How much do we impact the natural world around us to protect our cattle and way of life?

The question is…

…how much do we impact the natural world around us to protect our cattle and way of life?

During the winter period, or the non-growing season, we can see that we have very slow-growing grass so we lock the cattle out of as many paddocks as we can, so that the grass can grow.

At dusk, we see numerous wallabies out there eating the fresh tender shoots that we have put effort into trying to grow. The question is… do we do something about it or do we let the wallabies be wallabies?

An old experienced farmer who lives nearby told us that if you have lots of wallabies you don’t have to worry about dingoes because wallabies are the dingo’s prime food and if there are wallabies around dingoes won’t go for your calves.

Is that true or not?

We haven’t had an issue with dogs since we started running cattle, but it doesn’t mean that’s the reason why.

There are some farmers who shoot the wallabies because they eat the feed in their sown fields.

The question is… should we be looking to work with the ecology of a place or are we putting a chain reaction in the ecosystem that won’t be good for anyone?

Baiting dingoes and wild dogs is very common but from my limited understanding and experience, dingoes themselves, (mainly purebred dingoes, not the wild dogs that are crossbred with stray dogs) are less likely to be a problem if there are other food sources around. Do the dingoes help us keep the rats, bandicoots, and wallabies down to a manageable number so there is no population explosion?

Many of these animals are just labeled as a problem – without much thought – it just is.

Animals that are just a problem and an impediment to business.

But some people are starting to see the positive side of working with these ‘pest’ animals. Earlier this year there was a paper published about living with dingoes on cattle properties and how it is a positive partnership. It actually made them money. Follow this link to read why.

Being able to look at the world in a more holistic manner, taking a step back and trying to see the whole picture may be a better way forward.

Thinking up better ways to manage the risks while still allowing every animal to take its place in the environment, maybe a better, and in the long run, an easier way to do business.

But the big question is… is this the way forward?

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