Adopta Sheep: Save Australian Sheep: Unique Gift: Last Minute Gift: Our Sheep Need You

Hello there,

These are our sheep. And they need your help. You see, they are fine wool Merinos and they live with us on a 1760 acre farm called "Uamby" in a beautiful valley here in Australia's best woolgrowing district.
We have 17 rams, 420 ewe lambs from 2006, 1500 ewes and they are lambing at the moment. Many are having twins. Unfortunately we had to sell 400 wether lambs from 2006 - but they went to a good home nearby. We are still suffering from the after effects of the most devastating drought in living memory. Many call it the worst in 1,000 years.
Last year we had less than a third of our normal rainfall. We carefully managed our pastures to give the grasses the longest time to regrow before the sheep graze on them again. We do this to protect the soil from erosion, because soil is our most precious asset. Despite our best efforts, we were forced to handfeed the sheep everyday for six months. We were able to do this, thanks to the generosity of many people who "adopted" our sheep and lambs. In the last 6 months, we have been blessed by rainfall which brought the grasses back on those paddocks we were able to save (less than half the property). Normally we would go into the low growing season of Winter with good cover of feed. But this year is different. The water table is so low... The roots of pasture grasses so stressed... Mother Nature needs a long convalescence.

To make matters worse, we seem to be headed back into drought. That will be 5 years in a row! Normally we would sell the flock, wait for the break, then restock. But this drought was so long, the price we were likely to get at market was less than 10% of what it would cost to restock when the rains returned. Besides, these are our breeding flock. We have been breeding this flock for extra-fine, extra-soft wool for the best part of a decade. By the time we thought of “Adoptasheep” we had already sent 1000 wethers (neutered males) to the slaughterhouse. (We were expecting $40 a head and got $5. And lost our boys, our best wool producers.) Our wonderful Adoptasheep supporters helped save the mothers and lambs.

Instead of hand feeding, we are now urgently trying to 'drought-proof' the property - using methods we also hope to share with other farmers. (See below.) We are looking for a permanent solution to drought, to cut down the need to hand feed. (We'll never be entirely safe from drought,but we can make a difference.) I bless the day I thought about you and all the people like you who love the land and love animals. I bless the day I had this stupid idea to offer you the chance to adopt one of our ewes or lambs. Or one of the rams. They've all got beautiful natures and loads of personality. Sheep are more intelligent than many give them credit for. They can identify up to a dozen faces, including humans. They can learn their names. They have their own social circles. A couple of ewes will conduct a creche of lambs, for instance, allowing the other ewes to go off foraging for feed.

Our sheep are precious to us and we'd hate to lose any more. We grow sheep for wool because it's not the same as growing animals up to slaughter them. We make sure they have enough shade and water and we use the most humane handling techniques. And we're always looking to improve. Because we believe contented sheep produce better wool, and better karma for everyone.


We have lovely green stuff all over the paddocks, but there is not much feed in it for sheep. The first things to grow after drought are weeds that sheep can't eat. Like this huge thistle bush...

This is why farmers don't dance for joy at the first sign of rain. There is so much to be caught up. Even now (September 2007) after good rain during the year, we are still hand feeding.

We have been working to drought-proof the property (as much as possible) so we have grass to feed our lambs and their mothers even when it doesn’t rain for long periods. We are fencing our paddocks into smaller units and running water to them because this will allow us to use ‘time-controlled grazing’ which encourages native grasses to grow more thickly. We have planted a wildlife corridor of trees and shrubs, connecting stands of native trees to encourage birds and mammals because more biodiversity encourages the growth of soil carbon and this precious stuff helps hold water in the soil. We have plans to renovate several poor paddocks by ‘pasture cropping’ and ‘biological farming techniques' (composting).

You can help us finish this important work. The new lambs are arriving – ready for adoption.

