Lost River Landcare Group held a Grazing management and stockhandling workshop at “Red Hill” last week.
30 people turned up for the event from neighbouring properties and as far as Bywong and Yass to hear with well known rural consultant Bruce Maynard give an informative and entertaining presentation at Tom and James McCormack’s Red Hill Shearing shed.
The morning was focussed on Grazing Techniques.Bruce Maynard owns and manages ‘Willydah’ 20km west of Narromine in the Central West of NSW, has studied Holistic Management under Alan Savory and stockmanship from Bud Williams likes to use the best of what is out there in terms of grazing techniques . “ by using a combination of techniques including cell grazing, holistic management, no-kill cropping, regeneration areas, alley farming, shrub plantings and stress-free stockmanship, picking and chosing from the toolbox , we take a triple bottom line approach and aim to mimic natural processes to maximise outputs, while minimising inputs. All these methods are implemented with a long-term context.” Mr Maynard says.
After a great bbq by James McCormack and John O’Brien and a chance to warm up and chat the workshop moved on to particular interest areas including the No Kill cropping and in the Stress- Free stockmanship which proved to be very popular.
Bruce says that physical, physiological and mental stress events can impair animals welfare and performance. When animals are stressed they reproduce at lower rates, grow slower and get sick more often. Stress free handlers can have the ability can turn their animals back to normal after a stress event, with benefits how stock perform in yards and how they perform out in the paddock.
According to Bruce, when animals are less stressed they’re also more likely to try new behaviours, such as eating weeds and other different plants.
“What happens in any group of animals is you do have experimenters and you do have very conservative animals, and everything in between,” he says.
“So you’ve got a bell curve of behaviours there and what we’re going to do is work on emphasising the inventiveness of the mob and by taking anxiety away what we’re going to do is shift that whole bell curve just a little bit and you end up with more weed eaters in there.” Mr Maynard said.
Upper Lachlan Landcare and Lost River Landcare are hoping to arrange some further Stress Free Stockmanship courses with Bruce Maynard in the coming months.
Chris Fowler from Bywong found the day very interesting. “Bruce has a way of presenting a message, a lot of which has been around for a while, that has particular relevance to the present. There’s something for everyone in that! Mr Fowler Said.
Lost River Landcare and Upper Lachlan Landcare would like to sincerely thank our hosts, the McCormack Family, and to LachLandcare Inc. and the Regional Landcare Facilitator Program for funding this event.
The notes from the workshop and requested links and details available here:
On Youtube: regenerativefarming (No Kill Cropping, Stress Free Stockmanship and other techniques)
Possible shrubs for trialling in colder areas- suggested by Jason Emms:
Here is the list of species for the very cold sites:
|Casuarina littoralis||Monaro sheoak|
|Chamaecytisus prolifer||Weeping tagasaste|
|Atriplex halimus||Mediterranean saltbush|
|Acacia boormanii||Snowy River wattle|
|Acacia rubida||Red-stem wattle|
|Lomandra longifolia||Spiny-head mat rush|
Bruce Maynard at Red Hill
Cooking up a storm John O’Brien “Boobalaga”and James McCormack “Red Hill”
Bruce Maynard chatting with Alan Simakoff from Belmont Forest
Maggie Rikard-Bell “Karijini”, Jenny Granger, Blakney Creek, and Becky Charnock “ Mt Henry”