there's no rain, it's just ideal.

0:35:350:35:38

It's less to give an excuse for!

0:35:380:35:41

If it was raining and blowing a gale,

0:35:410:35:42

at least I'd have an excuse to say why I was missing everything.

0:35:420:35:45

ALISTAIR EXHALES

0:35:490:35:51

In your own time, Alistair.

0:35:510:35:53

Three rounds into the left-hand zero target at 100 yards.

0:35:530:35:57

That's Alistair's first go over.

0:36:300:36:32

This is your first three attempts.

0:36:320:36:34

-You were quite a bit off the target there.

-Yeah, that was pretty bad, yeah.

0:36:340:36:37

Those three shots were low and to the left,

0:36:370:36:40

so I'll need to put three more better shots in.

0:36:400:36:44

He's got two more chances.

0:36:450:36:46

Pressure. Yeah!

0:36:480:36:49

GUNSHOT

0:36:520:36:53

GUNSHOT

0:36:570:36:59

OK? So give yourself five minutes, Alistair.

0:37:080:37:13

Alistair has missed again.

0:37:200:37:22

If he misses a third time, he fails the test.

0:37:220:37:25

It's very important to this job,

0:37:380:37:39

he needs it so he can put the venison into the food chain,

0:37:390:37:43

so he really needs to pass it.

0:37:430:37:44

Living on the island, it's much more of a challenge.

0:37:470:37:50

Anything where you've got to go away and do something,

0:37:500:37:52

quite often it's an added cost to everything as well.

0:37:520:37:56

Because he's got to have accommodation and obviously pay

0:37:560:37:59

for the ferry and stuff.

0:37:590:38:01

If Alistair passes the shooting test,

0:38:020:38:04

he could bring much-needed extra cash to the farm.

0:38:040:38:08

Last year, with the farm and the contract,

0:38:080:38:11

we made £16,000 between us.

0:38:110:38:13

And with the deer job, we're hoping that Alistair's going to make

0:38:130:38:18

another £9,000.

0:38:180:38:19

There's a lot of pressure on him to pass it.

0:38:220:38:24

It's time for Alistair's final go at hitting the target.

0:38:270:38:30

-I'll let you have a look, Alistair.

-Pretty sure I know where they are.

0:39:040:39:07

-Oh, well, that's that, then.

-Yep.

0:39:120:39:16

Unfortunately, that's your...

0:39:160:39:20

-That's my three.

-..most you could do today.

0:39:200:39:22

The first one, I saw it go out, and then...

0:39:240:39:27

that one, and I just aimed for the centre with the last,

0:39:270:39:29

which I should have just done the whole time but...

0:39:290:39:32

Yeah. These things happen.

0:39:320:39:34

You start overthinking it.

0:39:340:39:35

Yeah.

0:39:350:39:36

So, as I say, unfortunately, you have failed it today,

0:39:370:39:41

but I'm quite sure you'll pass it another day.

0:39:410:39:44

Don't get disheartened about it,

0:39:440:39:45

just go home, have a bit of practice

0:39:450:39:47

-and come back.

-Yeah.

0:39:470:39:49

And then we'll see how we get on from there.

0:39:490:39:51

Well, that's us, then. That's it.

0:39:510:39:54

As autumn rolls on, daylight hours start to shrink.

0:40:050:40:09

Scotland's climate is famously unpredictable,

0:40:110:40:15

dominated by Atlantic winds sweeping wet and unstable conditions across

0:40:150:40:19

the country.

0:40:190:40:21

So when good weather comes,

0:40:210:40:24

busy farmers have to juggle their plans to make the best of it.

0:40:240:40:28

In farming, you need a lot of skill, experience, knowledge,

0:40:290:40:33

a good weather forecast, but, most of all, luck.

0:40:330:40:37

North of Aberdeen, Martin's barley has reached the perfect moisture level.

0:40:390:40:43

It's ready to harvest.

0:40:440:40:46

But he's taken a gamble on the rain holding off.

0:40:460:40:49

-319.

-There we go.

0:40:530:40:55

Martin, Mel and Erin have travelled 40 miles to a large sheep sale.

0:40:550:41:02

The weather's changed, there's going to be rain coming in tonight,

0:41:020:41:05

we need to get home and flatten that pack of barley,

0:41:050:41:08

so we're just a bitty rushed.

0:41:080:41:09

Mel can do it herself but she likes me being here

0:41:090:41:11

just to have a second opinion.

0:41:110:41:13

Don't you?

