The kangaroos are winning but the Milkmaid is not ready to retreat

Triumphant return from border patrol

Triumphant return from border patrol

Can you see the triumph on the faces of the kids as the Bobcat pulled into the garage on Wednesday night? We’d been on our evening patrol of the new kangaroo fence and hadn’t seen a single kangaroo on the farm at dusk.

We have been pushing back the roos and wallabies in earnest now since Easter, training the mob of 300 or so that ravage our pastures to look elsewhere. It’s been an epic battle. I fill in a spot they’ve dug under the fence with a big log, they find a new path. I fill that in, they flatten themselves out a little more and squeeze in alongside the log.

The roos just extended their underpass after the first blockade

The roos just extended their underpass after the first blockade

More than three kilometres of The Roo Fence separates farm from forest and I’ve spent an average of an hour a day maintaining security.

It was with a warm inner glow of satisfaction that I embraced the chilly air at dusk on Thursday, finding the paddocks gloriously empty of roos and wallabies once more. A single roo hopped along the forest side of The Roo Fence looking for a way in, only to disappear again into the darkness of the forest.

And then, I turned the corner and was presented with a sickening sight. In the front paddock, closest to the road, the roos had discovered The End. The Roo Fence secures the farm on three sides and wraps around a little further onto the fourth, in a convincing show of its impregnable, endless nature. Or not.

Plucking up more courage than I thought possible, the roos had hopped right up to our neighbour’s house and simply turned the corner back into the farm. I counted 50 in one bunch and saw another two mobs equally as impressive, along with a small cluster brazenly grazing right at The End itself. At least 150 in the small front paddock, maybe more.

The light of day revealed a sorry picture. A clear track complete with roo fur on the wires confirmed that no amount of fence tweaking will do the trick. Only a Roo Fence visible from space will stop them now. Fear not, dear Reader, we will prevail!

At The End. See the track under the fence?

At The End. See the track under the fence?

19 Comments

Filed under Environment, Farm

19 responses to “The kangaroos are winning but the Milkmaid is not ready to retreat

  1. The Umpire...

    At half time it is:
    Roos – 1
    Farmer – 0

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  2. Aw, that must be so discouraging. I am sorry to read it. With us it’s White-tailed Deer. They are not as devastating to pastures as your roos, but they leave deadly ticks, tear down fences, and make a mess. I sure do feel for you

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    • It is frustrating, threecollie. Glad not to have your white-tailed deer, although Samba seem to be becoming more common.

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      • The Deer Hunter...

        Try Red Deer or Wapiti (Canucks know this as Elk)…Australia doesn’t have either but NZ does and they sure know how to rearrange fences including electric ones. Lucky Wapiti isn’t too keen on domesticity in NZ but farmed red deer that have gotten loose can be a pain.

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  3. Here it is black-tailed and mule deer, occasionally elk. 8-foot fencing is a must in our area.

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  4. Stuart bland

    You will win in the end Marian I know you will

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  5. CassieOz

    Kangaroos are grazing animals but the land put aside for their use (National Park or similar) is all wooded. Why doesn’t the Government department made adequate provision rather than starving them into our pastures?

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  6. alan

    wondering if you are using electic fencing on the bottom wires have same problem here have you tried blood and bone made into a spray mix and applied in a band along fence line

    Like

    • Hi Alan,
      Yes, we do have an electric wire along the bottom. The blood and bone solution is an interesting idea – I imagine the smell of death is a great deterrent!

      Do you know how strong the solution needs to be? I have about 3.5km of fence line to do, so I’m guessing that would be a lot of blood and bone.

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      • alan

        not sure how much there was a reference to it on a depi site i was thinking of mixing it with water and spraying a band about 10 metres wide with a broadjet spray nozzle . probable a bag to 1000L of water which would take about 45 minutes to distribute along fence line. another possibility as you have a dairy would be to spray effluent from dairy.I am assuming you are rotational grazing are the jumping rats in paddock after stock removed if not would be a good reason to use effluent spray regards alan

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  7. Pingback: Kangaroo triumph heralds a new era for the farm | The Milk Maid Marian

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