Welcome to my website I will be blogging about farming in Ireland today and the issues it is facing. These are my opinion only and my views are my own.
I am farming on a hill farm in Co.Kerry with highland and belted Galloway cattle as well as a few Kerry bog ponies. The reason I decided to go with these animals is because they are extremely hardy low cost and low maintenance. Surviving in the highland of Scotland they have a double coat of hair which keeps them dry and warm and the highlands can survive outside down to -30 degrees celsius.
They can easily be out wintered with only minor supplementary feeding like hay or silage if grass is scarce. They are also excellent foragers and will eat briars trees and bushes that other cattle wouldn’t. Because they are so well insulated they also put on and keep on weight very well as they don’t need to use as much energy or feed in keeping warm as other breeds.
Most beef farmers keep continental cattle like Charolais limousine Belgian blues as I used to and was also a dairy and pig farmer but the problem I found was that they were very high input systems which was fine when things were going well but when market prices collapsed or feed prices went up the farmer is left very exposed.
I changed to a low input system which works better in wet hilly ground and do some contract rearing over the summer and keep stock numbers during the summer this allows me to keep any farm payments and not be as exposed to the markets. It also allows me to have time for other things like this blog or off farm employment and more family time.
Why I Started this Blog
The reason I started this blog is to raise awareness about farming and different farming systems. I see a lot of media attention and bad press around farming and farming systems form people who quite honestly don’t have a clue and possibly never worked on a farm in their life.
I am a great believer in nature and it is something I am passionate about and is also something I will be talking about how farming can work with nature and what the public can do to help.
The goal of my website is to raise awareness form a farmers point of view and hopefully make some changes in farmers lives and some peoples attitude towards farmers. It might also give me a chance to try something new that I have being trying affiliate marketing which is basically reviewing some products and if someone likes the item and purchases through one of my links to the product I could get a small commission
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best
Excellent website blog. I grew up on a farm and I have such an appreciation for all our farmers do. With the environment taking more of a centre stage now it seems there is bad press on all farmers (in Canada where I am from anyways). There are a lot of great farmers out there still. Appreciate this blog to raise awareness!
Thank you Carl my aim is to raise awareness. I think farmers are getting bad press world wide in newspapers and social media. Thanks for the comment and stay tuned as I have plenty more to write about.
Hi do you have any pedigree highland cattle for sale? Preferably in calf? Thanks
No not at the moment sorry I only keep around 8 pedigree highlands myself and there seems to be high demand for them
I am a French student in 2nd year of engineering in farming I was wondering if you are interested in hiring an intern this summer.
If you are, please would you mind sending me an email to allow me to give you more information.
Many thanks in advance for your answer.
Unfortunately we are a small enough set up here so we would not have enough work for any staff. I sent an email to you of someone who might take on students from time to time.
Did you ever try to sell Highland beef direct to consumers? I wondered if abattoirs would accept the horns or is it just the marts? I am based in Cork and looking at starting a highland breed but trying to find a way that I do not have to dehorn them
I never tried that as I don’t keep too many and not sure if id find the time to go direct to market. It could be a good idea for someone who could source enough volume as I’m sure there could be a market for traditional breed grass fed beef. I know there is a dexter beef company in dingle that sells burgers at events around the country.
Do you sell mini highlanders?
No I only keep a few regular size highlands
Hi DJ! Thank you so much for this blog! I think it is so important to educate others on ethical farming practices. By any chance, would you happen to know if there is a Highland Cow Society or group in Northern Ireland? Thank you kindly, Terra
Sorry about the delay in getting back to you I have not been on the website in a while and had not checked for comments. Its always nice to get feedback as when you are just writing you do wonder at times if anyone is reading the articles.
I don’t think there is any Society for highland cattle in Ireland the main one in the UK covers Ireland also https://www.highlandcattlesociety.com/