Do you have a question for Bessie?
If your answer is yes, simply post your question in the comment box below and she will answer it for you.
Bessie what is your favourite pet and why?
My favourite pets would be my two Jack Russell dogs, Flip and Hank. They are my best friends, always happy to see me, every day!
We don’t really call the sheep or cattle pets, but sometimes we do get “poddy” calves or lambs to look after (they’re ones whose mums won’t or can’t look after them for some reason and so we need to bring them back to the house and raise them ourselves) and they become pets. Last year I had a poddy calf named Beyonce – she was very spoilt and is very special.
Thanks for your question!
what is a normal day for you?
What a great question!
That’s a hard one to answer because we have so many different jobs, so two days are rarely the same! But I’ll try my best to answer it for you.
We normally get up before sunrise. If we’re working away from the house (perhaps fixing or building a fence, pipeline, water trough, or getting rid of weeds) then I make something for morning tea and lunch, and fill the hot water thermos to take with us, we pack the ute with whatever tools and materials we need and then, by the time the sun is rising, we head out to the paddock to work. Depending on what we’re doing, we might have to take a car each, and perhaps trailers too, to carry all the equipment. There’s often no access to power or water where we’re working so we might need to also take a generator, fuel, and a water tanker.
We usually eat morning tea and lunch out in the paddock, on the job. But if we’re close enough to the house then we might come home to eat and then head back out to work for the rest of the afternoon.
Sometimes I’m not needed to help with whatever job is happening in the paddock, so I might stay at the house to cook and bake (we do a lot of manual work so we make sure we eat properly and often!)
Or I might to a “water run” – this is where someone drives around to every dam, tank and water trough on the property to check that there are no problems and all the animals are getting a drink. It takes half a day to drive around all of Burragan (let alone the other two farms!) so we often split this up, and I might do one side of the farm in the morning and the other side in the afternoon. In summer we have to do a water run every day (because it’s hot and the animals drink a lot more) but in winter we might only do this every three days.
We usually finish work at about sunset – so in the middle of winter this might be 5.30pm, but in summer we keep working until 8.30 or 9pm. Then we’re inside for dinner and bed. It’s a long day!!
Back at the house it’s my job to make sure the garden and grass is looked after and to feed the pets, working dogs and chooks. I might also have to go and start some water pumps to make sure we always have water at the house and to all the animals.
During shearing time our days are a bit different. We’re around the shearing shed a lot, and out mustering on the motorbikes a lot. And this involves a lot of co-ordination and preparation – especially with who is going to take food and coffee out to the people on the motorbikes! No matter how busy we are, no one like to miss out on morning tea! 🙂
I hope that answered your question, Ava!
what is your least favorite job on the farm
My lease favourite job would be having to “chip burrs” or “cut burrs”…. what that basically means is digging prickles or weeds out with a shovel or hoe. The prickles in weeds (and some are worse than others) get stuck in the sheep’s wool, which makes it harder to shear them and then harder for the processing company to wash the prickles out when they’re processing the wool, so basically it reduces the quality of the wool. So we spend a few weeks a year around to each paddock and trying to remove the prickle plants. It can get boring, although every job is what you make of it 🙂
do any of your sheep have names ?
No, there are too many to name. And it’s hard to tell them apart from each other, so unless they had some distinguishable feature it would be difficult to know which one you had named.
If you were given a choose to move back to the city would you?
No way! Burragan is the most amazing place I have ever lived! And I have lived in cities in Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory and New South Wales. The city has a lot of fabulous things, but I much prefer to visit the city now and then still come back to my slice of paradise at the farm. It’s magical out here.
What is your favorite type of sheep
My favourite type of sheep is the merino – they’re the ones that grow the best wool! They are just gorgeous.
Can you describe what it is like to live on a farm?
Living on a farm is a lot of fun!
Let me list all the wonderful things:
– big skies and wide horizons
– so much to do you can never get bored
– space to do what you want to do and have fun
– riding motorbikes or horses
– lots of fun machinery to use that you wouldn’t get to use in many other jobs
– no uniform to wear
– working with animals
– building things (fences, sheds, yards etc)
– growing your own veggies, fruit and meat
– working with people you love
– satisfying work that you can actually see achieved at the end of the day
– watching the sunset (and sunrise)
– you can have lots of pets
– everyone wants to visit your house because it’s so much fun
– being surrounded by nature
– swimming in the dams
– you can be your own boss
It can also be lots of hard work, and sometimes stressful because you live where you work so you are always surrounded by jobs that need to be done. But when you weigh up all the good things against the bad things, I think it is worth it. Living on a farm is not for everyone, but for some people it is perfect!
Thanks for answering my questions Bessie!!!
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