Bóthar Featured Animal: Cow
Here are some interesting facts about Irish dairy cows:
- Once the cow has its first calf and begins to milk the impact that she has on her new family is enormous. In most cases it means that the family has its very first opportunity to have a daily supply of milk. They can also sell or barter the surplus produce locally. In this way they can start to earn an income with which they can send their children to school and buy needed medicines, clothes and supplies.
- Manure collected from the cows is also used as a rich fertiliser on land and helps to increase vegetable crop yields. Dairy cows will have a calf each year.Under the Bóthar programme each family is required to pass on the first female calf to another family who has trained to receive her. After the family has passed on they can start to build up a small herd.
- Since 1991 Bóthar has been sending and using dairy cows all over the worlds to help struggling families to get started on the path to self – reliance. Today we have cow projects in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. Bóthar is working with families who have been ravaged by hunger and poverty, people who are trying to recover in the aftermath of war and families that have been devastated by HIV / AIDS.
- Bóthar has airlifted around 5,000 heifers to 7 countries. We currently send heifers to Rwanda, Kosovo and Albania.
- Bóthar project cows usually live to be 14 to 15 years, sometimes longer
- A cow is pregnant for about 285 days or 9 months