Sheep and cattle graze happily together on lush green pastures on a farm near Walkerville in South Gippsland.
My French born neighbours were stunned when they first came to Australia and saw both animals in the same paddocks…in France, the better pasture is always reserved for the cows.
Many farmers in Victoria choose to graze different types of stock side-by-side, which adds to the diversity of the soil bound organisms and generally helps to improve soil nutrition.
Organic / Permaculture farmers tend to rotate different types of animals over the same ground in cycles…pigs help to dig up the soil…chooks scratch and pick up many of the bugs including slugs which can decimate vegetable crops…ducks are wonderfuls companions in an orchard as they clean up snails and add their own fertilizer to the base of the trees…sheep and goat manure is very gentle and can be put straight on to a vegetable garden… horse manure can be high in some nitrients but must be left to decompose for a while first…dried cow pats (clumps of manure) make wonderful seedling raising mix when crumbled into fine particles.
Farmed rabbits are also an excellent addition to the organic garden and the litter underneath their cages makes terrific mulch for any plants. We raised up to 30 at a time and ate one every week. The New Zealand White Rabbit being our preferred breed for eating. We did find that some of them had delightful natures and made lovely pets as well.
To see more photographs of this magnificent area in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, visit http://south-gippsland.com/walkerville.htm