-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

kangaroos

They look really cute. We have hordes of them at Amherst as they all live in the forest next door and come out at dawn & dusk, making their way along the valley floor, clearing paddock fences with a single bound.

But."At night during the summer, kangaroos graze on grass with sharp pointed leaves called spinifex, and low herbaceous plants. They like to eat large plants and will even devour cardboard"

Now, I knew they'd be a challenge but didn't realise the full extent.

More research is called for, but so far have found one - pretty extreme - tip for dealing with them (via ABC Perth): "Take 6 eggs and one litre of water, Break the eggs into the water, mix it up, put in in a container ( with a lid) and leave it in a warm place (outside in the sun) to go off for a few days (about three will do). Mix this by now absolutely revolting mixture up with 25ml of white acrylic paint. Any colour will do really, the idea is that you can see where you have sprayed. The paint helps the mixture stick to the leaves. Spray it on your fruit trees or garden. It should deter herbivores which do not like protein". Uggh.



Another suggestion is to plant them near gum trees. According to this study, kangaroos don't like plants that contain quinine, like gum trees, as it gives them a stomach ache. They avoid these plants by smell, so if you plant gum trees near your more susceptible plants it might help to deter kangaroos.

I'm not sure how similar kangaroos are to rabbits and deer in their eating preferences, but just in case they're similar, here's a list of plants that the latter two don't like. (warning: it's a PDF). The general rules seem to be that they don't like plants with fragrant leaves, or that have sticky / rough / fuzzy textures. They also, unsurprisingly, don't like plants that have spines like cactii or holly.

Yet another smell deterrent tip comes from about halfway down this message board:
"Animals don't like the smell of fish fertiliser. Neither do i actually. So if you give the plants a weak weekly dose of fish fert, it may help. Add a cup of urine to the mix. A natural territorial marker. It can work for possums and sometimes kangaroos. (Unless there's a drought when they'll eat anything.)"

I guess we will just have to wait and see, and if all else fails be willing to invest in fencing.

1 comment:

RLB said...

I was just reading This Old House online today and they had this product highlighted -
http://www.scatmat.com/Products/Scarecrow/
I bet it would work for you, and apparently only uses 2 cups of water, so wouldn't be too wasteful. I wonder if traditional cat and dog deterents like cayene pepper would work, especially if you don't get much rain to wash it away. . .