Last month of winter

August has arrived and the sheep and cows are out in the big paddock. It’s rough and scrubby but has lots of feed, it’s just a little hard to find. This is when we can help to extend the time they spend there. We like them to spend all the cold months in this steep, rough country as there is lots of shelter and lots more variety of feed than in the smaller more uniform paddocks at home. So with a horse or motorbike and two dogs, we head down there once or twice a week, muster up all the animals and send to a previously undiscovered banquet of grasses, shrubs, forbs and trees. While most of the more exposed feed has hayed off, in the deeper gorges where the frost doesn’t hit, there are winter grasses that are still green and growing, and once they find it, their heads go down and they tend to stay put for a few days, except for coming back to the nearest dam or creek for a drink each day.

The reason they don’t find these places themselves is that they are hard areas to access but they are very worthwhile. Protein is typically hard to find at this time of year, a lot of farmers buy hay or grain or urea supplements, so to find green grass and trees to prune is a real bonus for us.

Sheep heading for the hills – note the dark green areas at the base of the trees on the farther hill. They’re not so keen to have they’re day disrupted, but they’re grateful once they get there.

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