So this is your opportunity to adopt a sheep. WE set the price at $35 for 100 days' feed becasue that is what it cost. So we'll stay with $35. It will mean the world to your sheep.
NAME YOUR SHEEP When you sponsor a sheep, you will get to name it. First you tell us what sheep you want: a lovely motherly ewe, a frolicking lamb, a horny ram. Then you tell us what name you want to give it. We'll tell you if the sheep likes your choice or sends you a 'Try again' message. (Sheep are very sensitive about their names. They are very proud animals. They like to be treated with respect.)
A PHOTO OF YOUR SHEEP To thank you, we'll take a photo of your sheep that you can frame. It will be sent to you by email as soon as we get a shot the sheep will agree to release.
WRITING TO YOUR SHEEP If you want to send an email to your sheep, we will print it out and read it out to the flock. (We have too much trouble isolating an individual sheep for a personal communication. So be aware and don't get too personal in your emails.)

All adopting 'parents' can come and visit their sheep and enjoy a tour of the farm. You can find out more about the Kiely family and Uamby on
Daniel handles the lambs only when necessary because their mothers don't like other people's aromas. They may even abandon their lamb when it's very young.
You can send a cheque or money order to Michael and Louisa Kiely, ADOPT-A-SHEEP, "Uamby" RMB 384, Uamby Road, Goolma NSW AUSTRALIA 2852
We have a PayPal facility available on the "DONATION" button.
To have a chat, you can call us on (612) 6374 0329. (If you are calling from the USA, remember our morning is your afternoon, your morning is our middle of the night.)

(Thank you)


WE ARE STILL HANDFEEDING THEM because it doesn't rain grass. The first plants to come back are weeds that are inedible. BUT THEY LOOK MIGHTY...



2. PAY THE AMOUNT COVERING THE NUMBER OF SHEEP YOU WANT TO SPONSOR - $35 for one, $70 for two, etc. (Please ignore the fact that PayPal won't let you indicate that you want to sponsor more than ONE sheep. We are still trying to figure that one out.But in the meantime be assured we can work out the numebr of sheep by the amount donated.)
Q.1. What type of sheep did you want to sponsor.
Q.2. WHat name did you want to give it/them?
Q.3. If it is a gift, what is the name of the person receiving it (so we can mention them on the Certificate of Adoption)?

If you have trouble with the PayPal payment system, call us on 02 6374 0329.



'DAD WAS STOKED!": "I did this for my father for Christmas and he was quite stoked. I placed the certificate in a frame for him, and I also pulled basic info off your site and compiled it into a quick, easy-to-read document so he would know what it was all about. Has taken pride of place in his home study and he's quite thrilled! Thank you, and good luck to not only you but to all the other farmers who take this - and other projects like it - on board."

I want to tell you all that I can't thank you enough for the beautiful adoptasheep Certificates that I received from you in time to send interstate as Christmas gifts. I adopted 5 sheep for my grandchildren,and I couldn't believe it when the Certificates came through. Whoever chose the sheep for me must have been thinking on the same plane as me.When I chose the name Cecil for a Ram I was thinking of old Cec the Ram on Footrot Flats and sure enough I get one that looks exactly like him. I used to have an Uncle Harold who was pleasantly plump with curly hair, he had two ringlets that hung down on either side of his forehead that we used to say looked like little horns, so I named my second Ram Harold. My Uamby Harold looks just like Uncle Harold, young, plump with little horns. Violet the Ewe is everything I hoped she would be. A true lady, a little bit aloof, probably because she knows her breeding. The two Lambs Fleur and Blossom are absolutely gorgeous and look just like little girl sheep. I know how busy you all must be and I'm sorry for waffling on but I had to tell you. So thanks again, Kind regards...

Hi There,
We were astounded at the positive response we had to our gifts of your sheep. As a result, we would like two more.
I’ll just go on to your web site and make the order.
Thanks again


Australian Sheep: Unique Last Minute Christmas Gift


My wife and I are woolgrowers in central New South Wales, Australia. Last Christmas, after we ran out of grass and ran out of money to handfeed our sheep, more than 1300 families and individuals ‘adopted’ our sheep to save them from the slaughterhouse by paying for their feed. And it worked. This spring those ewes gave birth and we had our best ‘drop’ of lambs ever. We call them the “Miracle Lambs” because it is a miracle they are alive.

When I thought the thousands of people 'adopting' our sheep were doing it to help us survive the drought, I was half wrong. They all like to help struggling farmers. But that's not the only reason they do it. Our Adopters have given 8 reasons for adopting:

1. UNIQUE GIFT: Sheep or lamb adoption is also attractive because they are unique - the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Some givers report the receivers get quite emotional on seeing their adopted sheep. Powerful!

