Living in a rural area is a blessing…as a nature lover and an owner of domestic animals it is up to us to make sure that the two live in a respectful way.
We didn’t move to the country to urbanise our lives nor did we move here to intrude on the natural environment around us.
We certainly had a culture shock when we moved..yes we had 11 acres of land surrounding us and we knew we would have wildlife…and within the first 10 minutes of me waiting for the keys to our new home the dogs and I met the locals….a mob of roos..the dogs were beside themselves..they had never seen anything like this before..the roos …well they seemed bemused..and as they took off across our front yard the realisation of the work we had to do was abundantly clear!
The 11 acres is fenced..but the house had no yard of it’s own..this was the first priority..we set about the house yard fencing..farm fencing typical of the area..with wire strands and chicken wire.
This gave the dogs an area to wander safely..within a week we had our first snake..this was bailed up by one of the dogs and one of the cats..right on the other side of the new fence!
Again another reality check…since this snake mesh has been put on the bottom and yet still a baby Eastern Brown managed this year to get through and we had an Emergency trip to the vet with Forrest..
We have seen Forrest when he sees the roos..he runs..he jumps…and he could clearly as a bigger dog leap that fence..so we are mid Paling fence erection ..the entire back half of the house yard will be high paling fence with snake mesh at the bottom…this will keep the dogs safe..you see when I go out they are inside the house..so for the last nearly 3 years we only go out for shorter periods of time…money and time required to get the fence finished has been tough with kids getting married and life in general..my point is though we chose to move..we are responsible for not only our pets but the wildlife that we share our home with.
Dogs can be killed by roos..there are fines for allowing your domestic pets to threaten any wildlife ..if your dogs get out and are caught on someones property with their livestock they can legally shoot them..so we are very mindful of the balance of domestic and wild creatures.
Even our fencing around the property we are careful with…roos can jump! and they jump high..but joeys out of pouch often cannot..you see if they jump and can’t quite make it they hang from the fencing..so how to solve this…we have old areas of fencing with barbed wire..these fences we left in place because there are ample areas for joeys to get under or through the strands on it , the majority of the fencing is wire strands without barbed wire…when we did the fencing for the paddocks we made sure some areas had spots to get under…so far we have had no problems..
A stressed roo is likely to have the highest chance of panicking and hitting a fence..so we don’t stress the roos..if they are out the front for a visit I put the dogs in the laundry on their beds…this gives the roos a chance to graze and move on as they wish…we walk the dogs on lead ALL the time…this ensures no chasing….no running in to a bush where a snake may be…we do play off lead with their toys ..this we do after checking for roos..and we always have treats for a quick recall.
Life is a balance..we love nature and as long as we do our part the balance will work..we have 40 different species of birds plus lizards,skinks,snakes,sugar gliders,possums,rabbits,foxes,legless lizards,roos,echidnas, scorpions, gekkoes, butterflies, grasshoppers ,ducks,tortoises,yabbies and a multitude of insects..we also have two dogs four cats and three sheep….
We certainly have learnt a lot about respect since we bought our property nearly three years ago….
I hope we are blessed with our wildlife friends for many years to come.