Scotch thistle’s secret enemy

Scotch thistle’s secret enemy

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Rod Sansom, Oakfield Ranch, Anna Bay, says camels can mow down a paddock of unwanted vegetation very effectively.

Rod Sansom, Oakfield Ranch, Anna Bay, says camels can mow down a paddock of unwanted vegetation very effectively.

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Rod Sansom keeps good company.

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ROD Sansom keeps good company. 

His caravan of camels regularly feature at glitzy parties; play lead roles in nativity scenes but what few people know is they are first-class weed munchers.

“Camels thrive in the desert but they’re good on green paddocks to clean up unwanted weeds,” he said.

“They love Scotch thistle in particular.”

Mr Sansom, who runs Oakfield Ranch, said his camels keep his property “as clean as a whistle”.

“My neighbours have asked me how I keep my paddocks thistle-free and camels are the answer.

“I frequently have people inquire if they can loan our animals.”

Further afield, camels are being used to clear country overrun by vegetation.

“I know a bloke in Queensland who keeps 100 camels who clean up his woody shrubs and small Eucalyptus trees,” he said.

“They won’t eat Brigalow (a type of acacia), though.”

Unfortunately camels won’t eat fireweed which is a noxious weed rampant on in coastal areas. 

Camels weigh around 650 kilograms each.

Camels weigh around 650 kilograms each.

His caravan of Dromedary camels range from 25 years to five years.

“Camels can live for 45 years. They can work for you for 10 days without drink or food.”

Camels can kick in all directions. Oakfield Ranch owner Rod Sansom said a "kick in the belly" is the worst kind.

Camels can kick in all directions. Oakfield Ranch owner Rod Sansom said a "kick in the belly" is the worst kind.

Mr Sansom has his camels on show at the Australian National Field Days. He’s accompanied by his Camelid crew – his partner Dianne and son Joe. 

Oakfield Ranch regularly hires its camels out for camel rides and camel racing. 

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