Liam Byrne, a 4th generation farmer and his wife Sinead started their water buffalo farm in January 2016, with a view to bringing something unique and natural to the Irish market. Liam and Sinead’s herd of water buffalo, are raised on their family farm, 9 miles south of Gorey town, in Ballygarrett, Co. Wexford. Although the farm has gone through many changes, from dairy in the 1970s to beef and sheep in the 80s and 90s one thing has remained constant, animals grazing the land. In keeping with that tradition, the Byrnes are doing the same. But they decided to do something new and exciting… to raise water buffalo!!
The Water Buffalo is a multipurpose animal. Having been domesticated for over 5,000 years, the buffalo have been used for draft, meat, and milk. At least 130 million domestic water buffalo exist, and more people depend on them than on any other domestic animal.
“We are passionate about our animals and how they are looked after and fed. We use traditional farming methods and are involved in the Department of Agriculture’s GLAS scheme. GLAS is an agri environmental initiative that encompasses traditional hay meadows, low-input pastures along with bee, bird and bat conservation among its programmes. Our buffalo need no veterinary intervention due to their robust nature. Over hundreds of years, the water buffalo has remained close to their ancestors and has not been inter-bred through the generations. This, we believe, means that the buffalo immune system has remained strong and therefore the animal is not as susceptible to the diseases and ailments of conventional cattle. Although we are not registered organic farmers we do follow many of their principles. In a time where we are all asking “what’s in our food?”, we are determined to provide a meat offering that is in its purest form”
The name Macamore Buffalo comes from the name the “Macamores”, a word locals have used for centuries to describe the marl type of soil that stretches from Gorey down the east coast as far as Kilmuckridge. It is land that is liable to be water-logged. About a foot below the surface, it is hard clay that water will not penetrate. Water Buffalo love to wallow and bathe in mucky water so “the Macamores” has become a natural habitat for our herd.
The couple wanted their new venture to be natural, environmentally friendly, nutritious and to have incredible taste. Water Buffalo met all these requirements and more.