A 5th year student at Mulroy College investigated the nutritive value of gorse and heather as a food source for mountain sheep and received the Science Foundation Ireland Special Award last Friday at the BT Young Scientist competition 2014. Chloe took on this project last summer where she fed 27 sheep over a period of 5 weeks on gorse, heather and hay. Through this project she wanted to investigate if this combination could be used as a food source for mountain sheep and her conclusion proved positive.
Her interest in this area comes from the fact that Chloe is from a farming background and helps her family run the suckler cow and sheep farm at home. She is hoping to pursue a career in agriculture and has a great interest in becoming a vet. With the almost epidemic portion of gorse fires in Donegal every summer this study finds that using gorse as a food source could also find great use for the plant most farmers find little use for.
Chloe represented Mulroy College and Principal Ms Fiona Temple stated: “We are very proud of Chloe. She put an enormous amount of work into this project. Her success is very well deserved and with the very high standard of projects at the BT young Scientist we are delighted for her that her hard work has paid off. I have no doubt that Chloe will receive many more successes in her career. A big thanks most also be given to Mr Declan Docherty the teacher who helped her with the project over the summer.”
Chloe also added “I would like to thank Mulroy College for the support given to me throughout the project. In particular I would like to thank Mr Docherty and all those who gave advice and support along the way. It was a great experience from start to finish and last Friday was the icing on the cake. I would encourage other students to get involved in this event as I gained so much from it.”