Cow fostering foals proves she's not a one trick pony –

Claire Fox

One Friesian cow has proved that she’s not a one-trick pony by fostering foals on a farm in Co Wexford.

Farmer Eamonn Doyle from Kiltealy Co Wexford told the Farming Independent that his farm worker and Leaving Cert student Evin Flynn brought a foal from a stud farm nearby that the stud owner had no use for.

Evin was keen for the foal to thrive and suggested to Eamonn that one of his dairy cows could foster the foal. Eamonn thought the suggestion was “mad” but was willing to give it a try.

“I have one special cow that is very quiet and I knew if it was to work with any cow it would work with this one. We put the foal in the shed with the cow and the foal wouldn’t go near the cow for ages,” said Eamonn.

“We decided to leave them alone as I knew the cow wouldn’t harm the foal and we came back later and the foal was sucking on the cow. I’d never seen anything like it.”

cow and foal one.jpg
This is the second foal the cow reared this year. PHOTO: Roger Jones.

A few weeks ago, Evin brought in a second foal that the same stud farmer had no use for and the same cow is now rearing this foal. Eamonn said that the cow and foal are inseparable and that the foal will stay with the cow until September.

“I didn’t think this would ever work out but they never leave each other’s side. We had the cow and foal in a field near the road recently and we’ve had people stop by to look at them as they’ve never seen anything like it.

“We even had one man come in to take photographs. One day we came in to feed the cows in the field and the cow and the foal got separated. The foal galloped around the field until it found the cow again they are that attached.”

Eamon is a sheep and suckler farmer but keeps a few dairy cows on the farm to rear some of the calves and when they go dry he fattens them for the factory. He said he enjoys this aspect of rearing the foals and is happy that the foals are able to thrive with the help of his cows.

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