design, farm, fencing, kangaroos, livestock, permaculture, planning, revegetation, sheep, southwestern Fleurieu, zones
A year or so ago, we celebrated the first phase of fencing on the farm: defining our ‘wilderness zones’ by carving out seven-ish hectares of erosion gully, remnant vegetation and waterlogging for regeneration. We commented at the time at how much a few posts and wire redefines a sense of space. Now we’ve almost completed all of the major fencing for the property. What began as essentially one vast, 20-odd hectare paddock, has now been reshaped into 8 smaller paddocks, together with 3 revegetation zones/habitat corridors.
We’ve again used the fencing structure of 3 barbed and 5 plain wires to allow the safe passage of kangaroos while restricting the movement of stock. While the kangaroos have been a bit peeved about a few more fences in their way, they still move through them pretty briskly.
The establishment of multiple paddocks now allows us to begin rotational grazing, allowing us to experiment with less selective, focussed grazing by the sheep to manage pasture and weeds, while also allowing us to rest areas for periods for pasture regrowth and parasite management.
With further fencing, we’re able to further define the zones radiating out from our proposed house site. Starting next winter, we’ll start extending windbreaks around the paddocks, laying out woodlots and planting habitat corridors to connect the blocks together.
Hello. I’m on a property at Sellicks Hill (Fleurieu Peninsula), and am implementing permaculture inspired things there (did a PDC in 2013). Have just built a 45 metre swale on which to plant a food forest only to have it dawn on me that kangaroos are an issue. I have read quite a lot of your blog just now. Can you put me onto any resources regarding protecting plants from kangaroos (apart from tree guards, which I am, of course, using). That is, IF you have found some or even just one good resource. I’ve been searching! My Facebook site is https://www.facebook.com/rasilioconnor or my email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org (if either of those are easier ways to reply). Great to read of someone else in the Fleurieu Peninsula area! 🙂
Hi Rasili, great to hear about your project – have you made any connections with the Southern Fleurieu (or other local) Permaculture groups to get other ideas for roo-proofing trees? We’ve had mixed success with kangaroo proofing, our own homemade wire mesh guards with star-droppers have been successful, and we’ve also found the ‘mallee mesh’ guards from Arbor Green at Mount Barker to be quite good so far! We’re yet to put our fruit and nut trees in, so we’ve just planted natives so far, and they can be a bit more robust when a limb is chomped off or snapped. Our fencing has definitely had an impact on kangaroo movement, even though we’ve opted for a fence design that allows relatively easy passage for them. Today for example, we had 60 kangaroos in our open pasture, compared with 6 or 7 within the fenced reveg areas. We’ve also found planting time has an impact on kangaroo grazing, depending on how much other food is available. This is really only relevant for trying to get precious seedlings through their first year so they can get well established. Hope that helps! Good luck, we would love to hear how your food forest progresses.
Mudlark Permaculture also has a range of strategies that they discuss here: http://permacultureglobal.org/post_projects/1929, utilising branches, pallets and other ideas. We have contemplated substituting pallets for reclaimed plastic bread trays wired or cable-tied together for ease of movement and lack of splinters! One of our friends donated a whole lot of shark-mesh that he had lying around (the kind of stuff security screen doors are made from) and we’ve constructed small square or triangular enclosures from these as well, either by wiring separate panels together or folding them into a triangle and staking in place.