0:41:130:41:15

Yeah, but I'm not stopping you from staying at home and combining.

0:41:150:41:18

No, I never said. Look, she's getting grumpy now.

0:41:180:41:20

Look at this, teeth are coming out.

0:41:200:41:22

At least they know exactly what sort of sheep they're looking for -

0:41:220:41:26

mules.

0:41:260:41:28

What a mule is is a cross between a Blackface yow and a Bluefaced

0:41:280:41:33

Leicester tuck.

0:41:330:41:35

You've got a Blackface yow, it is really a hill sheep,

0:41:350:41:38

not a lot of meat production out of the Blackface.

0:41:380:41:41

-Sheepies.

-And you've got Bluefaced Leicester,

0:41:410:41:45

which is nice and long and not the toughest,

0:41:450:41:48

but you cross them and you get pretty much

0:41:480:41:50

the ultimate female breeder.

0:41:500:41:53

These ones are cheaper,

0:41:530:41:54

because they are towards the end of their reproductive lives.

0:41:540:41:57

They're sold as broken mouth and correct underneath, which means that, you know,

0:41:580:42:01

they have lost some of their teeth but the udder is good,

0:42:010:42:04

so no mastitis and they should milk again.

0:42:040:42:06

This year, we're looking for about 250.

0:42:060:42:08

Last week me, and Mel were in, we managed to pick up 40.

0:42:080:42:11

£62 on average for 40 lives.

0:42:110:42:14

That's good.

0:42:140:42:16

OK.

0:42:160:42:17

Right. Seen enough?

0:42:170:42:20

Yeah, I think so.

0:42:200:42:23

The sale room is quiet today.

0:42:230:42:26

I think with just the fine weather that everybody is busy with the harvest

0:42:260:42:29

in our area, just missing a lot of buyers.

0:42:290:42:32

It could be a good day for us.

0:42:320:42:34

Martin is hoping for a quick bargain.

0:42:340:42:37

And to get home to harvest the barley before it's too late.

0:42:370:42:40

AUCTIONEER SPEAKS

0:42:400:42:41

-Chap the hammer.

-No.

-No, let him go.

0:42:440:42:48

But at £80 a head, this lot is too expensive.

0:42:480:42:51

Somebody credited them to 80, we had them at 70.

0:42:520:42:54

And the clock is ticking.

0:42:560:42:58

I'm thinking of sheep, and I think Martin is thinking of barley.

0:43:010:43:05

-Are you?

-Yeah.

0:43:050:43:06

The next lot is 100 mules.

0:43:070:43:09

Right, these ones.

0:43:100:43:11

We bought sheep from this guy last year, they did hell of a well.

0:43:110:43:14

So I'm keen to go back and buy them again.

0:43:140:43:17

-No.

-It's 100.

0:43:180:43:21

-I paid 82 last year, I don't want to spend any more.

-That's it, then.

0:43:230:43:27

Come on, chap the hammer.

0:43:290:43:30

-AUCTIONEER:

-84.

0:43:330:43:35

They've bought them.

0:43:350:43:37

At £84 each, they've paid more than they wanted to.

0:43:370:43:41

But they have got their sheep in the nick of time.

0:43:410:43:43

Hello. Just be leaving in the next ten minutes.

0:43:430:43:47

I'll phone Dad in ten minutes to get the combine started.

0:43:470:43:50

The weather forecast has changed.

0:43:500:43:53

Now Martin has only five hours to bring in the barley

0:43:530:43:56

before it is due to start raining.

0:43:560:43:58

So what we will do is head back, we'll pay for them,

0:43:580:44:02

sort out haulage and head home, pick some barley.

0:44:020:44:04

In Fife, on the East Coast,

0:44:140:44:16

buffalo farmer Stevie needs to move his old favourite, 007,

0:44:160:44:21

out of the shed.

0:44:210:44:22

Close that. Put they cows in there.

0:44:240:44:27

We'll bring 007 out the other way.

0:44:270:44:29

It's like playing chess.

0:44:290:44:31

You've got to juggle everything around.

0:44:310:44:35

007 only got three out of 50 cows in calf last summer.

0:44:350:44:39

We discovered there was a problem with 007's testicles,

0:44:410:44:46

which meant that one of them was shrunk much smaller than the other,

0:44:460:44:49

a sign of some kind of infection setting in.

0:44:490:44:51

The vet does hope it is the sort of thing that might be able to recover,

0:44:510:44:55

so he is very popular with everybody here at the farm.

