Ever had that one stuffed animal you slept with every night and took with you everywhere as a child? Well, my stuffed animal was a cow named “Mucca” (pronounced Moo-ka). A fact many people don’t know about me is that I was born in Naples, Italy and Italian was my very first language so the word Mucca in Italian means cow.
When I got to Ireland I was telling my teammates about my wish to milk a cow. Luckily for me, Cathy Kavanagh, the Wildcats’ favorite and only post player, grew up in the countryside of Wexford, Ireland and happens to live on a dairy farm. So this past weekend, I went home with Cathy. Early Sunday morning, Cathy took me down to the shed where I witnessed 8 Muccas getting milked by high tech machines at once. I even got the pleasure to squeeze out droplets of milk from the cows udder before putting on the mechanical millers. Cathy’s family not only welcomed me into their home, but I learned a great deal about cows:
- Cathy’s farm is relatively small as it is only 80 acres. Most Irish farms are a tad bigger with an average of about 100 to 120 acres. Very, very few farms are 500 acres since Ireland is such a tiny country.
- There are 70 cows on Cathy’s farm but some Irish farms may have about 100 to 150 cows.
- You must feed the baby calves two litres twice a day
- Cathy’s family milks their cows twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
- Cows must be milked daily or they will get sick.
- Dry livestock are cows that don’t produce milk. Cows only produce milk after birthing a calf.
- Typically, Cathy’s farm produces 3 to 4 gallons in the winter, but in the spring they produce 8-9 gallons per day per cow. This is because each cow births a calf every year in the spring, so it is natural for the cow produce more milk initially and produces less in the winter since the calf grows and can ingest other things for food besides milk.
- Her family goes to Wicklow to sell or buy cattle from an auctioneer. Not only does Cathy’s family produce milk, but also they will sell their cattle to butchers. Farmers make more money if the cattle are less than 30 months or 400 kilos since consumers like their steaks small.
- Lastly, beware of pee and poop while you milk a cow because they show no mercy 🙂
Victory Scholar: Jazmen Boone
Present University: Waterford IT
US League: CAA
Club/Community Partner: Waterford Wildcats
Alma Mater: The College of William and Mary
Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland