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duck

Our Ducks

The ducks are without the the real characters of the Centre, waddling around getting up to as much mischief as possible. When we originally brought our first hand-raised two Peking Ducks Donald and Daisy down they didn't know how to take their dozen Indian Runner mates who all waddled together and moved around speedy wine bottles whilst they waddled uncomfortable around being more interested in the human handlers. Indian Runners are perfect for herding with dogs as they move well as a group, don't flap around and are able to stay calm and not get to fazed. Unfortunately we lost 5 of our ducks including Donald during intense Fox attacks during the Winter of 2012. Most of our neighbours lost all of their poultry so we do count our blessings and are incredibly vigilant with the ducks who now spend each night in an Enclosed Coup and behind two fences. The Ducks do a great job of keeping the lawns free of bugs and grubs as well as giving us the most wonderful eggs which make the best cakes imaginable.


sheep

Our Sheep

Sheep are an integral part of the Farmer Dave Dog Centre. Not only do they ensure all lawns are organically mowed and fertilised they also keep our Founder Dave close to his passion for breeding beautiful drought tolerant disease resistant sheep perfect for Australia's harsh conditions. Our Flock have their Genesis way back when sheep were first taken into the Queensland Outback, the flock was managed by the Telford Family as wool producing Merinos and came into the care of the Graham Family with the acquisition of Ulupna Station in 1985 and its absorption into the Retreat Pastural Company.

Not long after this the World Wide Wool Crash occurred and Australia suddenly no longer rode the sheep's back, coupled with this, the Station was plunged into its worst drought since white settlement. As a result of these two disastrous events thousands of the sheep were humanely destroyed to save them from a perilous end. Not all the sheep were destroyed a small band went bush and over time attracted the odd lost ram and by the late 1990's what emerged from the scrub was an unbelievably hardy flock of Texel, Dorset Horn Merinos.

After traveling the globe Dave became fixated on the idea of utilising the biological weed control and light footprint benefits of sheep for a organic farming and found the answers in far flung places like the deserts of the Middle East and the Amazon Rainforest where pure hair sheep were abundant. After mustering the scrub Dave brought together these bush sheep and began a breeding programme introducing bloodlines of South African Dorpers, Namibian White Dorpers and the fat tailed Damaras. The result is these magnificent pure hair well muscled animals that are perfectly suited to Australian Environment. In 2008 Dave became the first Sheep Farmer accredited by the Humane Society International for his ethical farming practices which eliminated shearing, crutching, muelsing and tail docking. Whilst most sheep are pure white some a vibrant colours which ads to their interest for the sheep herding dogs in the Arena. All our sheep are regularly rested from the sheep herding programme so that they do not become too stale with the dogs and also so that they do not become too 'dogged' and unchallenging for the dogs being trained.


 

chooks

Our Chooks

Chooks are essential to any farm regardless of size and ours have an essential role in recycling much of the organic excess produced and also controling the bugs and insects. Our Plymouth Rock Rooster Henry ensures we all are up and about in time for running the dogs at dawn and the Hens Anne another Plymouth, Mary a Croad Langshan and Catherine an Isa Brown all supply our community with fresh eggs each day.

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Farmer Dave and Matilda

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