Atherton Tablelands Accommodation Farmstay Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
Barking Owl Retreat Farm Stay Animals
Atherton Tablelands Farm stay accommodation Barking Owl Retreat is a 41 acre cattle fattening property pivately located at the end of a country road in Kairi on the Cairns Highlands. Our Farmstay is conveniently located just 6 minutes from Lake Tinaroo Dam, 10 minutes from Atherton, and a short drive from Yungaburra. Offering private luxury self contained cottages with the atmosphere of a Bed and Breakfast. And is home to a small heard of steers, farm dogs 'Bear' and 'Jaffa' the Red Australian Cattle Dogs, Tenterfield Terriers 'Chilli' & 'Kato', Chinese Geese 'Tully', 'Lilly', & Tullulah, and a flock of guinea fowls. From time to time we have baby animals as well. (Goslings, Guinea Fowl keets, & Puppies) We also stock different cattle from Brahmans, Doughtmasters, to our lastest addition of Brangus steers shown grazing near the dam hut below. We call them our 'Big Macs'.
You can see the cows up close when they are fed molasses in their yards. Many guests have pointed out that it is so quiet and peaceful here on our property that you can actually hear the cows eating their grass! The Farm dogs 'Chilli' 'Kato', quite often chaperone our guests when they walk down to go fishing in the retreat's private Dam. The Chinese Geese 'Tully', 'Lilly', & Tulullah, also ensure to greet all of the guests with their honk honk sound as they swim gracefully around the pond by the office amongst the wild Wood ducks and Mallards. And the guinea fowls
dart around eating bugs in the gardens and paddocks all day.
'Chilli' the Tenterfield Terrier is our smallest dog. She is sooooo cute! She is now all grown up as pictured above and below. Our largest dog is 'Bear' the Australian Red Cattle Dog who we purchased from 'Cooroorah Australian Cattle Dog Breeders' in Childers, Queensland. 'Bear' is continually swimming in the pond at the house with the Chinese Geese. 'Cash' the Tenterfield Terrier has now moved to a farm in Kairi as he is quite shy and not fond of crowds of people. He is top dog at the Kairi farm and is being spoilt rotten. 'Kato' our 2nd Tenterfield Terrier is the son of 'Cash' and 'Chilli'. We also have a new addition 'Jaffa' the Red Australian Cattle dog as a mate for 'Bear'. 'Jaffa' is proving to be quite full on and is constantly playing with 'Kato'.
'Kato' was 8 weeks old and cute as a button in these photos! He is named after the kung fu character in The Green Hornet. Being a very active little fella we think it suits him well. As you can see 'Chilli' is very protective of 'Kato' and 'Bear' gets a growl when he gets too close. He loves wrestling mum and playing with his teddies and balls. He is a very happy little puppy and is always wagging his tail just like his father 'Cash'.
Kato is growing up fast and is five and six months old in the pictures below. He is turning out to be a chip off the old block as he is so much like his dad 'Cash'.
The gander is 'Tully' and his lady is 'Lilly'. 'Lilly' has lived up to her name and has nested in the lillies by the duck pond twice now. Firstly on a broken rain gage, secondly on a tangerine, then later on a mini tennis ball. She would not leave her nest even though she didn't have any eggs. The dogs unfortunately dined on her eggs daily before she sat. I wondered why they suddenly had such beautiful coats! Eventually 'Lilly' gave up. I thought to myself she will be a good mother some day. Well that day would hopefully come sooner rather than later as she sat on 4 eggs in August 2010 which I carefully hid in the cupboard away from the dogs, and when she was ready, I placed them next to her on her nest. She was thrilled and almost smiling as she rolled them ever so gently under her warm belly with her beak. Unfortunately due to global warming, or just strange weather, I believe 2010 was the warmest winter on the Tablelands since we have lived here. Because of this and the lateness of 'Lilly' eventually sitting, her eggs did not hatch. The eggs were all fertilised and the poor babies died in the shell due to the heat we presume. 'Lilly' was forever wetting the eggs although we had unusally hot weather that August. I felt so sorry for her that I even tried to find her some baby goslings but chinese geese are hard to come by. We hoped for better luck next time as geese generally only lay and sit once a year!
Well that time finally came (third time lucky) the geese hatched their little family and had four (yes four!) baby goslings. (That is what you call baby geese) 'Lilly' sat on 5 eggs, so 4 out of 5 ain't bad. The goslings were either eating sleeping or swimming and they are growing so fast. See when they were less than a week old on the water and then at two weeks old below. The goslings as pictured below were all fully grown, and with the honk honk being a little too loud they have gone off to a breeding farm in Malanda. 'Lilly' sat again in August 12.
Here they are now all grown up!
The geese hatched 7 baby goslings in September 2012 and at almost 5 weeks 'Kato' snuggled with a newborn baby gosling. We put the gosling in with 'Chilli' and 'Kato' because it was left in the nest upside down cold and weak. So we got him warm from 'Kato' and 'Chilli's' body heat. 'Kato' got a bit playful when he woke up and he started to chew on his beak and little wings. So we took him inside the house with a hot water bottle for the day and released him that night just before dark. He was strong enough to go back with mum dad and 6 baby brothers and sisters. Once again the gaggle of geese were too noisy so this time we kept one baby and named him or her 'Billy' and the rest also went to the same breeding farm in Malanda. In September 2013 the geese hatched 7 goslings. We raised them for a few months and we have now moved them on to the Malanda breeding farm with their big brother 'Billy' to protect them. We kept one gosling named Tullulah whom we are hoping is a girl.
It is like a little menagerie at times here at Barking Owl Retreat and the Guinea Fowls have also had babies. Believe it or not they often share nests and two females hatched 18 babies together. They are terrible parents though and that 18 went down to 0. We could have taken the babies off them and raised them, but we felt that is what nature intended Hopefully they won't lose any next time! We did help raise 7 keets (baby guinea fowls) although only 4 survived. We had to put them in a cage with a heat lamp till they were strong enough to live in the wild. They now graize with mum and dad and will have their own families one day soon.
Here at Barking Owl Retreat you wake to the sound of bird song and hopefully will also be lucky enough to hear the Barking Owl's soft wook-wook call as the sun sets. The photo below is a pair of Barking Owl's that have been heard most nights in winter 2011 and sometimes seen hunting around the duck pond near the house. At certain times of the year you can also see kangaroos grazing in the early mornings and late afternoons in the paddocks and on the roadsides in to our property.
Your Hosts Chris & Tanya Bassford
409 Hough Rd, Po Box 85, Kairi
Atherton Tablelands, Cairns Highlands
Far North Queensland, 4872, Australia
Phone/Fax 07 4095 8455
International +61 7 4095 8455
Mobile 0407 695 685 Email us here