Written by – Kylie Savidge, Owner, Southampton Station.
The bang tail muster of Easter 2017 has come and gone, with weaning taking place earlier than normal due to our season turning dry again. There has been no rain of any significance since Sept 2016. This has led to minimal grass growth and cows not being able to maintain both their own condition and that of their calves. To keep them in the best shape possible the calves were weaned early, at around 4-5 months instead of the normal 6-8 months.
The 2 Mile dam gradually going back.
In the next few weeks we will wean again, taking off the calves that were babies and marked at Easter time, giving their mothers a chance to hold condition over the dry winter months until rains hopefully come in early spring.
By the time you have read this last entry we will have completed the small amount of cattle work needed and be into a full feeding and weaning regime.
At present as I type we are feeding cotton seed out twice a week along with molasses poured over it to help cattle boost their energy levels and protein intake. Dozers have started working again pushing scrub and my chainsaw will come out of her protective casing and once more get to work cutting mulga for stockfeed.
Cotton seed loaded and ready to put out.
Cotton seed and molasses.
Jack, who is 17 now, is looking forward to his next step in life, graduating year 12 from Downlands College in Nov and looking to get a heavy machinery apprenticeship somewhere shortly thereafter. He is currently home on holiday busily keeping things happening for me whilst I am in town with Meg for her last week of school.
Jack making up panels for the house yard.
Ben, also, is home on holiday, capably helping as much as any person we have employed and learning the finer arts of driving, with his big brother as driving coach. Ben is currently in grade eight and seems to be settling well into the life of boarding school.
The boys both have Rocky Daihatsu utilities that they have purchased and done up with their Father’s assistance as their work utes for Southampton.
Meghan has two days left of Term Two and is eagerly awaiting the holidays so she can be out bush with her brothers as she does miss them a great deal when they are away, although this is not always noticeable after the first few days. She graduates primary school this year and next year a whole new world awaits her as she starts her boarding school journey. I am sure she will love it but I am not sure how I will cope without her. I think it will be tougher on me somehow.
Meg and Whisky, partnership in the making.
Jack giving Meg possibly unwanted advice in her netball game in the St Mary’s Shield Competition.
As for Tj, myself and my parents, we will continue on doing what we love and what we live and breathe, raising good quality beef cattle in our little part of South West Queensland, enjoying what life brings to us, keeping our eyes firmly facing forward and taking each day one step at a time.
To all who have read my contributions to Central Station, thank you, I hope that I have given some tiny insight into my world as I see it and that you understand a little about my life.
To Jane and Steph, thank you for encouraging me to write.
Jenny, Tempest, and TJ, thank you for your editing skills, your love and belief that I could nail this.
To Jack, Ben, and Meghan, you are why I am who I am and why I do what I do, never forget that.
Over and out from Kylie and the Southampton Crew.