The farm: I help out my father on the farm along with my two brothers. We have 40 acres on the home farm and another 20 acres rented in an outside block. We keep 40 autumn calving suckler cows. I also work as an Ag-consultant with Owen O’Driscoll and associates in Skibbereen. There I assist farmers with applying for the different Department of Agriculture schemes and ensuring they comply with the regulations.
The cows: They are continental cross-bred cows with the majority of them being Limousin crosses. A lot of the cows would have dairy breeding in their background. There are also a few pedigree Limousin cows in the herd. The aim is to produce weanlings suitable for the export market. We use 100 per cent AI. Mainly easy calving Belgian blue, Limousin, Charolais and Blonde D’aquitaine sires are selected with good terminal traits. Weanlings are sold at special weanling sales from May onwards. Some of the bulls not sold as weanlings are finished under 16 months and we keep our own heifers as replacements.
Pedigree cattle: The best of the pedigree Limousin calves are pedigree registered. Inchcol Limousins is the prefix. We took up showing at the local shows last year. There is a good bit of work involved in showing but we enjoy it and it’s a good way to meet potential customers. A few pedigree bulls are sold each year.
Cattle showing: A typical show day usually begins with an early start. The jeep and trailer are loaded with all the gear the night before. We travel to the shows with our neighbour who shows pedigree Charolais cattle; it’s handy as we help each other out. At the show, the cattle are washed, dried and groomed to look their best. They are then walked into the show ring led by a halter where the judge looks at each animal and selects his prizewinners. The cattle are washed and dried again after being shown. There is a lot of work involved in it buts its very rewarding if your animal is lucky enough to get a rosette.
Tullamore show: We went to the national livestock show at Tullamore show for first time this year with cattle. We got no rosettes but it was a great experience and a great standard of cattle on show there.
Farming in West Cork: It’s a great place to be farming. The land is difficult in places but farming is fairly intensive here. The weather can be challenging at times but we can’t complain this year. Its been a great year for grass growth and cattle have thrived well this year.
Carbery Macra: I’m a member of Caheragh macra and also involved in Carbery macras, Young Farmer Development Group (YFDG). We have a couple of farm walks organised in the coming months on local farms. We’re having a grass farm walk in September and we’re going to a beef farm in October. We are also organising a trip to the Agritechnia machinery show in Germany in November. So it’s fairly busy.