Agisting next door

Due to the lack of rain (6mm only in January – hmm, Craig, what happened to the flood you promised for our wedding anniversay??  – and 7mm so far in February).  Although we have plenty of water, we are running out of feed.

We’ve currently got our cattle in a gully we’d fenced off to keep them out of the dam.  We figured it was better to give them access to what we had than let them go hungry so broke a couple of rules and let them access the dam. 

They’ve been most content and rarely lift their heads when we go past.  They generally bellow and make a lot of noise when they’re hungry.  They’ve eaten all the grass around the dam, feasted on water lilies and had access to hand picked feed.  Tobi and I weeded the orchard and masses of kikuyu was wheeled down to them.

Our neighbours have no cattle and masses of feed so we asked if we could agist our steers at their place. Yes, was the answer, but the fences need fixing.  Les was more than happy to do this.  We believe it’s the best way to live, sharing resources and helping each other to get jobs done that are really too hard to do alone.

We’d done the sums and buying in hay and feeding our steers for some months is a costly business. Agisting is a far better option.  Here, we’re also able to do our share.

Out west we’re told 10,000 cattle are being shot each day as there’s no feed. Yesterday I heard a local farmer is shooting 800 of his heard rather than see them starve. It’s a brutal wake up to what real life is about and explains our recent “obsession” with the weather. We’d always been amazed why the weather is discussed so often in the country. Now we know, you live and die by it.

Les and Tobi and have spent several hard days and cleared masses of lantana and blackberries off the existing fence, restrained wires and helped Steve sink fence posts and run wire down his driveway. On one of our travels we came across an old auger which we thought would come in handy. We’ve loaned it to our neighbour to sink the holes for the new fence. It makes a tough job so much easier. This afternoon our steers will go next door.

The other upside to this story, our neighbour has told us he wants to get a few beasts and now that the fences are repaired, he can.  It was too big a job for him to do on his own.

Tobi, clearing lantana along the fence at Black Flat Lane


clip_image002 A swathe cut through the scrub, fence cleared, ready for wire straining 

Annette Owen-Mulder

Annette Owen-Mulder

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