Rare Breed farmers battle the weather

Chris Johnston runs a beef herd near Fivemiletown in Tyrone
Chris Johnston runs a beef herd near Fivemiletown in Tyrone

It’s November for our famers as Rare Breed - A Farming Year continues on UTV on Tuesday (28 March) at 7.30pm.

In Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, Michael Robson is starting to train his young bulls in preparation for the February show in Scotland. Michael has been training bulls for 40 years now and believes personality is critical, he says: “The temperament of the cattle is very important, you begin to see this when you start to train them.” Around half of the Robson bulls are sold for breeding each year, however only the best will make it.

Meanwhile Michael’s brother, Norman Robson has turned his attention to the new pig house which has been operational for five weeks and he can already see its value. He says: “The growth rate of these pigs is already ahead and with this new investment they have been much easier to look after. The aim is to increase the pig’s performance and reduce our labour so we will see the benefit quickly.”

In Bready, Co. Tyrone November’s cold and wet weather means Tynan Roulston must bring his cattle in from the hills. Tynan would rather keep his cattle outdoors all year round, however the low temperatures make it impossible. He says: “This year has been a challenge but there have been good times too, if I can get up out of bed in the morning, I’m thankful.”

Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone farmer Chris Johnson is back out on the road scanning cattle. This year Chris has worked with around 90,000 cows. He is checking a batch of cows to ensure they are in prime condition ahead of breeding.

UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series, which is sponsored by Dale Farm, Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Tuesday (28 March) at 7.30pm on UTV.