I’ve written before about our sheep. During WWII I, while dad was away at the war, I lived with my mother and brother with our grandparents on a sheep farm. So we often had bottle fed pet lambs which had been orphaned or were neglected by their mothers. So, I’m comfortable with sheep. The soil where we now live is not excellent and the weather is pretty warm, with long, sometimes up to nine months, without rain.
But we are trying to get a hobby farm with dorper sheep off the ground. The advantages of dorper sheep are that you don’t need to shear them, they lamb twice a year, and they produce good meat.
In some ways we are trying to convert a small property which we bought on the edge of the city hoping to subdivide it, as it was gazetted in the city planning office. But the rules were changed and that is no longer possible.
We planned to have small paddocks to rotate the animals and hopefully allow re-growth if/when it rains. But we now have an extra reason to keep them in small areas. We have to put them into a secure high walled area every night.
In the last few days between us and our two neighbours we have lost 27 sheep and 2 goats to dingoes. Bad for all of us but, fortunately for us, we only lost two sheep and our first lamb of the season. Sunday after church we took a trip to Bunnings and bought sheets of 2.4 X 1.2 metre ply wood and now, as a temporary measure, there is a high fence around the yards. Using sheep nuts as bribery our sheep are now putting themselves under lockdown every evening. We’ve had to extend the small lock up for our 8 lambs from last breeding season. It is near our home so is not as extensive or in fact not as dingo proof, but they haven’t come that close.
Our other problem animal is the wallaby. There are literally hundreds in the area and they are protected. They dig up the roots of the grass. Annoyingly they prefer green grass, which is around the house where we water. This frustrates the gardening member of our family, my wife.
I can’t get an exact figure but in my reading I conclude that three wallabies eat about as much as one sheep, so they numerically but not practically increase the size of our flock.