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Friday 17 November 2017

'Birth of four identical calves like winning Lotto' - Irish farmer on the 'best week of his life'

Tom, left, and Enda Clair with, as she is affectionately known, ‘farm manager’ Mia McMahon and the heifers. Photo: Brian Arthur
Tom, left, and Enda Clair with, as she is affectionately known, ‘farm manager’ Mia McMahon and the heifers. Photo: Brian Arthur

Gordon Deegan

Farmer Tom Clair said it has been the "best week" of his life after four identical quad heifers were born.

Yesterday, a convoy of cars carrying well-wishers continued to descend on Mr Clair's farm outside Ennistymon, Co Clare, to see for themselves the four - Rosie, Fluffie, Mia and Jenny. They were born on Sunday and were being fed by hand by an "over the moon" Mr Clair yesterday and kept warm under a red lamp in his farm-shed.

"It is like winning the Lotto, but you know what, I wouldn't swap these calves for anything you could win in the Lotto," he said.

"This is incredible. It was like scenes from an All-Ireland win yesterday with the amount of cars coming up to the farm full of people looking to see the calves."

The mother of the four is a nine-year-old Hereford cross and the father is a Charolais bull. Tending to the calves himself, Mr Clair (70) said he wanted to give the heifer a break "to get her breath", but will let them feed today.

He suspected the cow might be pregnant with twins but confessed to getting "some shock" after 7.30am on Sunday when he made the discovery.

"I have been farming since I was six years old and I never seen anything like it. What has happened is desperately unusual. This week has been one of the best weeks in my 70 years," he said.

Mr Clair said that the four calves - around 35kg each - "will have a long life here in Maghera".

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