Knackeries around the country have been very busy these last few weeks, as farmers come under pressure with delayed turnout and fodder shortages.

The quality of silage made last year is the cause of a rise in thin cows this spring, a Louth-based knackery owner maintained.

“We are seeing a lot of very thin cows coming into us more than anything else. I would put it down to the quality of the silage made last year. I’ve had farmers tell me that their stock just aren’t doing as well off last year’s silage,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal.

An animal collector who is surrounded mainly by dairy farmers in south Kilkenny said that he has been “hammered with cows” over the last three weeks.

“I think we’re in for another two or three weeks of cows too. A lot of them are downer cows but mostly I’m seeing a lot of cows with injuries. They’re bulling on the slats because they can’t get out and they’re getting hurt.

“In January and February you had the usual tranche of calves and it switched fairly quickly to cows – all through March, we were having cow after cow. We’d be predominantly dairy around here,” he said.


Meanwhile, in the northwest, a Sligo-based knackery has experienced an increased number of ewe deaths this year.

“At the minute we’d be collecting 200 animals a day, six days a week, with six lorries on the road. There’s been a lot of sheep this year. They get infections, they start aborting before lambing, they go down after lambing and it’s not easy treat sheep – they’re not great patients,” he said.