Checking twice a day to see if the pregnant cows haven’t calved already, making sure that they can’t escape the multiple huge paddocks because of fallen trees over fences after a storm, and doing all this by motorbike. But also checking the flock of sheep, and even bottle feeding newly born baby lambs. This isn’t an ordinary house sitting assignment. This is probably the best house sitting experience we could wish for!
When we were in Bali and were doing our research about how much accommodation would cost in Australia, we decided to try our luck by making an account on housecarers.com, a house sitting website that connects house owners with interested house sitters.
We were already thinking of doing this for months, but never found the right place and time to actually make it worth of setting up an account on one of the house sitting websites. Until now…
We checked the availabilities of house sitting assignments and found one that looked great in Albany, WA. The description didn’t explain much really. A bit of information about Tigger, the dog we had to care off, and about the area. But we didn’t have an idea how the house looked like, except for one picture that showed the garden and the back of the house.
Still, this little information and words like ‘lovely beaches’, ‘rural area’, and ‘the dog loves rides on the motorbike’ convinced us to send in our application.
We emailed back and forth with questions and more information, and three days after our arrival in Perth, we were already sitting at the dinner table with the house owners. Their daughter lives in Perth, so they invited us over. During that evening, it became clear that we would have to do a lot more than just taking care of Tigger.
We were going to stay on a small family operated cattle farm. Cows had to be checked twice a day because most of them would be giving birth during the six weeks we’d be there. And we had to check if nothing was wrong with the paddocks and fences.
They asked us to come over a week before they left so they could give us a tour and explain us everything. We arrived in Albany after a week of traveling from Perth down south along the rugged coastline. On our arrival, it became immediately clear that we could easily spend six weeks there. The place was huge, and the whole surroundings were so beautiful.
Let us give you an idea of what it looked like. The house lies on top of a hill, with a magnificent view, overlooking paddocks with cattle, small rivers and lakes and the Porongurup mountain range in the back. On a clear day, we could even see a glimpse of the Stirling Range! Around the house, they have multiple paddocks with cattle and sheep that they own, small forests, and a big nearby area with some sheds, a farm stay house, fruit trees, etc.
In that one week, they showed us all the things around the farm, some basic skills like cutting trees (as we had to cut wood ourselves for the fire stove), how we could see when a cow was going to give birth, tagging lambs, riding the tractor, … Every day we learned something new!
When they left, it was our turn. Every morning, we got up at sunrise to check the cows with the motorbike together with Tigger, as he loves to ride on the bike and run around the paddocks, and we collected our fresh eggs from the chicken yard. During the rest of the day, we went on little trips around the area or did some maintenance work around the farm. Before sunset, we gave the chickens their grains.
During our stay, six healthy calves got born on the natural way, without us having to help. And we bottle fed two baby lambs who got rejected by their mom.
We also had the time to cook some decent meals again, which was already a year ago! And because they had so much cooking equipment, we started making fresh pasta, desserts like cookies and cakes. We’ve cooked a lot with fresh vegetables from the veggie garden and with the apples and oranges from the fruit trees.
Could this first house sitting assignment eventually become our best house sitting experience ever? We don’t know. But after this experience, we’ll definitely do it more often, and we hope that every future assignment will give us new skills and experiences. But until this moment, this is our best house sitting experience ever!
Interested in doing some house sitting too? It’ll surely be an interesting experience, and you’ll be able to live like a local on a budget! Have a look on housecarers for your next house sitting assignment!
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