We’ve had Charlie and Lola since they were just 10 weeks old but, while they love us, we’re not their real family. The calves are. Now nearly two years old, they’ve slept, played and eaten alongside calves ever since they arrived.
The idea is that these beautiful Maremmas, bred as paddock-dwelling livestock guardians, will protect our calves from foxes and chase kangaroos and wallabies from the paddocks.
You see, I am a bit of a softie. Although I have a permit, I can’t bear to shoot at the 200 or more kangaroos and wallabies that visit us every day even while they’re decimating our fodder reserves and quite literally eating us out of house and home. The solution? I’m not sure I’m onto a winner yet but bonding the maremmas with the calves has been a two-year training phase in a grand Milk Maid experiment in macropod control. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been training Charlie and Lola to respect the 4km boundary fence and will soon let them out of the calf paddock to roam their 200-acre domain. I can hardly wait to see how they, the livestock and the wildlife respond and am practically twitching with excitement. Will keep you posted.