The National Trust Reports Lovesick Cows Get New Mate For Valentine's
Released on: February 24, 2012, 9:18 am
Author: National Trust
The National Trust has revealed that an Irish Moiled bull is
set to be in the 'moo-d' for love at Wimpole Home Farm after the
romantic future of a rare breed cow herd was put to the vote.
The National Trust's online MyFarm community voted on which breed should get a mate
for Valentine's Day.*
The farm team at the 1,450 acre farm in Cambridgeshire, home to 65 rare breed cows
and four bulls, are on the hunt for a new bull, but can only afford one.
Setting a 'Moo Who?' challenge, The National Trust MyFarm community
had six days to research and vote on which of the three (Gloucester, Irish Moiled or
Shetland) rare breed cow herds living on the farm was the most deserving of a new
After the 'battle of the cattle' the Irish Moiled herd took an 'udderly'
overwhelming 51% of the vote. When a suitable beast is found it will mate with the
10 cows from the herd 'ready for the bull' to create pure breed offspring.
Cows from the other herds will be cross-bred with Juggernaut, a one tonne, Long Horn
bull who already lives on the farm.
Farm Manager Richard Morris said: "Each breed has its own characteristics and is
special for different reasons. All three herds are on the Rare Breeds Survival
Trust's 'At Risk' register - meaning there are fewer than 750 breeding females in
"But, it's never as simple as just choosing the rarest, this had to be weighed up
against bull prices, the number of cows in each herd, (more cows mean more calves);
and the quality of the meat produced when the cows are ready for slaughter.
"This was truly one of those heart versus head votes and we'll now be buying a
Irish Moiled bull. Hopefully he'll mate successfully with our 10 Irish Moiled
Stockman Mark Field at Wimpole said: "Back in 2000 we only had three Irish Moiled
cows on the farm. Since then we've been working hard to enlarge the herd, working
with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust to extend the gene pool.
"Thanks to the MyFarm communities votes we can now continue that work. I'm
looking forward to getting into the market to find a suitable Irish Moiled bull to
introduce to our herd - and to MyFarmers."
The new Irish Moiled bull and the four other bulls will be expected to mate with all
65 breeding cows over the spring and summer at Wimpole Estate with calves expected in 2013.
To sign up and to get involved with everything related to farming, food and where it
comes from, visit www.my-farm.org.uk
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* MyFarm is an on-line experiment launched by the Trust in 2011 which aims to
connect people with farming, food and where their food comes from.
Based at the National Trust's own working farm, Wimpole Home Farm in
Cambridgeshire, Farm Manager Richard Morris poses regular questions on major issues
to subscribers to debate and vote upon each month. Subjects include crops,
livestock and wider environmental impacts, such as sustainable food.
About The National Trust:
The National Trust is one of the most important nature conservation organisations in
Europe with over 1,000 sites covering 250,000 hectares, including coastal sites,
countryside places, woodland and upland areas; many of which are rich in wildlife.
All 17 species of UK bat have been recorded as roosting or breeding on National
Trust land and 96 per cent of all resident UK butterflies can be found on National
Trust land. The charity offers a number of places to visit and things to
do, including countryside walks throughout locations across Britain. Those
interested in volunteering with the National Trust can find out more at: www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
The National Trust