While Storm Emma was causing destruction across the country, a special delivery was taking place in Kiltullagh, Co. Galway.
One farmer, Darragh Cooney, and his father were greeted with a lovely surprise, from a newly purchased cow. Darragh and his father currently run a 40 strong Suckler herd and flock of approximately 120 ewes near Athenry in the county.
The cow in question, Charolais breed, had been purchased just over a two months ago in their local Headford mart. Little did Mr. Cooney Senior know what she had in store for the father and son farm partnership!
“It was six or seven weeks ago my father bought the cow, down at Headford Mart,”, Darragh explained.
The farmers are well used to multiple births, having had twins previously, though never have they had triplets. In fact, it wasn’t until they tried to get the first bull calf sucking, that they realized there was more to come.
“She had the first lad and we were disgusted, he was a little thing…We gave her an hour and didn’t go searching again, but we were about to give him a suck and she lied down.”, added Darragh.
This is when the father and son first contemplated whether or not she had another calf in her. Upon searching, they quickly found that she was carrying not only one more calf, but two!
“We could feel three legs, but we thought the second calf was just in a ball…We got the two ropes on it and pulled him out grand. Next thing I said will we look for another one, just for the craic, and dad said to come back with them ropes quick,”, Darragh laughed.
“And then out came the heifer,” he added.
When they were born, the calves were very light. Sired by a CH bull, the Cooney’s plan to keep the triplets to be sold as weanlings at around 9 months. Meanwhile, the real hero of the story, the cow in question, will be kept again with the hopes she repeats this year’s success.
“She’s a good, big cow…She will be kept”, Darragh laughed.
“She will be put in calf again, to our CH bull at home…We’ll give her a try again, she’s a nice cow and it was a lovely surprise. It’s very rare around here. We thought we might beat the man with the quadruplets,” he concluded.
Not bad for a third time calver and a cow bought just two months ago, eh?