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Ireland's oldest cow ‘Jenny' (33) passes away

January 27th, 2017 7:03 PM

By Southern Star Team

Jenny, who died aged 33, with Sean and Finbarr Deasy. (Photo: Tommy Moyles)

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BY BRIAN MOORE

JENNY, Ireland’s oldest cow has passed over to that four-acre field in the sky after over three decades at home on the farm with the Deasy’s in Clonakilty.

‘Jenny’ was the ripe old age of 33 when she passed away recently.

Finbarr Deasy remembers the day his father Sean arrived home from the old mart in Skibbereen with the then young Angus calf, Jenny, in the back of his hatchback car. ‘It was 1984, the year my mother and father got married when we got Jenny,’ Finbarr told The Southern Star. 

‘It was an impulse buy because my father didn’t have a trailer with him that day. Jenny cost £60 at the time and so he brought her home in the back of the car.’ Jenny had her last calf back in 2013 and had a habit of disappearing whenever a truck came into the farmyard.

‘It was a bit of a shock to us all when I arrived out to find Jenny lying flat, she made an effort to get up but she had a heart attack and passed on. My parents were very disappointed, it was a shock to the system alright,’ Finbarr said. 

Fellow suckler farmer Tommy Moyles said it was very unusual to find a cow of Jenny’s age still on farms these days. 

‘It’s very rare to see a cow of that age. On commercial farms cows over eight to ten years would generally be the oldest with a handful older than this. Their value falls off dramatically as they age,’ Tommy said. While Jenny lived to the rare old age of 33, she was not the oldest cow ever recorded in Ireland. In fact, the oldest cow in the world, as per the Guinness Book of Records, was a cow born in Kerry in 1945. 

‘Big Bertha’, as she was known, lived to the age of 49 years old and produced a record 39 calves. 

When she died she was stuffed and put on display in Beaufort, Co Kerry.

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