wallaroos and wallabies (herein referred to as just kangaroos) have long been
persecuted and culled on the land predominately due to their grazing nature.
believe that the kangaroos grass and herbivorous diet puts them in direct competition
to cattle and sheep, and therefore they are considered as pests.
This is not necessarily the case, particularly in times of good growth.
Dry Sheep Equivalent (DSE) system was developed to help farmers compare feed requirements
for different classes of stock as well as to determine the carrying capacity of
measuring the energy requirements of livestock, the standard
animal against which all other animals are compared is a 50kg
wether sheep maintaining a constant weight. By definition, a
50kg wether has a dry sheep equivalent (DSE) rating of 1, animals
requiring more feed have a higher rating, and animals requiring
less feed have a lower rating. The DSE rating of all classes
of stock is based on the feed requirements of the animals.
can also be used to compare feed intake of sheep, cattle and kangaroos.
is simple -
50kg dry sheep has a DSE rating of 1.
450kg dry cow has a DSE rating of 6, meaning that one cow would
eats six times more grass than one sheep.
800kg bull has a DSE rating of 10, meaning that one bull.would
eat ten times more grass than one sheep.
at different age stages and pregnant cows have different energy
requirements and therefore have different DSE ratings ..-
which are more than a standard cow or bull.
a horse has a DSE of 10.
have a DSE rating of around 0.125, meaning that it would take
8 rabbits to eat the same amount of grass as one
are known to have a DSE rating of .625, meaning that
one kangaroo would.eat
only 62.5% of that of one
only compete with livestock for pasture when total grazing pressure exceeds dry
matter production. To estimate the contribution of kangaroos to total grazing
pressure, research has shown that one dry sheep equivalent (DSE) equals 1.6 kangaroos
or one kangaroo equals 0.625 DSE. In addition, the contribution of rabbits to
the total grazing pressure may be considerable. It is estimated that eight to
ten rabbits equal one DSE. Often, alleged kangaroo damage to pastures or crops
is due, at least in part, to rabbits. Grazing by kangaroos (and rabbits) does,
however, reduce potential yields of hay.
and other complaints.....
people also believe that kangaroos transfer internal parasites to stock. This
belief is groundless as most parasites to kangaroos are specific to marsupials
and are not hosted by cattle and sheep. There
are two exceptions - liver fluke and tapeworm - however it is believed that liver
fluke was introduced to Australia via the importation of domestic cattle and the
parasite was actually transferred to marsupials. And, it
is more likely that tapeworm is transferred from farm dogs to cattle after feeding
them uncooked offal from culled marsupials, there is no direct transfer of tapeworm
from marsupials to stock.
belief that footrot can be carried by kangaroos and transmitted to livestock is
also false, as this is not a disease associated with marsupials.
is often the bain of a farmer when kangaroos damage fencing in their efforts to
access feed and water. This can be easily - and quite cheaply - rectified.
are several ways that farmers can adapt their properties for the inclusion of
fencing can be used to keep stock in one area, and too keep
swing gates so that kangaroos can enter an area - stock will
not use these gates.
grazing patterns can be disrupted by loud noises and lights.
This will encourage kangaroos to move.to
other areas ..during periods of
small dams in bush areas so that kangaroos are not seeking water
in stock areas.
hand feed kangaroos as this will encourage them to stay in the
area and they will be less likely to range freely and graze
This article has been produced using the information from
the resources below. It is not the work of Fourth Crossing .....Wildlife.
The intent for reproducing this information is to share knowledge
with the wildlife community and help conserve .....Australian
Department of Primary Industries
Alex Russell Source: W. McDonald, previously Program Leader
Pastures (North), Tamworth and Dr P. Orchard, previously, Program
Leader Pastures (South), Wagga Wagga
Department of Primary Industries
by John Harkin, Biosecurity Victoria