This week, we're taking up residence on a farm in Co. Waterford for what will be an incredible five nights of access-all-areas to Irish farming.
Ella McSweeney and Áine Lawlor, will present the show,live from 7pm each night from a purpose built studio on the fields of the O’Sullivan Family’s dairy farm, in the Deise County. With a coastal location and female farmer this year, Big Week on the Farm promises to entertain and educate like never before.
The O'Sullivan family are opening the gates of their farm to cameras, celebrities to broadcast world record attempts, demos, dissections, hatching and births to name but a few things on the agenda.
So who are the O'Sullivan family?
Gillian and Neil and their children Fionn (6), Hannah (4) and Tim (2), are our host farmers this year. The family have been farming for generations and Gillian’s father and mother Marianne & Michael Wall are still heavily involved in the farm.
The family have all been loving their experience with the crew so far...all except for Tim. Check out the 2-year-old's escape attempts below.
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The farm - so where exactly are we all going?
The Big Week on the Farm studio will play host to a 150-strong live studio audience, in a field overlooking Dungarvan Bay where the cattle of Gillian and Neil O’Sullivan usually graze.
The O’Sullivan farm and surrounding area is home to a vast array of wildlife. From the adjacent woodland which is alive with squirrels, pine martens and woodland birds to the coastal spoonbills who dig into the sand with their bills and push the mud through their spoon shaped bills and curlews, oyster catchers, gulls, Brent geese and peregrine falcons to the otters who occupy the rivers and coastal waters, with the help of animal behaviour experts, hidden cameras and drones, the O’Sullivan family will learn about the covert lives of some of Ireland’s most fascinating wild animals.
What's happening on the farm?
In unique and beautifully filmed footage, Big Week on the Farm will look at the secret lives of farm animals, as we peer inside the world of the misunderstood crow and witness one of the cleverest of the species.
We will follow the life of the calf from birth to separation from the mother, and we see what happens when a roosters coop is invaded by a potential competitor.
Featured in this years series for the first time will be a look into the secret life of the Vet. We follow a vet as he attempts to deliver a calf by Caesarian section – can he preserve the life of both cow and calf as we witness the arrival of new life? Also he takes us through a seemingly routine hernia removal but as with all procedures potentially fatal danger is never far away.
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Following from the huge success of previous year’s sheep shearing Guinness World Record with Ivan Scott, and the World Tractor reversing record which is currently held by last year’s host farmer Patrick Shalvey this year, the Big Week on the Farm team will be hoping to break more Guinness World Records, while our celebrity guests aim to beat actor, musician and comedian Pat Shortt’s current hand milking record in ‘Pull the Udder One’ after his huge success in the milking challenge last year.
Watch Big Week on the Farm every night this week on RTÉ One from 7pm.