Women Farmers Can’t Rest on their Laurels!

Me with the smallest calf of the year (he was 2 weeks old at this stage and I could still carry him under one arm)

There I was, wearing a shapeless milking gown with (I discovered later) a splash of cow muck across my face, not exactly looking my most sophisticated or glamourous when Brian called me to get my thoughts on a decision regarding our ESB connection being converted to 3 Phase. The ESB guy said to me “there’s not many women doing what you do”. I looked at him, totally confused. “Doing what?” He flung his arm back to indicate the milking parlour. [...]

The Mystery of the Bloat-Inducing Milk Powder

Rua Beag
I got such a large response to this post that I’ve written an update (it’s evidently a huge problem) so please scroll to the bottom of the post if you wish to read it. This post was written to reassure any farmer experiencing calves with bloat, that you are not the only one (despite what the sales rep might be telling you) and although obviously hygiene is paramount and should be the first thing to be checked, the fault may [...]

Do Old Cures Really Work?

2017-11-03 14.47.16-1

There had been a lot of commentary about the Presidential hopeful, Joan Freeman, announcing that a visit to Knock cured her of eczema when she was 16. Most people, judging by the plethora of comments, seem to think she is barking mad and yes, I’d be sceptical too yet I wondered as I tried something similar myself once.

People still go on religious pilgrimages and people still try herbal, religious or pagan cures in an attempt to cure them of [...]

There’s still Drought in the South East

Cows being supplemented with soya hulls August 2018

We’re still in a drought situation. Okay, it’s nothing like New South Wales in Australia where the situation is incredibly dire and the earth is brown. However, this is Ireland, the Emerald Isle, where rain is usually never far away and we’re accustomed to rain either spilling, pouring, lashing or spitting at us. The fields have greened up but we’re in a ‘green drought’ whereby the grass just isn’t growing enough to meet demand.

There has been plenty of rain in [...]

The Highs and Lows of Farming

Calf in Red

I’m tired. It’s not often that I’m really tired. It has been a busy couple of months: new calf shed being built, 130 calves born, and lots of finishing touches to Till the Cows Come Home which is being published in May. But it’s the relentlessly bad weather and all the extra work that goes with it that has made me tired. We knew the weather wouldn’t be great over Easter but the fact that it is continuing on for [...]