You might be thinking about heading out to regional Australia later this year, particularly with the Australian Government considering giving young Aussie job seekers incentives to work on farms.
If farm life piques your interest and your scoping out the latest house and pet sits in rural parts of the country, brush up on your farm animal care to make sure you’re ready for every challenge.
Barns, sheds and shady tree-lined spaces can all form protective shelters for farm animals. Areas should always be clean and dry to avoid animals from becoming sick. Spread sand, wood chip or gravel across shelter areas to reduce mud and manure on the floor. The shelter will keep animals happy, relaxed and safe when they need to escape from the elements.
Availability of clean, fresh water is an absolute necessity, particularly for those animals that require milking. Temperate water helps livestock to regulate their body temperature and fills them up, so less feeding is required. Clean water is crucial to the health and wellbeing of farm animals.
Every animal has different diet requirements, but each needs adequate nutrients from minerals, vitamins and proteins for energy and overall health. Seasonal changes will require an adjustment for the amount of food given to animals. Most usually need more food during winter months. Providing feed in small amounts every few hours can help reduce waste.
Be a Friend
Animals are known as stress relievers and can positively impact the lives of humans. Spend time getting to know the animals on the farm – their breed characteristics and care needs. Develop a positive relationship with your animals, and they will be happy, and so will you.
Keep up checks and treatments for parasites and regularly groom animals to make sure their coats are clean and healthy. They will also enjoy the time you spend with them.
Animals like to be with other animals of their breed. Keep them together for socialisation, and companionship for happy animals.
Protecting Farm Animals
As we move into the warmer months of Australia, drought and bushfires play on the minds of many farm owners. An evacuation strategy should be understood and regularly reviewed by everyone on the property to stay prepared for unexpected events. The RSPCA provides advice about managing farm animals through a drought.
Browse house and pet sitting positions available in farming and rural areas online. Before booking a house and pet sitting position or engaging a house and pet sitter, check the health and travel guidelines for your state to ensure it is safe.