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Rearing for Rickie

Patrick Bolger

| Cattle & Dairy

| Mar 20, 2018

Farmer in shed with cattle

Heidi’s host farmer

Patrick Coleman is a dairy farmer from Lombardstown, just outside of Mallow in County Cork. As well as running a spring calving dairy herd, Patrick also keeps horses. And this was one of the reasons he got involved in the Rickie Healy “Rearing 4 Rickie” appeal.

Patrick explained how he has known Rickie and his family, who live only from 4 miles away, for many years, and how Rickie used to ride horses for him. He agreed to be a host farmer for “Heidi the Herdwatch heifer” and is delighted that, with the sale just around the corner, Heidi should get a great price and raise a lot of money for the initiative.

Heidi will be sold on Friday night the 23rd of March, along with 49 other heifers in Kanturk mart, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Rickie Healy appeal.

If you are in the market for a heifer, this is a great opportunity to get a fantastic animal, and for doing something good.

Pat has been a Herdwatch member for over 3 years. Milking 50 cows before the quotas were lifted, he, like many other farmers, targeted herd expansion. Since then, he has increased his milking herd to 98 cows and is happy that he reached a number that he can still manage on his own. He made a number of investments to reduce his own personal labour inputs: He erected a new milking parlour, which gave him the capacity to milk the extra cows, a new calf shed to help manage the extra calves, a new cow shed, and a Herdwatch subscription to simplify his herd management.

“Before Herdwatch, my paperwork was a disaster”, he acknowledged. “I would let calf registrations build up, and as a result, I would mix up dams and get enquiries from the Department”. A lot of stress for Pat, who is busy enough caring for his animals and his farm.

This was no longer the case when he discovered the Herdwatch app. Nowadays, he simply scans the tag as he tags the calves, and each calf is registered there and then. Recording remedies is equally simple: Scan the bottle, save the treatment, done!

Pat told us how, for his last audit, he simply printed off the reports. Even before the inspection, he knew that there were not going to be any issues. That is peace of mind!

When selling calves, he simply applies for a paperless certificate in the app, and the paperwork is done.

Clearly, there is no looking back for Pat.

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