0:44:550:44:59

We are giving him as much time to recover as possible.

0:44:590:45:02

We can't afford to have another mistake like last year,

0:45:020:45:05

when we had a whole pile of cows not in calf.

0:45:050:45:07

So hopefully our new bull going in now,

0:45:070:45:09

will make sure that we have plenty of calves come next summer.

0:45:090:45:13

The plan is to put 007 out in the fields with two heifers for company over the winter.

0:45:140:45:19

Come on, boys. Come on, girls.

0:45:200:45:22

Neither are in calf,

0:45:220:45:24

so it is a chance to see if there is life in the old bull yet.

0:45:240:45:28

We are going to give him a wee bit of compassionate grace and keep him on

0:45:280:45:32

just now. We will have to maybe reassess that next year.

0:45:320:45:35

HE WHISTLES

0:45:350:45:36

Come on, girls.

0:45:360:45:38

I really hope that he recovers and can keep on breeding for another few

0:45:380:45:42

years yet.

0:45:420:45:43

With 007 safely out of the way,

0:45:470:45:49

it'S time to bring in the new bull Stevie picked out earlier.

0:45:490:45:53

-Hello, son.

-He was imported from Holland,

0:45:530:45:56

providing the inspiration for his name.

0:45:560:45:59

Heineken. Yes, that's your new name.

0:46:000:46:02

Good boy. Up you come. Come on, then.

0:46:020:46:05

Stevie is hoping Heineken can refresh the parts that 007

0:46:070:46:11

couldn't reach.

0:46:110:46:15

Come on, boy.

0:46:160:46:18

Come on.

0:46:180:46:19

Turn around. Come on. Come on.

0:46:190:46:21

That'll do.

0:46:210:46:23

Good boy. Good lad.

0:46:230:46:25

The 23-month-old bull is still only half the weight he'll be

0:46:250:46:28

when he is fully grown.

0:46:280:46:31

The other cows will probably give him a bit of a hard time.

0:46:310:46:34

Most of these guys are actually heifers to be put in with,

0:46:360:46:39

they're all intimidating him a little bit.

0:46:390:46:42

They will settle down.

0:46:440:46:45

He's a virgin. A virgin buffalo.

0:46:470:46:50

So, yeah, no, I imagine he is just a little bit nervous maybe just now.

0:46:520:46:57

You're almost embarrassing me, I'm putting myself back into his mind-set.

0:46:570:47:01

But I certainly didn't get put in a room with 30...

0:47:010:47:06

There's still a lot at stake for Stevie.

0:47:060:47:09

He needs Heineken to do his job - and quickly.

0:47:090:47:14

But poor Heineken's getting pushed around.

0:47:140:47:17

Easy now, easy.

0:47:170:47:19

We need him to hit the ground running,

0:47:200:47:22

because all these guys are basically non-productive at the moment,

0:47:220:47:25

because they are not in calf.

0:47:250:47:26

We just need to hope that he sorts these girls out,

0:47:260:47:30

tells them who's boss, and they make lots of happy babies.

0:47:300:47:34

Easy now.

0:47:350:47:38

HEINEKEN GRUNTS

0:47:380:47:41

On the Isle of Mull, Alistair has had some good news.

0:47:490:47:52

I've got...my certificate here.

0:47:530:47:59

Got that. Nice letter, saying, well done, you passed.

0:48:000:48:04

I've got a wee certificate there.

0:48:040:48:08

And a shiny little badge, you can see that.

0:48:090:48:12

I resat my shooting test, because I messed up my first attempt.

0:48:150:48:19

Yeah, so just looking forward to getting on with the job.

0:48:200:48:25

Now he's got his certificate,

0:48:280:48:29

Alistair can take over contracts worth up to £9,000 a year

0:48:290:48:34

to manage deer on three estates.

0:48:340:48:36

This is just a few little bits and pieces that I take out with me.

0:48:360:48:40

When I go out stalking. So I've got gloves,

0:48:400:48:43

and then I take a wee first-aid kit with me,

0:48:430:48:46

a couple of chocolate bars. Just in case.

0:48:460:48:49

And that is pretty much it.

0:48:500:48:52

See you later.

0:48:520:48:54

Be careful.

0:48:540:48:56

I do worry about him. I definitely worry about him.

0:48:560:48:58

Especially as it's getting sort of an hour before darkness,

0:48:580:49:02

and I haven't heard anything.

