Meet the Animals

Owl (Ulcabhán)

Owls cannot turn their eyes instead they can rotate their heads 270 degrees.  Owls have specialized feathers with fringes of varying softness that help muffle sound when they fly. Their broad wings and light bodies also make them nearly silent fliers, which helps them stalk prey more easily.

Many owls have asymmetrical ears that are different sizes and different heights on their heads. This gives the birds superior hearing and the ability to pinpoint where prey is located, even if they can’t see it.

Owls have zygodactyl feet with two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backward and all their toes have sharp talons. Not all owls hoot. They can make a wide range of other sounds, such as screeches, whistles, growls, rattles and hisses.

SCOTTISH HIGHLAND COW (BÓ GHÁIDHEALACH)

A coat of wholly hair, a massive body and sweeping horns, all in a package designed to with stand icy temperatures, low-quality forage and a host of predators. The highland cow is the oldest breed of cattle in the world. Farmers who lived in Scottish high country, relied on the Scottish Highland for survival. The breed’s milk, meat and hair were a source of sustenance for those farmers.

Their horns sweep up and outward with fine dark tips. Their hair consists of a soft fluffy undercoat protected by a long, strong, outer coat that can reach up to 14 inches in length. The hair on their forehead often covering their eyes is called a ‘dossan’.

DEER (FIA)

Deer are timid and easily frightened. They are very sensitive to sound and smell.

They can run very fast and jump very high. When farmed 9 foot high fencing is needed to control.

The deer kept here are pets and will come to you for food, which is unusual for deer.

 

OSTRICH (OSTRAIS)

The flightless ostrich is the world’s largest bird. They can run up to 70 kilometers per hour. Their legs can be used as weapons and  can kill predators like a lion. Each two-toed foot has a long, sharp claw.

Their eggs weigh as much as two dozen chicken eggs and both the female and male take turns incubating the giant eggs.

At the approach of trouble, ostriches will lie low and press their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible.

 

SHEEP (CAORA)

Sheep are timid animals that live in flocks. They copy one another and usually they all eat together  and rest together.

Sheep often eat all facing the same way, and with the wind blowing towards them. As well as eating grass, lowland sheep often forage in hedges for weeds, which are a small but important part of their diet.

Sheep have no front teeth on top only the lower jaw, they cannot eat properly. Instead, they tear the grass by jerking their heads forwards and upwards, They crop the grass very closely.

 

DONKEYS (ASAL)

Donkeys can carry great weights and are sure-footed, but they can be very stubborn. They have long ears and a short upright mane.

They are no longer used much in Ireland and originated in the Sahara region of North Africa.

 

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