2. SEND OVERSEAS INSTANTLY: The 'gift' takes the form of a certificate which shows the adopted sheep, its name and the name of the adopter or gift recipient. These certificates can easily be sent via email and printed out at the recipient's end. Instant gift!

3. ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SOLUTION: One gentleman ordered 21 adoptions - one for each of his children and grand children. He said he usually agonises for days and weeks over what to give. But he did all his Christmas shopping in only a few minutes on

4. THE GIFT THAT EDUCATES: Children can be engaged in the story of their sheep, and learn about the wool industry and its role in building Australia. Adopters can request a sample of fleece and can read about the flock and the wool industry on our blog sites.

5. AUSSIE GIFT: A genuine Australian sheep who lives at an identifiable property and is looked after by an identifiable farmer who you can email and talk to by telephone is about as Aussie as you can get. Perfect for people who live overseas. Expats in London adopt sheep to give each other as gifts, to remind them of home.

6. URGENT DELIVERY VIA EMAIL: You can get your sponsorship certificate within minutes of placing your request, if needed, thanks to our telephone/Internet/email system. So, even if you are caught after the shops close on Christmas Eve, you can go to or , order and pay for your adoption, then call us to flag the urgency and give us the details of the names you want to give your sheep. We can then issue a certificate on the spot, and send it to you by email for printing at your end. Roll it up, tie it with some ribbon, and voila! Gift Ready.

7. THE DONATION YOU CAN ENJOY: Some families are trying to reduce the focus on "getting presents" by giving the money they would have spent on a gift to a charity on behalf of the recipient. While other charities are worthy, they don't give you a sheep or lamb to love and read about and write letters to and put on your wall.

+ MORE SHEEP GIFTS TO ENJOY: On you will find we also have Lamb greetings cards and Lamb t-shirts and a "shearing at Uamby" DVD for sale. We're nutty about sheep. How can you not love a lamb?

Michael Kiely
Assistant Shepherd & Sheep Papparazzi
“Uamby” via Goolma, NSW 2852
Husband of Louisa
RIRDC NSW Rural Woman of the Year Award






Here we see Louisa loading the trailer and the truck with hay. This hay is so fresh and chock full of clover, you feel like taking a chomp yourself. We are lucky. When others say they can't find any hay, our supplier Ray Keith from Temora can always manage to find best quality feed for our sheep. The bales usually flake into 'biscuits' or 10cm slices which peel off easily. But this fresh fodder sticks together, making it a little difficult to keep up with the hungry hoards following the truck. (I'd have some shots of this but it is impossible to feed and photograph at the same time. Maybelater...)

They are a drought ration, a little like a breakfast cereal. They contain wheat, oats, barley, sorghum, bran, pollard, molasses, lucerne meal, maize meal, and other good things. They are very digestible. But we prefer the original grains, so while we wait for Mr Keith to deliver the oats and barley, we feed these nuts.

This is the photograph we rushed into the living room and snapped after we received a call from The Daily Telegraph saying they were interested in doing a story but wanted some pictures. (We had sent them a press release.) Anyway, I drove to town today to pick up fuel and more sheep nuts and looked in the paper, but there was nothing there. Pushed off the front page by Kevin Rudd (who?). We are looking as sorrowful as we can because the person from the Daily Telegraph asked for it. We hate the steorytype of poor downtrodden famrers, but it sells newspapers, I suppose. Here is some of the background material we included in the press release we sent to the world's leading newspapers (including the New York Times, The Times of London, and Der Speigel):

Michael and Louisa Kiely left the big city several years ago and ‘went bush’ to join the farming families fighting to make their dreams come true in the Australian outback. “We walked away from a marketing business that was very successful, but was tearing us apart as a couple,” says Michael Kiely. “It was always Louisa’s dream to go farming, and it was always my dream to stay married to her. So here we are.”

Australia is in the grip of the worst drought in living memory, with waterways drying up and dams at historic lows. The Kiely’s have battled drought for most of their farming career. They use special farming techniques to protect the environment from degradation and make the most of what rain falls. They were recognised in 2005 by being selected as among the 10 most innovative farm families in the Central West. They use greenhouse-friendly no-till farming and humane stock-handling techniques.