0:49:020:49:03

He is quite good, he knows I worry, so the minute he's off the hill,

0:49:030:49:07

he contacts me to let me know everything's fine

0:49:070:49:10

and he has just got to process the deer before he comes back.

0:49:100:49:15

I've got him well-trained.

0:49:150:49:17

So far, we'll see.

0:49:170:49:19

Normally, Driech here would come out with me,

0:49:210:49:26

but he has a little infection on his leg, so he is on vet's rest.

0:49:260:49:31

Deer have been eating new saplings in a managed forest on one of the

0:49:340:49:37

estates. So Alistair's job is to reduce their numbers.

0:49:370:49:42

We are into a forestry section. It's commercial timber and looking to be

0:49:480:49:51

replanted. So the management plan here is to get rid of all the deer,

0:49:510:49:55

because they are eating all the trees that are being planted.

0:49:550:49:58

I think the deer are just up here on the right-hand corner,

0:49:580:50:01

that is where they like to live. So we are going to go up above them and

0:50:010:50:05

then come down onto them.

0:50:050:50:06

The plan is good. There's only one hazard.

0:50:090:50:14

There's a machine working over there with people and things inside it,

0:50:140:50:17

so there's no way I can shoot anything in that direction.

0:50:170:50:20

It's just far too dangerous.

0:50:200:50:21

So we have to keep that in the back of our minds the whole time we're going about.

0:50:230:50:27

Deer are hard to spot at the best of times.

0:50:290:50:32

Without Driech and his acute sense of smell, it's even harder.

0:50:320:50:36

It is just so hard in here, identifying

0:50:380:50:41

what you're looking at. There are so many little bits of wood that have

0:50:410:50:45

got different tones in them and the different shapes in them.

0:50:450:50:48

You can see deer in everything.

0:50:500:50:53

It is quite easy to stroll just past something and not see it until it starts running.

0:50:550:51:00

And then some luck.

0:51:060:51:07

I've got two deer, 200 yards away from us.

0:51:110:51:15

They can see us.

0:51:170:51:18

But they're off.

0:51:230:51:24

It was quite a long way for a standing shot anyway.

0:51:270:51:31

Although it would have been clean enough if she had stood still.

0:51:310:51:35

I'll see if we can't catch her.

0:51:370:51:39

Alistair follows, this time under cover.

0:51:450:51:48

Just up there.

0:52:370:52:39

The hind is down.

0:52:460:52:47

But nowhere to be seen.

0:52:490:52:51

It was a neck-shot, and it dropped instantly to the shot,

0:52:520:52:55

so it's just somewhere, somewhere over here in this general area.

0:52:550:53:00

Alistair must find her before it gets too dark.

0:53:020:53:04

This is where our German Shorthaired Pointer at home

0:53:070:53:10

is very good. He is a blood-tracking dog.

0:53:100:53:12

But without Driech, he has to rely on his own senses,

0:53:130:53:17

and time is running out.

0:53:170:53:19

North of Aberdeen, Martin is also racing against the elements.

0:53:230:53:28

The clouds are rolling in over his barley field.

0:53:280:53:30

So we've raced back from the mart and we have started cutting.

0:53:310:53:35

There is rain coming in tonight, so the combine's going,

0:53:350:53:38

the baler's going.

0:53:380:53:39

With rain on its way,

0:53:390:53:41

Martin and his brother Darren need to pull out all the stops.

0:53:410:53:44

It is coming in at 15.5%, which is exceptional for this part of Scotland at

0:53:460:53:51

this time of year. It's like...

0:53:510:53:54

It's like bullets.

0:53:540:53:55

So I'm not even going to have to spend any more money on drying it,

0:53:550:53:58

because it's dry enough. We'll get it into the shed.

0:53:580:54:02

Barley is a valuable crop.

0:54:020:54:04

Martin will use the straw to bed and feed his animals over the winter.

0:54:040:54:08

The grain he can sell as animal feed to other farmers.

0:54:080:54:11

So the straw is here,

0:54:110:54:14

the grain then comes out the spout into the tractor and trailer,

0:54:140:54:17

we'll take it back to the shed.

0:54:170:54:18

Darren, he is baling, which is bunching up all this into a bale,

0:54:230:54:26

for bedding for later.

0:54:260:54:28

This crop today is very important.

0:54:330:54:36

There's not going to be a massive profit made off the barley,

0:54:360:54:38

but we will have some feed for the calves for the winter,

0:54:380:54:43

good straw for feeding and bedding.

