Scottish Bull’s Bid To Scratch ‘Itchy Bum’ Knocks Out Power For 800 Homes

by : Lucy Connolly on :
Bull's Bid To Scratch 'Itchy Bum' Knocks Out Power For 800 HomesHazel Laughton/Facebook

A bull with an itchy bum accidentally cut the power to 800 homes when he knocked a transformer box off an electricity pole while trying to scratch himself.

His owners say four-year-old Ron is lucky to have survived after he somehow managed to avoid the box as it fell, escaping 11,000 volts and a ‘large bump on the head’.


However, residents in three nearby villages in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, weren’t so lucky, with hundreds of homes left without electricity for several hours as a result of the bull’s mishap.

bull with itchy bum cuts off powerHazel Laughton/Facebook

The incident happened sometime between 10pm and 11pm on Thursday, May 7, at East Shawtonhill Farm in Chapelton, with Ron – a Limousin bull – using the pole to scratch his backside.

Hazel Laughton, who owns the farm with her husband Greg, said power wasn’t restored to the local area – with the villages of Chapelton, Strathaven and Glassford all being affected – until around 4am on Friday, May 8.


Ron’s owner attempted to lighten the mood a bit by posting an apology from the bull on her local Facebook group, writing: ‘He had a itchy bum so scratched it on the electricity pole and knocked the transformer box off… Think we will rename him “Sparky”!’

bull with itchy bum knocks off powerHazel Laughton/Facebook

Hazel, an agricultural consultant, told BBC Scotland it isn’t unusual for bulls to seek a good scratch – especially when they still have their winter coats on – adding: ‘They are always itchy when they go out.’

She continued:


Ron weighs over a ton so he has been rubbing and pushing against this pole and just knocked it off. We have seen them shake the wires before when they do it but for the box to come off is completely new.

We got up around 06:00 and we saw a big generator sitting at the bottom of our road, all linked up to the poles. We thought that was a bit strange. We went up to feed our cows and it was my husband that noticed the transformer box had been knocked off the pole.

We put two and two together and realised our bull had been scratching against the telegraph pole and he had knocked the box off the pole. All the wires were down in the field as well.

Bull with itchy bumHazel Laughton/Facebook

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As the couple surveyed the damage, they were joined by Ron, who ‘sheepishly walked up to the fence’ looking ‘a bit stunned’. Hazel added: ‘I don’t think he really knew what had happened during the night.’

The engineers who arrived to fit a new box were also surprised by the damage caused by Ron, with Hazel saying they had ‘never’ known a bull to knock the box off the pole completely like he did.


Unfortunately for the bull, he’s going to lose his little scratching place, with Hazel saying they’re in the process of fencing it off so he ‘can’t get to it’. Meanwhile, Ron is oblivious to the damage he caused and his new-found fame, instead spending his time chilling in the field.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Animals, Funny, Power, Scotland


Hazel Laughton/Facebook and 1 other
  1. Hazel Laughton/Facebook

    Chapelton, Strathaven Group

  2. BBC Scotland

    Bull's bid to scratch 'itchy bum' cuts off power to 800 homes