The afternoon playing session for the kids. Must have logs and mounds of dirt/grass to play on.
1. To our animals
“Yes, that’s a thistle under my right ear and I want someone to get it out, please”
Yes, well who couldn't answer the call of help from these animals. We try our hardest to do the best for all of our animals. We undertake a variety of jobs to make their life more comfortable. Here are some to name a few.
Clean Water. We have a water reticulation system around the farm so that the goats are able to access clean fresh water at all times. They do not have to rely on water in dams etc.
Toe nailing. We trim their nails if needed to ensure they can walk properly. Yes that is 2000 goats x 4 feet each – that is 8000 rounds of nails to trim.
Wigging. If in between shearing, the mohair has grown over their eyes to the point that they have trouble seeing, we trim the hair on the face or wig them.
Drenching. This involves giving the goats a dose of liquid drench. This happens only as often as necessary. We do not run a set drenching program, because we do not want to introduce anymore chemicals to their bodies other than what is absolutely necessary. Also we do not want to run the goats through the yards any more than is necessary as they can sometimes find this stressful.
Crutching. This is when we shear fleece off around the back end and has two purposes. It removes any wet urine stains that may attract flies and more importantly, it removes hair from near the doe’s udder, so that in kidding season, the kids can easily find their mother’s udder to drink from.
Foot baths. If we have prolonged wet periods the goats can get sore feet. We attend to this by running them through a bath of salts, this encourages healing of the feet.
Supplementary feeding when necessary.
Predator control. We are constantly checking for evidence of wild dogs as these will kill our goats. We use Maremma dogs to protect the goats but we are always checking to make sure that we don’t have any problems.
Maremma pup in training, learning to watch over kids while feeding.
2. To the environment
Wagtail Yarns’ future relies on the on-going production and processing of commercial quantities of fine mohair grown on Wallum Downs land.
Not only are we reliant on the goats to produce the mohair, we are equally reliant on the land being able to sustain the goats, and it is therefore vital that all measures are taken to sustain a healthy, ecco-friendly farm. From the outset we made a commitment to operate in a way that ensures that the activities of production and processing not only help produce a quality yarn, but are not taxing on the immediate and wider environment.
Wagtail Yarns makes conscious efforts to minimise any impact on the environment and continually reassesses methods and resources used on the farm, which include:
- Minimising the use of chemicals in the production process.
- Utilising natural resources such as ‘solar power’ to pump water around the farm for the animals and for processing the fibre
- All washing and dyeing of the fibre is done on the farm with the waste products (dirt and all water used) returning to the soil. All products used are checked for their biodegradability. All waste water is used for irrigating plants around the mill.
- Air-drying the fibre and yarn naturally, eliminating the use of heated driers and producing a finer and softer quality yarn
- Minimise the use of chemicals or harmful fertilizers to treat the land that our goats browse on – but we do give back to the land using lime to rebalance the calcium and other missing elements to help create a more fertile soil.
- Employ careful herd management strategies which help maintain vegetation and enhance the productivity of the land – keeping a healthy and responsible balance between the land and production.
3. To our employees
Here at Wagtails, we are firm believers in equality and fairness – both adopted values that we adhere to and practice. And it is this ethos that is carried through from how we work with our animals and land; to the people we employ to work for us: helping with maintenance and running of the farm to yarn production and the creation of our range of luxury products.
We believe in giving back to the local and wider community and use a combination of reliable resources including local and international employees. This we find helps us maintain an open minded perspective of how we operate our business, as we value feedback and suggestions from all the individuals we employ.
We follow these fundamental principles:
- We never expect our employees to do a job that we are not prepared to do ourselves.
- Our product is a 100% Australian owned and produced. Because we believe in fair pay, we pay all of our employees above the Australian Award wages, and any Superannuation they are entitled to, currently 9.5%.
- We operate a safe working environment, and take every precaution to guarantee the health and safety of our employees.
- We operate a friendly and flexible working environment.
- We empower our employees with the skills and tools to do their job and encourage them to learn and develop new skills on the farm.
Work and then play for people who work with us.