The Kiely’s were able to graze their flock on green pastures long after many neighbouring farms had started hand feeding, thanks to a system called time controlled grazing which allows the grasses time to recover and encourages ‘biological diversity’. They also keep a mob of kangaroos and wallabies on their farm.

“The ‘roos deserve a place to live, too. Unfortunately they get to the best grasses before the sheep do, but we’ve learned to live with that.”

The Kiely family has also made their own private reconciliation with the original Indigenous inhabitants of the land. Wiradjuri elders conducted a ‘welcome to country’ smoking ceremony during which the Kiely’s read a declaration of commitment to protect the land. (See

We know there are many farmers who need help more than we do. But what we did to launch a campaign like Adopt A Sheep can be done by anyone with a computer, an email account, access to the Internet and a willingness to try something new.
We used BLOGGER to build the site for FREE (3 easy steps).
We used PayPal to accept payments, NO UPFRONT COST, ie. FREE (six easy steps).
We did our own PR. (This isn't free. It took me several years to learn how to write a press release. But I'll write any genuine farmer's publicity material who does the first two steps). Going to a newspaper's website and finding out who to email is FREE and two easy steps.

We will send a simple step-by-step guide to any farmer who emails for it on
In fact, if it works (and it appears to) I will tour the country teaching farmers how to do it. I've promised Dan that we will push to have it made a national program, to teach farm families how to connect with city people. Bridging the City/Country Gap has always one of our dreams.

The whole thing starts with an idea. That's the hardest part. Having ideas is a proud Australian farming tradition. I haven't met a farmer yet who wasn't an inventor.

Most marketing ideas are stolen. I stole the idea for Adopt A Sheep from World Vision which is running an "Adopt a Child for Christmas". Louisa and I were sitting at the kitchen table trying to decide whether to sell our breeding flock into a depressed market for a low price, and face buying a new flock after the drought at a high price. (DIsaster.) Or whether we can hope against hope that, if we hold out for 3 months, the rains will come... Then on comes this World Vision commercial, and I said 'adopt a chicken' as a joke, then out popped: "Adopt a sheep"... I got all excited about it, but Louisa thought it was too stupid for words and wouldn't cheer up. She was depressed and went to bed. I followed after clearing my email, but she was asleep. I tossed and turned and fell asleep, but got up around 3am and went to the computer and started work. By 7am I had finished the basics.

I had already taught myself how to create a blogsite. (3 steps) I had already taught myself how to download photos from the digital camera and upload them to the blog site. (5 steps) What I didn't know was about PayPal. Like anything else connected with technology, I was taught how to learn it from my grandson - push all the buttons and see what happens. A half-hour later I had installed PayPal as a "Make a donation" button on the blogsite.

It's that easy. It's that hard.

Goph on the right. The driver who came 12 hours too early on the left.
We had a brilliant example of the type of community spirit and genuine support that you find in the country the other night. We were out late feeding (too late because the sheep need to find their camp for the night, not run around eating). Daniel and I were trying to lure half the flock out of one paddock into another, there was a breakout and they ran as a mob all the way to the hay shed for a feed (ignoring the fact we were about the feed out anyway). Whatever, we were feeding late when Louisa came up on a quad bike saying the semitrailer had arrived carrying the load of oats that we ordered when we decided to feed for 100 days and punt on Adopt A Sheep to pay for it. It was 7.30pm and the truck was exactly 12 hours early. (Not unusual.) It turns out the semi pulled up at the Goolma pub to ask the way to our place.
Two of the locals filled their esky and led the driver out to "Uamby". Not only that, Goph (Col Doherty, one of our shearers and our guardian angel) connected up the auger we had borrowed from Carol Burns, a local farmer. He rigged up spotlights so the driver could unload. And he even switched the auger on without the key so the loading could start. (Dan had the key on him.) Then we stood around having a beer and watching the precious grain pouring into the tray of the auger and yelling a conversation above the din of the auger engine and the spiralling carrying mechanism within the huge pipe carting the grain to the top of the silo. At the outlet chute was a pile of old weavilly corn left over from the last time we hand fed grain. Afterwards it was back to the homestead and beers on the front verandah with the light off and just the stars above. Dan and Goph sat yarning til the wee hours... This voluntary helping out is like an old fashioned American barn raising. People do it because they like being together, doing something useful.

