The drought : HOw the farm is affected.
People who have been visiting the farm recently have been asking me what impact the drought is having on us.
So I thought I would share how the drought is affecting us.
Being in Sydney means we are very lucky!
We are better off than rural farmers in a few ways, We are on town water so we don’t run out of water. We do use rain water so no rain means we have to use more of Sydney water adding to our expenses. But still our animals will never run out of water.
Most farmers breed or raise animals with the plan to sell all of them except their breeding females and a small selection of breeding males.
That's their yearly income. They need to make that last till the next year unless they run a mixed farm like crops or mixed animals.
Our income is based on people visiting us and booking our displays not based on the turnover of animals.
So as long as the number of people visiting us each week is around the same and our expenses don’t change much then we are ok.
How we are affected?
This last 2 years has been a struggle for us for a few reasons
Lucerne HAY is what our animals live on, during good years we have grass as well but not the last 2 years.
Lucerne HAY is mostly sold out in NSW, VICTORIA, and QUEENSLAND and with the drought the way it is it will be a long time before it will be available. Mid 2019 rain dependent.
What this means is the quality of the animal feed that is available is very poor. Mostly dry grass that has no or very little nutrients in it.
The price of hay has risen so much that for most farmers it is NOT affordable.
In addition to the low-quality brown grass hay. We now also need to feed out pellets or grain to give the animals the nutrients and protein they are missing, this cost is added to the already overpriced feed bill.
So feeding the animals is now costing 4 x more than 3 years ago. Based on the same number of animals.
We have been taking on over 400 orphan animals each year. This year we accepted even more. These animals cost us around $350 each to raise on a normal year. I am too scared to work out what it is this year.
We normally have around 40 bottle fed babies at the moment we are more than double that.
With the country not having good feed the animals that normally birth now don't have enough energy to make milk so are not able to feed the babies or die birthing them. the ones that do survive need grass or hay to eat as well as water.
Why not sell some of our animals?
Our animals are pets the orphans we save and raise as well as my miniature goats I breed are all sold as pets or breeding animals.
As they cost so much in time, love, medication and feed to raise them we only sell them to good homes and a high price about twice what normal animals sell for.
Our problem this year is no one has grass and can’t buy hay so we are not selling may pets meaning we are feeding more animals than normal.
What you can do to help us?
We are not asking for donations or money meant for rural farmers!
All we ask if you would like to help us out, is to visit our farm!
Or buy a gift voucher for friends or family to visit us.
Your entry fee will go to keeping the farm running.
The way things are going at the moment we will soon have to raise the entry fee.
We have lots of family, friends and suppliers who are rural farmers so we understand what they are going through and how hard it is for them, the buy a bale programs are such a great help to rural farmers and their animals, We would not do anything to take away from them and help where ever we can.
But as city farmers as all the hay is bought up by the programs and sent out west, I can't buy any for our animals. What happens then?
We are working on it, but are not sure.
If you now of someone selling large hay bails or round bails, please email me!
We use a truck load a week depending on how many tonne it is.
So if you have been before or are coming today and enjoy your day continue to support us by buying a GIFT CARD for your friends or family.
Posting a review or just telling people about us will also help.
It may just help to keep us open for you and your children to visit in the future!
Thank you for taking the time to read and for supporting us
Golden Ridge Animal Farm
For more information or to buy a gift card you can drop past the farm or contact me 0411441253 or