Self herding in the centre

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) hosted Bruce Maynard, a passionate farmer and co-developer of the Maynard and Revell self herding and self shepherding management practice, in Alice Springs from Monday 29 July – Friday 2 August.

Self herding is a livestock management approach that uses positive reinforcement to influence grazing behaviour and encourage cattle to move into underutilised areas of paddocks.

Maynard’s visit to Central Australia provided an excellent opportunity for:

  • a producer workshop
  • collaboration with local researchers about integration of self herding into Central Australia
  • and a visit to Lyndavale cattle station.

Self herding workshop

On Tuesday 30 July, Maynard conducted a two hour workshop at Alice Springs Desert Park where participants were introduced to the concept of self herding.

Maynard encourages producers to use high level stockmanship and low stress handling practices, demonstrating the positive effects of cattle choosing to be involved in their own management, rather than being forced to participate.

“Bruce emphasised that animals need to learn how to adapt, so that when they are confined in yards, being trucked, placed in a feedlot or facing unfamiliar situations such as dry times, they are more resilient,” said Meg Humphrys, DPIR Pastoral Extension Officer.

Lyndavale cattle station

A small producer group workshop was coordinated at Lyndavale cattle station south of Alice Springs, with a focus on producer needs and how self herding can inform them. Some of the potential benefits to producers in the region discussed were:

  • encouraging cattle to stay at new watering points
  • wild dog management
  • feral camel management
  • maintaining weight on cattle during transportation
  • and weaner training.

Familiarity and diversity in cattle management were the take home messages from Bruce’s sessions.

Get involved

Producers who are interested in being involved with future sessions, low stress stock handling courses and a potential Central Australian self herding producer demonstration site are asked to contact Meg Humphrys, DPIR Pastoral Extension Officer.

Phone: 0427 373 011

Email: meg.humphrys@nt.gov.au

For further information about self herding, please see:

Bruce Maynard demonstrates self herding management practices out in the field, with a cow and ute in the background.

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