Initial purchase provides pitfalls for wannabe grazier

WELL, after much effort, the massive holding that is Brookvale Downs, two hectares (6ac) and a chook shed, had the first of its livestock arrive on Wednesday .

After looking like I knew what I was doing for the past few weeks out at the Warwick sheep sale, I finally dipped into my pocket as bought eight dorper ewes.

The blokes out at the sheep sale are all great blokes but they must have been able to tell straight away that I had no idea and I reckon they would have been laughing all the way home .

Other than the RM Williams boots that only see a paddock when I am walking from the office to the car, or the fact I was the only bloke not wearing a hat in the boiling sun, the dead giveaway was after the sale I tried to pay at the office (not down at the agents) - not one of my greatest achievements .

  •  Rookie mistake #1 - take someone with you who knows what they are doing.
  •  Rookie mistake #2: Pre plan.

The ewes arrived late Wednesday afternoon and the carrier had to do some four-wheel-driving just to get down to the back paddock gate because I didn't quiet think ahead and built a chook shed and a fire pit on the easy, flat entrance to the gate .

I could imagine what the bloke was thinking but, in true country spirit, he just did the job and said thank you.

  •  Rookie mistake #3: If you are going to do something stupid, do it when no one is looking.

With a fox spotted in the area recently, on Thursday morning I thought I'd better check to make sure there were no dramas and it was a bit far to walk, as I was running late for work, and there was no fuel in the kids' bikes so I jumped on the lawn mower to go and take a look.

On Friday morning I had a phone call from the lovely lady up the road who was having a cuppa on the back veranda with her husband to tell me it was the funniest thing they had seen for years - me trying to round the ewes towards the water troughs on a ride-on. They wanted to know if I needed a hand.

  •  Rookie mistake #4: Horses have giraffe necks .

On Friday morning I went to the produce store and bought cow and sheep nuts to give the ewes something else to chew.

It's a 40kg bag so I just dumped it under the tree near the gate for easy assess.

I went back down on Friday night to find I had put the bag too close to the fence and the neighbour's two horses had pulled the bag close to the fence and eaten half a bag of the feed.

My neighbours are lovely people and have been wonderful about my unusual farming behaviour but I had to apologise profusely for making their horses feel off.

It's sweet now and nothing else has happened but, with drenching and lambing around the corner, things could be interesting...



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