These people will drop everything and come to your assistance. For instance, on day we had a ram with very extended horns was delivered and we put him on his own in a yard near the other rams so he could settle down and we could ease him into the mob. But he jumped out and ran amok, finally getting his horns trapped in a grill and threatening to break his neck. (He cost $1500). Daniel was away. Louisa and I didn't feel competent to wrestle a fairly irate ram. So I called around and found Dan Gorrie in the pub, talking to a guy about a fencing job. Dan Gorrie is a neighbour. Within 10 minutes he was out at "Uamby", plucked the grill off the ram's horns, returned it to the yard, and stayed for a drink and a long chat. Country people can't see someone needing help without doing something about it. Wonderful. (I think they feel we city slickers need to be watched over in case we get into some real trouble.)

Between you and me, something I've noticed... People out here resent it when they hear reports about how buggered we are, ie. depressed, weary, desolate, etc. It's strange because we are all of those things. But maybe they're too proud to be comfortable being thought of as defeated. It's the same reason Centrelink has to beg farmers to apply for relief funding. They are fiercely independent and proud to be so. They are always making jokes. Laughing in the face of disaster. Like that Stan Cross cartoon:


DAN's story

Wiping the sleep from my eyes feeling drugged and limp I drag myself from my cot and notice the time is before the magic hour of 5 and realise that this actually makes me feel happy. You see if it gets too far past the happy hour then the sun starts to show itself and well there goes the nice cool breeze that most mornings have. This morning however is accompanied by a stifling smell of bushfire and a breeze that carries the heat and gives me exactly no relief on the fifty-meter walk from my cottage to the homestead.

My life before farming was spent much of the time with my feet off the ground or at least on ground that was having trouble fighting gravity. Industrial Rope Access, Climbing Guide, mountaineer. So the change from extreme sports to extreme farming has been eye opening, comical at times and wholly satisfying. The comical times were often when in search of some help with things many considered ‘general knowledge’, the looks and reactions I got from some of the locals were priceless. This happened until I was taken under the wing of an elderly gent who found my lack of knowledge as funny as I did.

Now in the fourth year of my rural adventure and the third year of drought I find myself in a dry spell that has wiped the monopoly board clean, levelling many of the weathered and tested members of the local area with them never experiencing this situation before themselves.

Coming into farming after being a city fella I can totally empathise with the urban public in relation to not knowing what is going on out in the paddocks these days with the media dictating much of what is seen. City folk seem to have the same feeling talking to me as they may when talking to a person in a wheel chair. People have trouble looking at you and speak with a very uncomfortable edge.

Finally making it across to the homestead the lack of air conditioning and the poor circulation that this house made in the 50s has makes it easy to get some tea and head on out to feed. With the size of today’s grain ration swirling around my head I realise that it is in fact a day for hay and that the remnants of yesterdays grain feed will make it to some lucky ewes mouth this morning, although probably one of the already fat stronger feeders. See within a mob there are leaders and followers, shy and strong feeders and old and wise and young and not-as-wise-yet sheep. This makes the pattern that you make while feeding all important. It needs to be as much zig as zag and it also helps if you come back to where you started as this is generally where the shy will be looking on longingly at the stronger feeding.

Feeding out by oneself is an event in itself. Low range, first gear and a prayer. You pray to be guided smooth and true and to avoid rocks, ditches and trees. With the occasional 180 degree turn to avoid the fence line.

So you feed out with the symphony of sheep drowning out the idol of the engine and the radio and generally anything else that could possibly be making noise, dog yelping from being run over by the sheep perhaps. They follow as you walk behind the trailer some diving in for a mouthful of hay before the biscuit has been detached from the bale, stalling the process for seconds and receiving a quick boot to the shoulder if they are not fast enough away. If a large section of hay does happen to fall without being broken into biscuits then I have to run to stop the ute from travelling and whistle the dogs. They enjoy a game of keep away, they have even gotten to the point where I am sure they leave enough room for the sheep to get a little to close so they can lunge at them, never making contact of course as they are very good work dogs and know the protocol.

