JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Drought Feeding

I haven't seen my husband for six weeks so I decided to make the trip out to Julia Creek to see him.  He had been sounding down so it was the right decision.  Drought is never easy but, we in the west, take it in our stride.  God knows we have had plenty of experience at it.  Drought is cyclic and seems to hit us with a really good one every ten years.  The last one in 2005 was, however, nowhere near as bad as this one.  What has made this one so bad is the price we have been receiving for our commodity, i.e., grass feed beef.  And, you know what, we wouldn't mind if the average household could benefit from the glut of beef and the extremely low prices we received (well below a dollar a kilogram), but I visit the supermarket, over here on the coast, each week and I never ONCE saw the price of beef drop.  WHY, is the big question and more importantly, WHO, is raking in the profit.  The answer is of course the processor and the supermarkets.
I followed hubby around with the camera to try and record just how difficult drought feeding is.  It is just so damn relentless.  We have almost 4000 hungry mouths to feed and that means tonnes of feed but as we also have a lot of the very invasive weed, prickly acacia, we have been using it as our protein source for the cattle.  The men go out each day and cut down the trees.  Once they cut the trees they then spread poison (Graslan) to kill any trees that will undoubtably pop their ugly heads up when it rains. It is a dreadful weed, but, it is keeping our cattle alive.
Here are a selection of the photos that I took at Baroona.

As soon as the cattle hear the chainsaw they come

First tree of about thirty that are cut for this mob

A young prickly acacia is full of thorns but as it gets bigger the thorns get a little less

Hubby decked out with gloves, chaps, steel capped boots and a well greased chain-saw! 

It's dangerous work amongst all those thorns.

The cattle not only eat the leaves but strip back the bark of the tree to get their protein

The poison is spread around the trees once cut.  It is activated with water so when it rains it starts working.

Looking to where the trees were cut the day before.

The cattle seem to enjoy the feed and the thorns don't seem to worry them at all.

The cattle are not fat, but still strong.

After all the trees are cut, loose lick mix is then given to to the cattle as a supplement.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Judi, I hope you don't mind but I am going to share it around. The realities of it the drought are really biting in, our cows (on forest country) have slipped badly in the last few weeks and are getting weaker. Have started feeding M8U now, and once you start of course you can't stop til it rains. Have heard good falls around JC so fingers crossed your place got under some.