Friday, March 21, 2008


I bought three new chooks today and a rooster. I was planning on not mentioning to Bill that I had got a rooster, because he doesn't want one. But he noticed. He said, "Did you buy a rooster?"
So, I confessed. He seemed okay about it.
The chooks are kind of mongrels. I'm not sure what the breeds are.
The vegie patch is full of weeds. I have fallen behind because I have been so busy with work. I got in a did a fair bit of weed-pulling this afternoon. I need to get in and recover areas with cardboard and really get a propogation area happening.I am looking forward to winter so I can have a bit of a break from it. I put more potatoes in today.
Rosie is doing really well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

DUNG BEATLE vs Buffalo Fly

Rosie is settling and feeding well. Brandy alternates between being motherly and jealous. Yesterday when I took a bucket of milk out for Rosie and forgot to bring some pellets for Brandy she head-butted Rosie and then overturned her bucket (what a bitch).

I woke up this morning before sunrise and as soon as Brandy saw the light go on she began her moo-song. They were both waiting at the gate to be fed.

I ran into a friend, Tara, yesterday who had just been to a workshop on dung beatles. She told me they prevent buffalo fly. I mentioned this too my husband and he said- yes we have dung beatles, I see them in the poos the children do on the lawn :)- I will never reprimand them for not usung the potty again!

Tara said the idea is to increase dung beatle populations by importing them- they turn the manure to compost quikly and the buffalo fly has nowhere to lay eggs. You can order them and just put them on poo in your paddock. I think I will give it a go.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

BUFFALO FLY- natural recipe

Brandy has been suffering from a buffalo fly infestation since her last holiday with the beef-cattle up the road. Her eyes were crusty and bloody. I had to use antibiotics from the vet.

For the treatment of the actual fly I ordered some organic stuff off the web. It was essentially a canola oil base with essential oils mixed in, but did not list which oils on the bottle. It was expensive at $29 per litre, plus another nine postage. One application is around 500mls. I have found I need to reapply it about every 4-7 days. So, I decided to have a crack at making my own.

We had a dinner party a few nights later and passed the bottle of organic buffalo fly stuff around the table. I got everyone to have a sniff and write down what they thought was in it- one of our guests was a winemaker- so he was very helpful.

Here is the list we came up with: eucyliptus, pine, orange, lavender and lemon myrtle.

So, I made my own concoction and added some neem oil for good measure. It works just as well as the bought stuff for just a fraction of the price. Essentially, it is a deodorant and can be used on backscratchers or just sprayed directly on- this is how I do it.

If it rains it needs to be reapplied. Otherwise just use when you notice more than 100 buffalo flies on your cow.


It's been a while since I have blogged, so here is the update. Brandy has now escaped many times- she seems to want to hangout with our neighbor's beef-cattle. So on Sunday we adopted her a baby calf. She is about 12 days old now and very cute.

The children have named her Rosie.

Rosie is an A2 jersey cow. We got her from a local A2 dairy. Here is a link to a website all about the benefits of A2 milk:

We were given some of her mother's milk and have been mixing it in with formula. The first day we forgot to heat it and couldn't work out why she wouldn't drink it. Anyway, heat it up, just like mamma's udder, and she is into it.

Brandy has taken her in well, licking her and mothering her. But when Rosie tries to suck on Brandy's udder, well, she gives her a kick.

Our thinking is that now Brandy has a friend she wont run away anymore???I feel like the woman who swallowed a spider to catch the fly. I don't know why?

We bought her home in the back of the VW and she was very calm all the way home. We put newspaper and hay on the floor.

We have now run out of her mother's milk. We used it to mix in with the formula to get her used to it. So, as off tomorrow she is just on formula. We bought a big bag of it for $75 and it should last 6-8 weeks. She is also having a little pick at the calf pellets we feed Brandy, but she is not very interested in them.

We are feeding her from a bucket twice a day. So far so good.

The veggie patch is slowing down now that it is getting cooler. I have done a some winter planting and have some potatoes to harvest soon. I haven't had nearly as much time for the garden as I would like. All the marigolds are in bloom but the sunflowers are dying back. The children love running around the little pathways I have made through the garden.

All four chooks are now laying- did I mention chook number five got bitten by a snake- she died. She was the head-chook and after her death it took the other chooks weeks to figure out how to get back in the chook shed. Bill had to run around every night at sunset and carry each one into the shed. It was hilarious. We are going to invest in some more chooks.