Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sheep


It's sheep sale day at Cootamundra.

18 comments:

  1. Love the light. Those were the days when Australia rode high on the sheep's back at least they are sustainable not like mining today.

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  2. The depth of field is wonderful, Joan. Ditto the winter sunlight.

    [Just subscribed to this blog -- was following Blue Mountains Journal but you post there less than we do on EH. :)]

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    1. There was a time when I kept all of them going with daily posts but I just don't seem to have time any more so I pick which on suits me best. After hurting my ankle earlier in the year I just haven't been able to get out walking as much so not much content for BMJ. I might rectify that soon.

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    2. Sorry to hear about your ankle. I hope it's healing well and not driving you too stir crazy. :)

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  3. No no ... sheep are not sustainable. Ever seen what sheep do to paddocks. The problem with sheep is that they only provide wool ... and we no longer buy items made from wool, because they are too expensive. We buy items made from nylon, or other similar chemical chains.

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    1. LOL Julie, Julie, Julie... I'm really surprised by your stance. Sheep are a lot more sustainable than mining -- it wouldn't be hard. They also do a lot less damage to the environment than cattle do. Besides sheep don't "only provide wool" (my eyebrows really went up with that statement), they also provide meat. In fact, the majority of sheep are bred for their meat. Wool is simply a by-product; for various reasons sheep have to be shorn.

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    2. However, the price of a leg of lamb is about to go through the roof to about $100 I have read. Although one sheep does less damage to pasture than one cow, the stocking rate per acre evens that out.

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  4. Yeh I was wondering about the sustainability of sheep. The state of the paddocks has to do with the number of them per acre and the amount rain of think. I was reading on my travels that the wool producing merinos are being replaced by meat producing breeds, that's why we are seeing increasing numbers of black faced sheep in the paddocks. Despite this the price of the Sunday roast leg of lamb seems to be getting higher and higher.

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    1. "The state of the paddocks has to do with the number of them per acre and the amount rain of think.

      I agree.

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    2. oops ... did not read all the comments before jumping in.

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  5. Hmm, and there is no market for cheese? The first thing I thought of. Might be sheep around here are mostly there for giving us cheese (and meat I suppose). Not enough sheep for wool. Herds are much smaller. Black faced ones are a meat producing breed? What you learn through reading blogs :-)
    Nevertheless ;-) the golden light and the dof is wonderful.

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    1. Most of Australia's sheep are large range sheep operations. Small dairy flocks are unusual though part of a growing gourmet cheese industry. One of the challenges has been developing dairy breeds that can cope with the Australian environment.

      To give you an idea of how minuscule the dairy sheep industry is ... there are around 100 million sheep in Australia. I found some figures from 2007 which said there were 8 dairy sheep farms with 4000 sheep in total :-)

      As for the photo, I knew this had potential for a good shot, I asked hubby to drive me back to the sale yards when the sun began to drop.

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  6. And some news from the German sheep (it's from the German wikipeda and my translation .. so ... ):
    In Germany the extensive sheep breeds are used for park maintenance. The sheep keep green areas or landscapes like the heath in its form and function. Without the sheep these landscapes would further turn into steppe and/or forest. Sheep have a special function in the protection of dikes. Not only do they prevent desertification, through their impact, they consolidate the ground and make a direct contribution to a possible dam failure.

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    1. That's really interesting, Martina. Sheep make terrific lawnmowers, so I can well see them being used for park maintenance. Thanks for sharing.

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    2. How interesting Martina. Actually I think this takes us full circle to Julie's original comment. Sheep eat the grass and trample the ground -- so stocking levels are important to their sustainability.

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  7. Well ... so ... sheep ARE sustainable!! I would never have thought to use them to prevent dam failure.

    Joan, would most of the dairy sheep flocks be in Victoria and Tassie?

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    1. I don't know but one of the new diary breeds is from Tassie.

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