Back at the ute I get the dogs to clear a path so I can get moving again, always very tempted to sheep surf at this point as they are so very tightly packed in around me. Moving again we continue the feeding, past the most recently dead. Crows having needed the protein of their eyes more than the sheep needed to see obviously, leaving them to foxs of the night. Guard alpacas do well for foxes, not for crows.

Sometimes a sheep lays down and is not able to get up again. This is because its internal organs have shifted to one side and it doesn’t have the strength to counteract this uneven weight distribution. I re-read an email that I sent a girlfriend that I had when I started farming and it said “I have bought a whole lot of pads and pencils and have distributed them to the sheep in hope that I will find a note on the next one I find dead with an explanation as to why they have died.” This is obviously a vain hope as I could never understand their writing although it does illustrate the difficulty in finding a seemingly healthy creature dead.

With the drought in full swing death is becoming more apparent. Sheep that were getting a full feed ration just laying there almost mockingly saying ‘you tried and failed the lesson is never try!’ Yet I know that it isn’t personal and not just my sheep. On other properties a cow having had trouble during birth the night before, a stud horse lays oddly still in a paddock with none of the other horses coming near it and no notes left behind.

The horse was properly fed and the cow may have had trouble even in a good season but the dry amplifies the event, puts it under a spot light.

I spend a lot of my time walking around on my farm checking stock, water, feed anything else that needs looking at. I walk as it gets me closer to my ground zero. The action is happening under my feet and I can see how the earth is reacting to how I am treating it with my stock. I walk among the sheep, watching their reaction to me and their general habits, it is very mediative and useful to see the health of your stock. I can’t do this anymore. If the sheep see me enter the paddock they will mob me. Coming right up to me and smelling my hands with hungry eyes, wasting valuable energy running to see me. When I leave a paddock after feeding I look up at the happy heads all down consuming their fill before their neighbour does, I look up and wish that I had more to give as I know that what is on the ground will be gone in half an hour. But I can’t give more, what I am giving is a measured ration both economically and weight. They say that a sheep only takes in 2% more water if it doesn’t have shade in its paddock, but I have seen sheep search out the shade of its neighbours shadow, now tell me that he wouldn’t rather a tree. So who do I listen to the hungry sheep or the measurement book. Do I go broke trying to keep everyone alive or do I make the call of acceptable losses?

When I arrived on the farm from the city I was very much of the ideal that farmers complain a lot and that if the system is so inherently flawed then it isn’t sustainable and that it needs to be changed. More and more farmers are now coming to this very conclusion but are stuck with the question of How then? How do we do it sustainably as even the current sustainability books are being rewritten. In Sydney I had the pleasure of being the shoulder for a confused friend who was looking to end what to them was seemingly a horrible existence. Out here I have had the pleasure of removing a shotgun from the mouth of a farming friend with the same loss of hope. With only one of them have I felt I could understand the difficulty in struggling on.

I have realised that farming isn’t hard or horrible but constant. Like chinese water torture drip, drip, drip, drip. Even as I sit here writing farming is going on out in my paddocks. I spent my first year of lambing driving to different spots near the paddocks the sheep were giving birth in, climbing on the roof racks of my 4wd and watching the sheep through binoculars for hours at a time. A lump on the ground was watched with interest until it would stand and walk off. I saw a lot, helped a few then one night a particularly violent rain and wind storm came through. 96 little bodies were what I found the next morning. I can tell you I didn’t need a note for those ones.



This post contains all the comments people have left - good and bad - about oru posts. We figure it's easier for you to read them all in one place.

