TOUGH TIMES: Josef and Doris Baumeler sold about a third of their sheep because they don't have any grass to feed them.
TOUGH TIMES: Josef and Doris Baumeler sold about a third of their sheep because they don't have any grass to feed them. Michael Nolan

Couple forced to sell pets as drought pain lingers

GLEN Aplin hobby farmers Josef and Doris Baumeler said goodbye to eight of their pet dorpers at the Warwick Pig and Calf Sale yesterday.

It was the first time the couple has sold their livestock.

For about eight years they have run a small mob of sheep to help keep the grass under control.

"They are mostly pets, Mr Baumeler.

"We keep them around the house and feed them the occasional apple."

But with the drought in full swing there is little demand for woolly lawn mowers.

"We have only had 74mm of rain this year, which is nothing," Mrs Baumeler said.

"It is a green drought, you get some rain, the grass grows a little and then dies off quickly."

 

Making the decision to sell was not an easy one for the couple but it was one that had to be made in tough times.

Dorpers are meat sheep. Most end up at the abattoir, a fact that lingered in the minds of Josef and Doris.

"In drought you can't be sentimental," Mr Baumeler said.