Farmers work through a busy winter in series finale of ‘Rare Breed’

Vet Cahir McAuley
Vet Cahir McAuley

UTV’s highly popular ‘Rare Breed - A Farming Year’ ends its current run on Wednesday, 4th April, with our farmers getting ready for the festivities.

It’s the end of the line for the Christmas turkeys, and beef gets prepared for the busy festive season for local restaurants. One farmer uses a quieter period to invest in and extend his milking parlour for the New Year, with another upholding the family tradition of selecting a home grown tree for Christmas.

Libby Clarke

Libby Clarke

Goat farmer Geoffrey Ringland is trying to cope with the winter weather. Katesbridge in Co.Down is notorious for recording some of the lowest temperatures in the UK and Geoffrey doesn’t want the water supply to freeze for the goats. He’s also preparing a goat that is nearly ready for the abattoir, with Geoffrey wanting people to choose goat meat over beef, lamb or chicken. He quips: “My beef farmer friends will be over the moon with me saying that!”

Near Lurgan, Libby Clarke is keeping a close eye on her daughter Kate’s ewes. They are due to lamb in December while Kate is at school. Libby is in charge and while she’s not used to looking after sheep, she says she asks ‘people smarter than me’ for advice. Technology in the form of a 360 degree camera allows Libby to keep an eye on the ewes from her phone but she still feels the pressure. Elsewhere on the farm, Libby is planning her 2018 Shorthorn calves.

Winter is busy for Antrim vet Cahir McAuley. He’s scanning a dairy herd and keeping a close eye on their condition and any potential problems. The changeable weather means there is a risk of pneumonia and Cahir needs to spot symptoms and treat them quickly.

Near Toomebridge in Antrim, James Alexander is glad to be getting on with fixing his shed after the devastating fire. He’s remaining upbeat about 2018 despite his bad luck with Storm Ophelia and the fire. “It’s been a pretty good year as regards the business, I’ve no real complaints at all,” he comments.

James Alexander

James Alexander

UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series, sponsored by Dale Farm. Rare Breed – A Farming Year ends on Wednesday, 4th April at 8pm on UTV.

Filming for a new series is already well underway and is being exclusively shot in Northern Ireland.

Geoffrey  Ringland

Geoffrey Ringland