At a time when good news in farming is about as scarce as loose change in my pocket, today I bring you fantastic news.

In faraway India, scientists have discovered gold in cows’ urine. Yes, gold my friends. Not bronze, silver or even whiskey, but gold.

And ’twas no accident, for haven’t they been looking for gold in cows’ urine more than five years?

Convinced that they would eventually find it, they kept searching, the way you or I might search for the missing remote.

They searched for urine in cows’ water long after you and I would have given up.

“Lehane,” farmers would have said to me after about two years, “give it up, old man, you will never find gold in cows’ urine.” And I dare say I would have stopped, for I can be easily led at times.

But the scientists in India are made of sterner stuff, and on they went, analysing over 400 samples, until that urine eureka moment.

Gold was discovered — not a major amount, it has to be said — but enough for the news to spread from faraway India to my farm right here in the wilds of West Cork.

So there is gold in cows’ urine and that’s a fact, at least according to the scientists of India.

And now that they have found it, my mind boggles as to what they might find in cow dung. 

I presume that will be the next port of call, after the success with the urine. Glistening there in the dung someplace, they will find rubies and pearls, I imagine.

Gold and jewellery that wouldn’t look out of place on a costume worn by the flamboyant Liberace.

The research team leader said that the gold content in the urine varied with the age of the cows, and the season of the year. 

“The gold concentration is higher in the urine of calves, compared to adults. Similarly, more gold was found in the urine of a dry cow, compared to a milch cow,” he spouted.

The research team also tested samples of urine from buffalo, camels, goats and sheep. Alas, they all returned negative for gold.

So no good news there for the sheep, goat, buffalo, and camel farmers of Ireland.

But back to the cows. 

“What breed of cow has the gold in its urine?” you might cry in desperation, as you grab a large saucepan before dashing from the kitchen to the milking parlour.

Well, looking at the only picture I have of the cows of India, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the cow was a distant cousin of our humble Jersey.

Just like our beloved Jersey, they are yellow in colour and also seem to be of the calm and serene variety.

So the Jersey could well be the golden cow in our midst, passing gold every time she passes water.

A bit like the goose that lays the golden egg.

And if, as they claim in India, the calf has more gold in its water than the cow, who’s to say that the even more humble Jersey bull calf mightn’t be relieving himself of gold about 30 times a day.

The Jersey bull calf, with his possible ‘streams of gold’ could well be the answer to our prayers.

And there many farmers, thinking that the Jersey bull was the most useless creature to ever walk the land.

Little did they know, far from being worthless, the Jersey bull might just be priceless.


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