It’s spring time for Rare Breed farmers

Tylan Roulston in Bready, Co Tyrone
Tylan Roulston in Bready, Co Tyrone

Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues next Tuesday (31st January) at 7.30pm on UTV, when viewers will get to see what the farmers have been up to during the month of March.

Near Templepatrick in Antrim, George Bingham is preparing for a new addition to his dairy herd. Calving is part of the farm’s daily routine and as it’s the Easter holidays, George’s daughters Sophia and Ellie are out to see the new calf and help bed the pen.

Mark McKee, in Comber, Co Down

Mark McKee, in Comber, Co Down

Sophia explains: “The baby calf is too young yet to stand up and feed from its mummy so we need to give it some milk.”

In Strabane, Tyrone one of Tynan Roulston’s cows has surprised him by calving unexpectantly in the shed. He expresses his surprise: “This has caught me out a wee bit here, I’d hoped she would be out of the pen before calving. Thankfully all is well and I can get back to taking the young stock out to the field.”

Viewers will meet vegetable farmers Mark McKee and brother James who have been farming carrots and parsnips for 30 years in their 250 acre farm in Comber, Co Down. In this episode Mark is supervising a busy wash house, he says: “On an average week we wash around 70 tonnes of carrots and 20 tonnes of parsnips. A simple carrot has a long way to go and a lot of processes to go through before it reaches the supermarkets.”

Tyrone farmer Chris Johnston is in County Antrim, scanning cattle for a familiar face, James Alexander who featured in Rare Breed last year. March is a busy month for cattle scanning, Chris says: “With scanning cattle you can give the farmer precise information like accurate dates or exact days for when calves are due and also detect if twins are on the way.”

George Bingham with daughters Ellie and Sophia

George Bingham with daughters Ellie and Sophia

Chris Johnston runs a beef herd near Fivemiletown in Co Tyrone

Chris Johnston runs a beef herd near Fivemiletown in Co Tyrone