'The animals were in shock - they just couldn't cope' - Wexford man on finishing 3,000 hoggets factories and coping with the weather
In a lifetime of farming, 71-year-old Wicklow livestock man, Mervyn Sunderland, has never seen weather have such a negative effect on stock as Storm Emma had a few weeks ago.
"The animals were in shock and upset. They just couldn't cope with it. They just gathered in huddles on the farm and didn't move.
"They even lost weight and it took them days to get over the weather. In all my years I have never seen the animals react like this to the weather," says Mervyn.
He runs a thriving livestock farm along with his brother George (67) in Redcross, Co Wicklow.
They finish around 3,000 hoggets for sale to local factories in Wexford and Kildare alongside a mixed flock of 250 sheep.
The 450 acre, heavy soiled lowland and partly hilly ground, has been run by the Sunderland family for the past 99 years.
The brothers also farm a similar area of rented land. The enterprise is self sufficient with 150ac set aside to produce feed for the animals.
With the weather slowly easing on the east coast, it is back to business at Redcross this week after the weekend's snowfalls.