BY JACKIE KEOGH
DAIRY farmer and Independent county councillor Declan Hurley has sustained a fracture to his arm after being kicked by a heifer during milking.
Declan – who sustained the injury last Saturday told The Southern Star: ‘I was turning in the cows into the milking parlour, as normal, and I was aware that there was one freshly calved heifer and that it was her first time going into the parlour with the rest of the cows.
‘She was obviously and noticeably nervous at the time,’ said Declan, who took the precaution of placing a kick bar on the heifer.
‘This prevents animals from kicking and restricts their movement in the milking parlour, but in the course of milking her, the kick bar slipped off.
‘As I was removing the clusters that take the milk from the heifer, she lashed out and caught me on the wrist with her hind leg, which resulted in a fracture that will have me in plaster for six weeks.’
In reply to two stupid questions, Declan said the heifer’s name is ‘384’ and: ‘Yes, it did hurt a lot.’
Declan, who took over the family farm at Nedineagh in Dunmanway from his father, Tim Joe, 15 years ago, said: ‘It was the first time ever that anything like that happened to me.’
He said he will keep the three-year-old for the time being.
‘It was her first time indoors, so I will give her the benefit of the doubt. But like Michael Healy Rae, who had a similar experience, I would encourage other farmers to be vigilant.
‘In this instance, I thought I had taken every precaution, but you can never be too careful. She could have kicked me in the head and that would have been a lot more serious,’ admitted the councillor.