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CALL FOR CALVES. Give a calf - family gets an in-calf heifer

CALL FOR CALVES. Give a calf - family gets an in-calf heifer

-Bóthar calls on farmers, schools, businesses and community groups to support their annual Spring Calf Appeal  -   

Bóthar’s Spring Calf Appeal is calling on farmers to donate a female calf that can be reared and put in-calf. In approximately 18 months time, the in-calf heifer will be ready to be sent to a struggling family in the developing world.

Appeal organiser, Pat Mullins, is confident that the farmers of Ireland will deliver again this year.  “I’m blown away year after year by the generosity of the Irish people. Last year over 50 farmers pledged calves through this appeal. They will be put in-calf in the coming months and will travel to our projects in Africa and Eastern Europe in our Autumn land and airlifts. Pledges made to us this year will go towards next year’s programmes. It is so important to us to receive female calf donations because it means we can plan ahead and it means recipient farmers will know that they have been accepted into our training programme. It’s wonderful news to be able to give a family that is really living on the edge.”

Pat continued, “Ever since the Spring Calf Scheme began, farmers in Ireland have always been supportive. They like the idea of the animal going from their farm to a recipient family in the developing world. Their entire donation is going to make a difference,” he said.

Every family that receives an Irish dairy cow notices an immediate difference in their lives when their heifer calves and starts to produce milk. Irish dairy cows give up to 20 litres of milk per day, whereas for example in Rwanda, the local, indigenous cow produces just one litre per day. The income earned from the sale of surplus milk means better health, a better standard of living and better education prospects.

“Just last year, I visited our dairy cow projects in Rwanda with a farmer from Moate, Colm Doyle. His father Jimmy Doyle, had donated an animal over ten years ago. Colm was amazed at the difference the cow had made to the family. You can watch the reunion on our website When a farmer donates an animal, they know that their cow is going to make a difference, but I think it’s heartening to see just how much of a transformation a cow makes. It is life-changing. There are no other words to describe it.” Mr. Mullins said.

Calves donated by farmers, schools and community groups from all over the country will be brought to Shelton Abbey Open Prison, Co. Wicklow and Loughan House Open Prison, Co. Roscommon, where there will be hand-reared by inmates for the next 18 months as part of their farming training programme. Once they mature, they will be transported to needy families in the developing world, each of whom will receive expert training in livestock care before receiving their animal. Each family that receives the gift of an Irish dairy heifer agrees to pass-on the first-born female calf to another needy family. 

Over the last six years, over 550 calves have been generously donated to the ‘Spring Calf Appeal’ by farmers, business people, schools and community groups across the country.

If you would like to donate a dairy calf to Bóthar please contact Pat Mullins, Bóthar on Freephone 1800 268 463 or email 

The Spring Calf Appeal will run until 31st March 2018. 


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