Monday, 23 September 2013

Farming in Victoria for my Second Aussie Visa

I'm writing this post from my new home- a sheep farm in rural Victoria, where I am slowly become a sheep mustering master! Coming from a city-loving girl like myself this could seem unpredictable, but the best things in life always are!

As I've previously mentioned, backpackers on a working holiday visa need to do 88 collected days or 3 months straight of 'specified work' in a regional postcode to be able to spend another year in this fabulous country.

I found a lovely farm willing to take me on as a volunteer for 3 months in exchange for food, drink and accommodation (like WOOFing) near Hamilton in western Victoria (3314- on the postcode list yay!), around 3.5 hours from Melbourne.

Having minimal farming experience in the past, my experiences so far have been a real learning curve! 

So far I've been;
  • Mustering (gathering) sheep into 'mobs' (groups) 
  • Droving sheep (moving) from one paddock to another on my trusty quad bike
  • Drafting (separating) the ewes from the lambs as they run down a 'race' (metal runway)
  • Repairing wire fences
  • Driving the Utes all over the farm
  • Bottle-feeding gorgeous little orphan lambs
  • Preparing hay paddocks ready for mowing
  • Testing stock water quality for salt levels
  • Weighing lambs for selling to Aussie supermarkets
  • Assisting with lamb marking- which includes a 5-in-1 vaccination, ear tagging, and castrating their tails and boy-bits with elastic bands (elasticators!)
It's been Spring weather so far so a bit of everything, though as it comes into summer I'll be ditching my very attractive waterproof trousers, jacket and gumboots in favour of a sun hat, t-shirt and shorts ready to get a farmers' tan :)

Here are some pics of my farm life so far...

George and Junior before I started fattening them up :)

Fencing in progress

Ready for Drafting

Little lamb being marked

New best friends- quad bike and Bindy

Feeding my babies

Daunting approaching mob!

Happy as Larry

Canola Field

New gum boots and fleece :)


Lamb kicked me!

Chasing a wild Emu

Queen of the mowers

Watch this space for more updates from life on the farm, and a blog post re-capping my month spent travelling around Oz and Indo with Mum!

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