My name is Watty Wall. I am 12 years old and I go to Kilmore National School. I help my dad with farming after school and on the weekends.

We have a suckler herd of 110 cows, which are a mixture of Charolais and Limousin. We use Charolais and Limousin stock bulls on the herd.

We do 100% spring calving, from February to end of April. Those three months are very busy on the farm.

We usually have five or six sets of twins each year. When the calves are about two weeks old, we take the smaller twin from the cow, as beef cows don’t usually have enough milk for two calves.


I really look forward to the cows having twins, as I get to rear them on Maverick milk replacer. I get up early every morning and feed them before school, and again in the evening before dinner. I feed them with a JFC teat feeder.

When they hear me coming, they get excited and go to the feeder that I have hanging on the gate, then I pour in the milk and I really enjoy them sucking the teat and wagging their tails.

Each calf gets two litres of milk in the morning and two litres in the evening until they are eight weeks old. Then they get milk once a day for a month and get hay, meal and water.

We usually get them onto grass and meal in early May.

Protective mammies

We try to tag all our calves at two to three days old. Doing anything with the calves is not easy, as cows can be dangerous (being protective mammies).

There is a lot of work to be done with the calves, as they have to be dehorned. They are also dosed against coccidiosis and pneumonia with Rispoval intranasal at 10 days old. They get their 10-in-one and IBR vaccine at two months old.

My dad always sells his cattle as store cattle, between one year to 18 months old. I get the money we make from the pet calves, so although I’m sad to see them go, I’m happy to get my hard-earned wages!

My dad keeps 15 heifers each year for replacements who will have calves at two years old.

When the cows and calves go out in April, we clean the dung out of the sheds. We also spread the fertiliser for grazing and silage.

The silage is cut in June, and all our silage is wrapped. My dad mows his own silage and draws it all in himself.

My uncle Timmy bales and wraps all our bales, which adds up to 1,250 to 1,300 bales each year. At harvest time, we draw in 800 bales of straw.


The weanlings are fed with creep feeders from September. All our cattle come in, in late October. The weanlings are all weaned between November and December, which is also a tough job.

I love farming though, because I enjoy physical work and the outdoor lifestyle!

The picture is of my friend Callum Breslin and me feeding my pet calves. Callum and his dad Colm enjoy restoring tractors in their spare time!