My name is Ava Kearney and I am 11 years old. I am in fifth class in Scoil Mháirtín in Kilworth, Co Cork. After school, I like to help around the dairy farm. There are always many jobs to do and my grandad Jim is delighted with my help.

In this picture, I am scraping down the cubicles and liming them. Clean cubicles ensure that the cows’ paps are clean and disease free, so people can have top-quality milk to drink.

When calves are born, they are taken from their mothers. I love to feed them with a bottle. The milk is called colostrum, also known as beastings. It is a mother cow’s first milk after giving birth to the newborn calf. It is very nutritious for the baby calf.

Newborn heifer calves on the Kearney farm.

The newborn heifer calves are lovely. They are tagged. Tags give us lots of information about our animals (mother, date of birth etc). They are transported over to the single pens by wheelbarrow, where they will stay until the weather is warm enough to put them out to the fields with the other calves. Calves like a nice warm straw bed to sleep on. I use a pike to scatter the straw. It’s tough work, but I really enjoy it.

Twin bull calves were born on the farm recently. It was so exciting! I couldn’t believe it. I named them Jack and Harry. They are so cute. I really love farming, it is my favourite thing to do.

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