Animals on the Farm

Ballinderry, Co. Galway

The animals that are on my father’s farm at home are horses, cattle, cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, hens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. We have two cows whose names are “Polly” and “Daisy”. When my mother is milking the cow she says “deasaigh do chos a chailín,” if the cow’s foot is in her way, and then when the cow hears that she settles her foot and gives her a chance to milk her. When a man is driving a cow he says “gabhamach as sin” but when he is driving nine or ten cows he says “habha habha”. A person never speaks to a cow in English even if they have no Irish itself. Long ago the old people went out on May morning before sunrise and gathered the kippens that cows would walk crossing a bridge and bring them in. During the day they would boil water with the kippens and put it in the churn when they would be churning. They would put a bit of the burnt kippen under the churn. Then it was said that they all the butter of the cows that walked on the kippens.

Collector: John Burke Brackloon, Co. Galway

Informant: Unknown

Place: Ballinderry, Co. Galway

Tags: Animals, milk, kippens, May

Footnote: Duchas,

This page was added on 14/05/2017.

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