Connemara National Park is delighted to announce the birth of its first Irish Moiled “Maol” calf on 1st January 2018. The female calf is a welcome addition to the herd of Irish Moiled cattle being developed at the National Park. Irish Moiled or “Maol” cattle is one of Ireland’s rarest and most distinctive traditional native cattle breeds. They are a hornless (polled) breed, red in colour and characteristically marked by a white line of ‘finching’ on the back and white under parts with red ears and red nose. They can vary from white with red ears and nose to nearly all red. The face is often roan or flecked.
There are several Irish myths and legends that refer to “red, white backed cattle” and it is believed that the Vikings raided these cattle from Ireland 1000 years ago. Skeletal remains have been dated to as early as 640AD. The breed gets the name Moiled from the Irish “Maol”, which means ‘bald’ and makes reference to the fact that these cows do not have horns. A medium size cow, they are of docile temperament and thus easy to handle.
Historically, “Maol” cattle were once common in the West of Ireland, as well as the rest of the country. The breed very nearly became extinct in the late 1970’s and numbers were as small as 30 cows, which were being maintained in two dairy herds in Northern Ireland. Connemara National Park intends to play a role in the conservation of this traditional Irish breed and intends to grow and develop its herd and assist other breeders along with the Irish Moiled Cattle Society with conservation of the breed.
To mark this special occasion, Connemara National Park will hold a competition for local schools to name the calf.
If your school would like to enter our competition to give our calf a name, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Closing date for the receipt of entries is Friday, 2nd March 2018.
For more information on the breed, please visit: http://www.irishmoiledcattlesociety.com/