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Why this Kildare beef farmer switched from making silage to hay 10 years ago and hasn’t looked back

Anthony Mooney switched from silage to hay 10 years ago, and says the benefits can be seen throughout the 200ac farm, not just in his stock

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Anthony Mooney with some cross continental cattle on his Maynooth, Co Kildare farm. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Anthony Mooney with some cross continental cattle on his Maynooth, Co Kildare farm. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Anthony Mooney with some hay bales and free-range chicken. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Anthony Mooney with some hay bales and free-range chicken. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan

A hen and her chicks roam the grounds. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

A hen and her chicks roam the grounds. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Cross continental cattle on Anthony Mooney's farm. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Cross continental cattle on Anthony Mooney's farm. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Anthony says 80 of his 115 cattle will be sold to the factory. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Anthony says 80 of his 115 cattle will be sold to the factory. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Anthony with his man-made pond. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Anthony with his man-made pond. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan

A bee feeds on the thistle flowers. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

A bee feeds on the thistle flowers. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Peacock butterfly caterpillars feed on nettles. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Peacock butterfly caterpillars feed on nettles. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

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Anthony Mooney with some cross continental cattle on his Maynooth, Co Kildare farm. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

It’s been 10 years since Kildare beef farmer Anthony Mooney last made silage on his 200ac farm, where he keeps his herd of 115 cattle. Instead, he makes round bales of hay on his Maynooth farm, even though it means his fodder-making “is very weather dependent”.

I’ve no doubt, hay wouldn’t have the same nutritional value as silage, but I find if I’m calving cows here, it’s better than any silage, it leaves the cows leaner and fitter,” says Anthony.


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