Hello there

caitlin said...
Dear Kiely family,_One of the lovely quilters (we use quilt batts made from wool you know) on the Southern Cross Quilters yahoo group mentioned your site today. I've linked to you in my blog too, and will be sponsoring a sheep from next payday. Good luck, and let's get the word out there!_Cheers,_Caity
10:38 PM

hanita schlick said...
brilliant idea and I'll see if any of my new Dutch colleagues and acquaintances can be made to split with a few quid. __keep up the fight and keep writing if you can, because it makes good reading. all the best.
11:37 PM

alison chris said...
What a FANTASTIC idea!!!!!!__COme payday, we'll be sponsoring - we'd better start brainstorming a list of possible names for our future sheep to select from!!!!__Christensen clan
2:27 AM

anonymous said...
John & Maaureen Mason from England._This is a fantastic idea, and we would like to adopt four sheep if only we couild get to grips with the online form
5:20 AM

wanderer23 said...
Hi, I adopted a sheep and paid through Paypal. However, I didn't see the feature to name my sheep...I'm not sure why. Good luck with the adoptions...I'm passing the word along to my American friends. I hope it helps!
8:51 AM

anonymous said...
Someone posted about this on obsidian fleets forum ( So You've got my donation at least._I'm in the UK... well to be more specific Wales. Wales where there is more sheep than humans, although it rains a lot.__HTH__Kirrus
1:55 PM

matt said...
Could I please sponsor the guard alpaca?
3:17 PM

anonymous said...
If I sponsor a sheep- do I get a certificate when the farmer cuts half the sheep's bum off because hes too lazy to use other available methods for fly strike?_Do I get a certificate when the farmer sends the poor little creature to a slaughterhouse?_Do I get a certificate when the animal is a slab of meat on a plate?__Sheep lover.
4:16 PM

margaret alderson said...
Hi Michael and Family,_Wish I had thought of this when we were on the farm and going thru our third major drought in ten years.Will certainly be sponsoring a sheep and Good luck. Pity "sheep lover" above doesn't get their facts right._Margaret Alderson (former wool grower from Gilgandra NSW now retired in Maryborough Victoria)
4:42 PM

anonymous said...
I just want to wish you and your family all the best in the quest to try to keep your precious animals alive in this drought. Good on you for thinking laterally. I have placed your blog link on a site called Care2. It is a world wide site for people who care about others. There is a news section of what is happening around the world. There is over 6,000,000 membership there. Check it out. Look in the news network in the animals section. Good luck in your endeavours. Cheers Ann
3:34 AM


anonymous said...
Hi, We are located in the Central West and this drought is horrible especially for the farmers that are generally doing it tough and rely solely on their farm for income and have had none for years - although you DON'T APPEAR TO BE as I have just seen on the following website which appears to be a very successful business you are still running ?????? No wonder you have come up with this idea ?????
10:46 PM

fred schebesta said...
I agree this is a golden concept! I love innovation and especially from the farming sector! I really think that Michael Kiely has innovatively combined marketing expertise to fix and make more aware a serious problem. __Keep on feeding those sheep as we need all the farmers out there! __I think we need more innovative farmers like Michael Kiely!
5:07 AM

michael kiely said...
Dear Anonymous,__Thank you for your comment._There are lots of farmers more deserving than we are and hopefully they are getting drought relief funding. We don't get any because you've got to be on your knees before you qualify. If this campaign works, we have committed to teaching other farmers how to do the same thing, and engaging NSW FArmers and the NFF in pushing for a national program to train farm families in how to use technology to connect with city people. Oh, and by the way, as soon as we have adopted out all our sheep, we will start adopting out other people's flocks. (We are a long way from adopting out 2500 sheep - we have adopted 200 so far.) _Our off farm income has dwindled in recent years dramatically... Much of the earning time Louisa and I have spent campaigning for the right of farmers to share in the carbon credit trade through soil carbon, which could be worth billions to Australian farm families - see and We travel nearly every week to somewhere different to tell farmers about this opportunity or to brief government officials and agripoliticians._Since my operation to remove a kidney (cancer) last year, my off-farm income has slipped. Anyone who's had a kidney out will tell you it slows you down. The Parkinsons doesn't help either. We're only trying to do the best with what we've got. (Links to all the sites talking about our off-farm income sources are available on this site.)
12:37 PM

da bug said...
ahh Anonymous I can understand how you feel BUT the keilys have come up with great crazy funny scheme and I congratlate them and sincerely hope it works. Give credit where credit is due and hope this idea catches on everywhere so all farmers will benefit from one mans imagination. Id like to see schools, businesses etc get involved. They adopt children (re sponsorship) overseas so why not in our own backyard. Eagerly awaiting adoption papers lol
2:18 PM

