G is for…

I seriously can’t believe we’re up to G already! Where has the time gone to?

Before we start I just need to wish Bushbabe a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I’m so thrilled we’ve become friends across the inter webs and she’s an important part of my life.

Amanda from Bush Babe of Oz has chosenGrazing’ for today’s effort.

There are really three g’s that spring to mind today – green, grass and grazing. All go hand-in-hand really – especially for farmers whose particular type of farming is actually called ‘grazing’.

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Put simply, grazing is raising animals (whether they be sheep, cattle, goats, deer etc) on grass, pasture or herbage. Usually this takes place in paddocks where the animal can walk around reasonably freely in the open air, eat where it chooses and has access to water points.

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A grazier is the farmer whose business it is to raise and tend the grazing animals – sometimes for breeding and stud purposes, sometimes to harvest by-products such as milk, and sometimes to prepare for market. Graziers need to keep in mind the state of their grassland – if it is healthy, and stocked appropriately, then their animals will also be healthy.

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Grassland health is not always an easy thing to achieve though, as unpredictable elements can have a large influence on grazing businesses – elements such as floods or droughts adversely affecting grass health and markets fluctuating with outside forces (making animals much harder to sell).

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There is nothing a grazier likes to see more than GREEN GRASS! Green, tasty grass means happy contented animals.

bulls_0618It’s a ‘double G’ that’s really good to see!

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Rural Miss has chosen Gate – what tricky things they can be – sometimes too hard to shut or too saggy to keep anything in! Here’s her take on gates!

G is for Gate

The humble gate is one of the most important structures on a farm in conjunction with the fence. I would actually rate these two barriers as the most important on a farm – along with a water source. We have a property that has no internal fencing, and the boundary fencing was pretty much non-existent.gisfor

Not only does the boundary fence outline just that – the boundary of your property, it also goes a long way toward keeping out feral animals and wandering livestock – AND most importantly keeping livestock in.
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Anyhow, back to the gate. If you can imagine a house with no door it would be the most simple comparison to a paddock without a gate. The gate is there to provide basic access between two paddocks (or in some cases, properties) move machinery into the paddock, move livestock into the paddock.
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Gates aren’t just privy to paddocks they are also paramount in sheep and cattle yards, and in shearing sheds. Our average sheep yard has a total of 20 different pens – all need gate access otherwise you would be lifting stock over the fences or there would be some major mix-ups. I know this is common sense to those on the land.
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Gates aren’t just there as important, functional infrastructure to a property either. The kids use every opportunity to swing on them – which isn’t so bad when they are as young as our kids, but the older they get the more likely they are to effect the swing of the gate.
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The other unwritten farm rule – the driver doesn’t open or close any gates – that’s a job for one of the passengers. And the youngest usually gets the job.
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Fleur: You’ll be forgiven for thinking I’ve broken the trend and gone with S is for Sheep, instead of my G, this week, thanks to the photos. Not really, although it is hard to find many photos just concentrating on GRAVEL!

I’m sure gravel sounds a little mundane, but it’s still as important as gates and grass.

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If we didn’t have gravel roads on the farm, we’d be a little stuck when it came to shifting stock or grain. Good quality roads mean that trucks can get in and out of the yards without any issues. Especially during wetter times.

Poor quality roads often mean time wasted in trying to pull  out trucks of bogs – it annoys not only the farmer, but also the truckies – after all they have a schedule to keep to.

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We also need to have our yards gravelled well. If the yards get really wet, puddles lie in deep holes, where the most pressure is put with the yards – like end of a drafting race. This means the sheep have to run through these and wet, mucky yards isn’t fun for anyone.

Gravel keeps it hard under foot and decreases the pot holes.

We get in a grader once a year to fix the roads and a front end loader every couple of years to add more gravel to the yards. Thankfully we have a good source of it on our place and don’t have have it carted in, because it’s something we couldn’t do without.

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