When I was interviewed by Ryan Tubridy last December (shameless name dropping there!) he was teasing that farmers tend to be negative, grumpy and pessimistic. “Not so,” was my reply “They are optimistic, they always see the silver lining but they can never be too positive as they just never know what is around the corner.”
After all, although we don’t get extreme weather here in Ireland, it can happen that sudden flash floods can still damage crops or make a [...]
Valentine’s Day is coming up and as happens on most dairy and sheep farms, it happens smack in the middle of the busy calving and lambing season. The second and third week of February are usually our busiest week with our record being 12 calves in one 24 hour period – by the time the calf is delivered, ensured that it has received colostrum, been trained to drink from an artificial teat or bucket and that’s been done twelve times, [...]
It’s AI season here on the farm at the moment, started on 1st May. ?We use about 95% artificial insemination for our cows, just using a bull for some repeats (when a cow doesn’t go in calf on the first serving) if it is getting late in the season. ?It is entirely possible for a cow to have many calves and still be theoretically a virgin!
Ireland’s winter has now been going on for almost 12 months – it started last May when we had to rehouse cows at night and with the ridiculously wet summer, it was tough going to keep cows out, cattle were in and out and getting silage cut for the winter was a challenge!
The fact at the moment is that numerous farmers are undergoing severe fodder shortages. Yes, there are farmers, mostly older ones, that weren’t aware the quality of their [...]
Summer hit Ireland today and we embraced it with open arms. The temperature last night was to be between zero and -5 degrees Celsius and there was plenty of white frost on the ground this morning but by the time all the calves were fed, it was already becoming warm.