Grazing management for conservation at Ginninderra
The sheep at Ginninderra play a key role in conservation and management of the site by reducing weeds, controlling biomass and reducing fire risk.
Our Grazing Management Plan
The sheep that graze the property are a mix of Merino and crossbred ewes and are provided as part of an agistment arrangement. Grazing at Ginninderra has proven to be the best practice for controlling biomass and fire risk as well as maintaining ground coverage for healthy pastures and competition for weeds.
The sheep’s grazing pattern throughout the year is determined by our Grazing Management Plan. The plan aims to balance agricultural production needs with the right stocking rates and timing for our conservation objectives.
We need to provide adequate pasture and nutrition for the sheep and appropriate lambing paddocks to meet agricultural production needs. We achieve this without affecting conservation by:
- having a mostly light stocking rate throughout the year
- carefully timing grazing
- undertaking more intensive pulse grazing over the autumn to reduce bulk biomass and open the conservation areas up for new native plant growth.
Looking after the sheep
Our onsite manager looks after the sheep. This involves checking their health, ensuring that nutritional requirements are met and making sure adequate food and water are available.
When the ewes are lambing, daily checks are required to make sure they’re not having any problems such as breech lambs or cast sheep. Cast is when a sheep has rolled over onto its back and isn’t able to get up without assistance.
We monitor the sheep health for protection against disease and implement and coordinate vaccination programs in line with best practice management standards.
Water supply for the sheep
The water catchment areas are grazed at a lower stocking rate to maintain catchment health and provide opportunities for water to seep into the ground, reducing stormwater pollution, sedimentation build up and encouraging correct infiltration.
We currently use a bore on the eastern side of the property to supply livestock with drinking water to enable natural water catchments to be fenced and protected.