THE bitterly cold winter of 2010 was the inspiration behind Ballylurgan Hardware introducing the Cosy Calf jacket range at their premises in Fivemiletown.
Since then they have found a great demand from customers in the local area and at the end of last year they brought the jackets to the RUAS Winter Fair at Balmoral, where they found many interested customers. One of those who purchased a number of jackets at the Winter Fair was Alan McNair of Ballyclare. Alan explained, "We have recently completed a new calf rearing house and while it is a good airy shed, it can be quite cold at this time of the year.
There is a need to get a balance between having plenty of fresh air and keeping the calves warm, so when we saw the jackets at the Winter Fair we thought they would be ideal for our siutation."
Alan fits a Cosy Calf jacket to each calf shortly after birth, when removing the calf from the cow. He says that any calves fitted with a jacket so far have been thriving well and he plans to keep the jackets on the calves for up to a month until they start to fill out.
Wayne from Ballylurgan said, "We have had great demand for the jackets and many of our customers are very satisfied with their performance. A jacket keeps the calf from getting a chill which can lead to scours.
"Some farmers use heat lamps but when a calf moves away from a lamp then the benefit is lost. A jacket is a more natural heat."
Wayne explained tha the jackets come in two sizes with the larger suited to typical Holstein calves. The jackets are waterproof, breathable and washable.
Full details of the Cosy Calf jackets and all other products stocked at Ballylurgan Hardware will be on view on the company's new website which is scheduled to be launched in mid February.
Visitors to the machinery show at Ecclesville, Fintona, can also see the jackets on the Ballylurgan stand.