18 Jun Big Buck
Feeding hungry kangaroos in the drought brought an unexpected challenge which kept me on my toes and aged me by about 20 years.
It came in the form of Big Buck, a future contender for alpha male, who grazed on the front lawn in the evening, the only green pick on my farm, with four or five other bucks.
A clap of my hands would send the other bucks over the fence to join the rest of the mob at the feed station. Not Big Buck who would advance towards me growling.
When he reached the veranda I ducked inside, suitably intimidated.
I then had to wait until he moved back towards the fence to continue grazing.
Seizing the opportunity I called the pre-release joeys, rattled their bottles and sprinted through the gate at the other end of the lawn leading to the night enclosure with the joeys hot on my heels.
Then the excitement began. As we reached the enclosure Big Buck vaulted the fence 4 metres behind us,
It is only a mild exaggeration to say that I could feel his breath on the back of my neck. Big Buck would eventually return to the lawn.
To avoid bumping into him in the dark with a dodgy headlamp I had to take the long way home through the donkey stalls, shed paddock and carport to reach the back door. As I did so I silently thanked the builder for putting a second gate in the enclosure which turned out be my escape route.
I don’t blame Big Buck one bit for scaring the beejeevers out of me. The fact that I was between him and his girls was possibly the cause of his behaviour.
Thanks to the good Autumn break triggering a flush of new growth in the paddocks, the ‘roos now have plentiful feed.
Big Buck is still with the mob and no longer views me as a threat.