RARE BREED – A Farming Year’ continues tonight (March 30) at 8.30pm on UTV. It’s the September episode and this one is full of livestock, be that calves, heifers, hens, or horses, and of course the ewes.
First up, it’s the Byers from Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh. This week they are in full swing with brand new calves to tend to. Vicki ensures to isolate the newborns to cut the risk of infection, before the new calves are housed together in groups of five. It’s a busy time, and she has to fit in the school run as well. Vicki says: “The next few months, it’s calves, calves, calves!”
The Stubingtons from Templepatrick are at an event in Ballymoney, where Lucca is competing. She really enjoys it and does well among some stiff competition. Her mum Georgia and boyfriend Henry are on hand to make sure it all runs smoothly. Whilst Georgia says she misses competing herself, she happy to stay on the ground and support Lucca.
Geoffrey Ringland from Katesbridge is at a sale in Meath. He’s eyeing up a new heifer and talks bidding tactics at the auction with a friend.
“She’ll not be cheap,” he remarks. He explains how export testing means that anything he buys can come back over the border with him more or less straight after purchase.
At Streamvale, on the outskirts of Belfast, dairy farmer Tim Morrow is scanning cattle to see how many are pregnant. It’s a nerve-racking time with more than 200 to scan and he doesn’t want empty cattle. He’ll have to sell the cattle not in calf.
“There are some good days and bad days in farming,” he says.
In the second part of the episode, we’re back to Fermanagh this time to the Egertons in Rosslea.
William Egerton is using the latest technology to weigh and test ewes in order to put them into batches to mate with certain rams. He’s happy to share his knowledge, and is a sheep technology demonstration farmer, showing groups of other farmers how to operate the machinery. He enjoys getting out to meet with other farmers saying: “Farming can be lonely.”
Finally, we are in Derrytresk, where newlyweds Shay and Susan are gathering their hens for the factory.
They do it just before dark when the hens are calmer and tired. It also means they sleep in the van and won’t get a chance to eat before they are processed. Shay and Susan prefer to do this part of the job themselves.
n UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series. Sponsored by Dromona, ‘Rare Breed’ – A Farming Year continues this Thursday, March 30 at 8.30pm on UTV.
n NOTE – due to change in the network schedule, the next Rare Breed will air on Thursday, April 13 at 8.30pm.
n (No programme next week April 6).
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