Farmers warned about dangers at spring calving time
With spring calving now underway on many Donegal farms, IFA National Farm Family chairperson, Caroline Farrell has urged farmers to be particularly vigilant to ensure their own safety.
Heifers and cows can be unpredictable at calving time and may hit out without warning. Over the past 10 years livestock has accounted for 20% of farm fatalities, with the calving cow involved in over half of these fatalities.
The IFA chair said: “The calving cow is the most dangerous animal on Irish farms and should not be trusted. Spring is the busiest time of year on many Irish farms.
"Farmers work around the clock, often needing to be up several times a night to check on animals. This can lead to severe tiredness, restricting a farmer’s ability to react quickly”.
The IFA has developed some useful tips for farmers to help keep them safe, including:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a neighbour with a difficult cow or heifer
- Know your limitations, you’re not as agile as you were this time last year
- Make sure the calving gate is operating properly
- Make sure the calving jack and ropes are fit for purpose
- Cows are a prey animal and the maternal instinct of a cow is to protect her calf, especially after calving - make sure all dogs and children are out of sight before entering the pen
- Make sure the cow is correctly locked into the calving gate
- Ensure calving pens have appropriate lighting
- Remember there is no such thing as a quiet cow
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email firstname.lastname@example.org To contact Donegal Post, email email@example.com To contact Inish Times, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.