Horse breeders in both the thoroughbred and non-thoroughbred sectors are being warned of a possible increase in cases of Rhodococcus equi. Commonly known as 'rattles', it predominately affects young foals and causes pneumonia.
While many of his friends were out enjoying themselves on New Year's Eve in 2016, west Wicklow dairy farmer Clive Williamson was thanking his lucky stars to be alive after a close encounter with a bullock left him nursing several broken bones in a hospital bed as the clock struck midnight.
'Simplicity is the key," says farmer Thomas O'Connor. There are not too many farms in Ireland where you will see over 100 young bulls grazing together in harmony in one paddock, but it is this unique approach that gives the O'Connor family the edge when it comes to successful farming.
Early starts and late nights, sometimes with little or no sleep. It's a familiar pattern of a large animal vet at this time of year. You would be hard pushed to catch a 30-minute conversation with them on any given day. This is their peak season and there's no time for idle chat.
It has been a long winter for Co Tipperary tillage farmer Noel Delany and it will be an even longer spring as the wet weather continues to hammer down on his 500acre farm near Fethard in Co Tipperary.
It has been quite a few weeks for Donnchadh Doyle and the team at Monbeg Stables. Breaking sales records, and churning out nine point-to-point winners in a single weekend - it is one spring season that they will remember for years to come.
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