0:54:430:54:45

It's cost us £240 an acre to get it this far,

0:54:450:54:48

and it just makes a difference if you get the weather,

0:54:480:54:51

the conditions to cut it.

0:54:510:54:52

Get it in in good conditions.

0:54:520:54:54

Despite working against the clock, and the weather,

0:54:590:55:03

Martin's big gamble finally pays off.

0:55:030:55:06

It is a bumper crop of 50 tonnes of grain, brought in just in time.

0:55:100:55:14

I don't know if you can hear it, but it has just started raining.

0:55:160:55:20

So we couldn't have timed that any better.

0:55:220:55:25

Just as I was baling the last ten bales, it started spitting,

0:55:250:55:29

so it wasn't far away, but we're in the shed, we're dry.

0:55:290:55:32

It's cut, it's bailed.

0:55:320:55:33

Can't ask for any more than that.

0:55:330:55:36

Lucky. But, again, 15.5%.

0:55:360:55:40

I won't have to spend no money in drying it.

0:55:400:55:42

Couldn't get any better. At this time of year,

0:55:420:55:45

I think we're punching beyond our weight, really.

0:55:450:55:47

Good. Happy, happy.

0:55:470:55:49

In the west, on Mull, Alistair is searching for the deer he's shot.

0:55:560:56:00

-Too deep.

-He has no dog and it's nearly dark.

0:56:020:56:06

But he's in luck.

0:56:060:56:10

There she is.

0:56:100:56:11

Straight there.

0:56:110:56:13

I mean, it's a job, it's a job like any other.

0:56:190:56:22

It's hard shooting them unless you've got, in your mind,

0:56:220:56:25

the clear reasons that you're doing it.

0:56:250:56:27

So, in this case, it's for a management situation with the trees

0:56:270:56:31

where they are planting trees and we can see, right next to her,

0:56:310:56:36

there are trees that are being planted and being eaten off by,

0:56:360:56:38

probably by her, and that is the problem with her being here.

0:56:380:56:44

So that's why we are removing them.

0:56:440:56:46

Open her up like a zipper.

0:56:460:56:48

Alistair is paid a flat fee to control deer in the forest.

0:56:480:56:51

But the venison is valuable to the estate.

0:56:510:56:54

Come on, my girl.

0:56:540:56:56

He must now process the carcass so that the meat

0:56:560:56:58

can go into the food chain.

0:56:580:57:01

At the larder...

0:57:020:57:03

Help clean her off.

0:57:030:57:06

Alistair can check on the all-important weight.

0:57:060:57:09

42...

0:57:090:57:12

..and a half.

0:57:120:57:13

Well, they'll hang in the larder here till they go away,

0:57:130:57:15

then they'll go to another larder and hang,

0:57:150:57:17

and then they will be re-weighed again, and in that time,

0:57:170:57:20

just through dehydration and things, they'll lose a bit of weight.

0:57:200:57:24

So she'll be lighter by the time they weigh her to pay for her.

0:57:240:57:28

It's taken Alistair eight hours to deliver just 40 kilos of venison

0:57:290:57:33

into the food chain - and reduce the number of deer on the forestry land by one.

0:57:330:57:38

He will make £2,000 a year from this contract.

0:57:390:57:42

A much-needed boost to the farm's economy.

0:57:420:57:46

All in a day's work for someone who does too many things.

0:57:460:57:49

Hopefully, Janet's got dinner on for me and that's it.

0:57:490:57:52

Next time...

0:58:000:58:01

Stevie's buffalo show their wild side.

0:58:030:58:06

Hey! Get back!

0:58:060:58:08

The joys of working with an animal that's got such a weapon.

0:58:080:58:11

It's the dating season at Janet and Alistair's.

0:58:120:58:16

Very much matchmaking.

0:58:160:58:18

Choosing the right yow for the right tups.

0:58:180:58:21

And David is searching for his sheep,

0:58:220:58:24

but takes a moment to reflect.

0:58:240:58:26

There's not many views like that.

0:58:260:58:29

It's absolutely stunning.

0:58:290:58:30

Subtitles by Ericsson

0:58:370:58:40

Our old friends newlyweds Mel and Martin Irvine return to the series and introduce their newest member of the family, four-month-old Erin. In Fife, buffalo farmer Stevie must select a new breeding bull from his herd. Highland crofters Robin and Penny chase a runaway calf and Alastair has to leave Janet alone on Mull while he travels to the mainland to take an important deer-stalking test.