Fencing Out Wild Dogs - Featuring Nigel and Rosemary

A MAJOR wild dog and kangaroo fencing program has helped Mitchell stud and commercial Merino breeder, Nigel Brumpton, significantly boost his annual lambing rates.

Working in partnership with his wife Rosemary and parents, Reuben and Heather, Mr Brumpton runs 20,000 stud and commercial sheep on five properties in the Mitchell district including two main home properties, Baynham and Mount Ascot.

The Brumpton family have finished 50km of dog-proof fencing at Mount Ascot and are working on the last 13km of a 25km program at Baynham.

"The eventual aim is to have each property completely isolated by the fencing which is not only for wild dogs but also for roos as well," he said. "The roos are actually what let the dogs in in the first place.

"We had a lot of existing netting fences that my parents built 50 years ago but the roos had damaged these fences over the years and allowed the dogs to come in.

"We've been working on this fencing program for several years now and are really looking forward to seeing the end result.

We have been getting substantially lower lambing rates of 30-40pc less in paddocks that haven't been fenced so it will be a relief to get it finished."

The Brumptons are using a product from Clipex to build the 180cm high fence.

"We are using 150cm 14 line, six knot fencing that has two barbs on the top to make a total height of 180cm," Mr Brumpton said.

"We are also putting a barb along the bottom to deter the dogs from digging underneath.

"We are using 180mm pipe for the post and stay assemblies and the stays are 180cm in the ground and 180cm above so they are built to last.

"We've been really impressed with the Clipex product because the netting clips directly on to the posts so you don't have to tie it on, which has reduced our installation costs substantially.

"This stuff is also a lot stronger than other products we have used; the roos can't knock holes in it which is why we have changed to Clipex."

At a total cost of $6500/km, the fence doesn't come cheap but Mr Brumpton views it as a long-term investment.

"Our children are very keen on the family business so we aren't interested in building fences for the short term," he said.

"We are building these to last and I think they are a necessity if you want to run sheep around Mitchell.

"We have neighbours with sheep that haven't marked a lamb in a couple of years because of the dogs."

Mr Brumpton also baits and traps heavily and is using donkeys and Maremma dogs as guardian animals.

He said a small number of wild dogs were still impacting on sheep in paddocks that had been fenced, but he said the impact was significantly less than in unfenced paddocks.

"We think that some dogs have learned to climb or jump the fence," he said.

"We have one dog who is really frustrating us at the moment – we can't see where he is coming in, which leads us to believe he is jumping the fence and he just comes and goes as he pleases.

"It's an ongoing war and that's why we think fencing is the only real long-term option for us to stay in sheep."

Written By: Penelope Arthur

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