A Tale of Two Cows


It’s more of a comparison than a tale but like a lot of dairy farmers, we’re constantly trying to improve the quality of our herd and we’ve been working on improving milk solids for a number of years through breeding, milk recording and grass management. When the milk recording information comes, we’re looking at milk volumes for the individual cows but also their fat and protein percentages. Before we started milk recording, the ‘best cows’ were great on volume but [...]

Have you ever seen an Egg Weighing Scales?

Egg weighing scales

When I attended the #farm1916 commemmorations in Athenry last Friday (organised by Teagasc and a superb event), I was really excited to see this egg weighing scales. As you can see, a single egg sits neatly into it and the little dial goes up and down. The measurements are nearly worn away but I’m sure they were clear a century ago.

Egg weighing scales[...]

Where Does Winter Milk Come From and Other Answers

Black and white calves

Where Does Milk Come From In Winter?

A friend recently asked me “Where does our milk come from in winter if most of the cows in the country are dry?” so I thought I’d use it as a starting point to explain a few things about dairy farming. Cows supply milk for ten months of the year, with their supply being greatest in the months after calving. The majority of dairy farmers have a ‘dry’ period where they don’t milk for [...]

My Farming Week: There’s Something About Mary

There's something about Mary

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, is the reason this Hereford-Friesian calf is called Mary. Yet, by the end of her third day of life I had to admit there was definitely something about Mary. She was a tad infuriating for the first couple of days of her life although, being so young, it’s not like there was any point getting cross with her.

We had Hereford calves last spring for the first time in decades and they all took to food like [...]

A Field of Mushrooms

We’ve had a fabulous summer here in Ireland – warm temperatures mostly between 22 and 26 degrees Celsuis and not much rain. In fact, rain kept missing us here and we got to the stage that we were looking out for it. 36 hours of rain last weekend on warm soil meant that we have a couple of fields with scores and scores of mushrooms.

Field Mushrooms

I had to [...]