It's been a pretty hectic couple of months. With such a wet season over Christmas last year, there was plenty of feed and our creek which typically runs for about one week per year, was flowing for about ten months straight. As the dry season kicked in, we had a lot of very dry grass around and whilst we feed our cattle supplements, they always lose a little condition over the winter months. Then the calves start to hit the deck and our heifers need all the love and attention they can get. We drive around the property every couple of days and the cows all come to greet us, show us their babies and have a bit of a feed of some hay.
With so much dry grass around though, it's difficult for new green shoots to get up so we have to do a bit of mowing. I don't know how big your back yard is but it's a bit of a mission trying to mow a few thousand acres. The only way to do it is with fire. It's not only necessary to get the grass to green up, it's also imperative to remove the fuel which could lead to massive bushfires in the the summer months. Each paddock has a track graded around the fenceline and we watch the weather and wait for a day which is hot enough to consume the grass, not too hot that it will kill the trees and will follow closely with rain to keep the fires contained. Permits are acquired, a firefighting unit is slipped onto the back of the ute and away we go. Then we do it all again in another paddock later on. The cattle are used to this and with such a slow controlled burn, they are able to get out of the way very easily. They also know that after a week or so, some really yummy green shoots will be appearing in that same place and that's where we find them.
We've finished with the burn now and have had a few spots of rain. The grass is looking pretty green again and the cattle are all picking up. We still go around the waters every couple of days, checking dams, starting pumps and feeding out hay. It really gives me a lift to see all of this new life on the farm.