Thursday, 11 June 2009

Observations: Sheep Grazing the Duck Dam Paddock

We moved our sheep from the Duck Dam Paddock to the Front Paddock late this afternoon, meaning they were there for just over 4 full days. The Duck Dam Paddock is just over 7 hectares in area. Here are some of our observations:
The sheep seemed to spend quite a bit of the time around the dead Kurrajong Tree near the south-western corner of the paddock. We are not sure why. Maybe the grass quality was comparatively better due to the slowly decaying organic matter. Here's a picture of the dead tree with the sheep in the background. Some trivia: we were successful in finding some Witchetty grubs in the timber not long ago.
The sheep did a good job of trampling herbage mass onto the soil, whilst a good percentage of leaf area has been left post grazing to enable effective photosynthesis and plant regrowth. 
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This photo was taken looking north along the western fenceline of the paddock, and shows what the pasture looks like in both the Duck Dam (right) and Airstrip (left) paddocks.
The sheep continue to be totally silent, except for the sound of the feet when walking.
During the move, the sheep seemed to be 'spooked' by two things:
1. Walking over the black polythene pipe that is laying on the top of the soil (all were uneasy walking over it)
2. Some were very hesitant to go through the gate on the north-east corner. They did go through after not too long. There were a few sticks on the ground which we noticed after they'd gone through, and have now moved.

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