anonymous said...
Great idea Michael!_I can't afford to adopt a sheep at the moment as I've just had to part with a small fortune to ensure my ponies have hay for the coming months, however i'll keep you in mind after christmas and i'll certainly send your link to all my friends._best of luck!
7:53 PM

charlotte said...
What a great idea! I'd much rather sponsor an Aussie sheep than a goat in Africa - sorry, guys, but charity begins at home!_Is there any way of getting other farms involved in the scheme? I'm sure there are tens of thousands of city folk who would love to help.
7:59 PM

george said...
anonymous - you should look for other poppies to chop down - so what if they have other income streams - good luck to them If you decide to adopt a sheep should they be means tested ???_If you are smart ,clever enough or work hard enough to have a second income stream so what of it, Jealousy isnt a pretty trait!
5:05 AM

jessicuh said...
This is an awesome idea! As soon as i read about it i fell in love with it and i couldnt help but send through a donation! I hope alot of others support this idea and good luck!
5:38 AM

anonymous said...
I noticed you said you got $5 per head for your sheep at market.__With the price of lamb these days my friends and I would be happy to buy 20 for say $200 bucks and we'll slaughter them ourselves__Does this sound good to you?
8:01 PM

anonymous said...
Sorry, that was an unintentional comment. I think it's a great idea and welcome the opportunity to help our primary industries.__Best wishes
8:07 PM


anonymous said...
Can I adop Rafael too? Why not consider Alpaca wool? I personally prefer that over sheep wool
4:06 AM


shep said...
Hi_Nice site!_Having grown up in Cobar in far western NSW, I have seen and experienced far worse drought conditions than I can see in these photos. As such, I am not up for donating, but good luck with your endeavours. Hopefully you will raise awareness in the wider community enough to make a difference.
5:13 PM

anonymous said...
Hi, We are located in the Central West and this drought is horrible especially for the farmers that are generally doing it tough and rely solely on their farm for income and have had none for years - although you DON'T APPEAR TO BE as I have just seen on the following website which appears to be a very successful business you are still running ?????? No wonder you have come up with this idea ?????
10:39 PM

fred schebesta said...
I think the complete opposite. Just because someone has put up their hand and gone and done something you seem to be putting Michael down. That is terrible. Fair go I say. Go Michael! Show them what a bit of Aussie struggle combined with innovation can result in. Don't listen to anyone trying to put you down. The Aussie spirit to survive under the harshest circumstances. I can imagine others a probably struggling. Perhaps you join up with Michael and get your sheep on the website! The lazy option would be to do nothing. The Aussie thing to do would be to do something about it!__Just posted a blog entry about your great cause:_
5:13 AM

eden said...
Thank you!!!! This is a small yet significant stepping stone in the right direction for our farming community at large, our flocks and our environment. I am all for the Adopt-A-Sheep and subsequent educational campaign, and will be letting all of my family, friends and colleagues know about it.
1:51 PM

anonymous said...
good idea... great idea... but how about going that one step further, and shearing(sorry!!) the experience all the way to market by returning some of the sale proceeds to the adopters of this scheme. Sounds like win /win to me....._where do i sign??
7:00 PM


webnut said...
Mate...this is a wicked idea.... My daughters birthday tomorrow, might have to do this. As an ex pat Kiwi I think maybe you could "offer" a cutting of wool from the sponsors sheep....that way it would give something back !__Good Luck,_Steve.
6:50 PM

teri said...
Michael__I would support your brilliant Adopt A Sheep brainwave even if I wasn't a good New Zealand girl originally from the South Island, where I was lucky enough to have a country childhood in the middle of Central Otago's high country sheep stations. __Good luck to you and I think I'll donate my new adopted sheep to my 5 year old nephew - so he can tell his schoolmates about it and get you some more adoptions.
2:10 AM

anonymous said...
Hi, I adopted a sheep today - Lisa from St Peters via PayPal...don't send a certificate etc - I would rather it went to feeding sheep. My husband's family lost their farm to the bank and I really do not believe they ever recovered; financially they did but there are more things than money. It occurs to me that there are a lot of other things that you could 'adopt' - Cows, trees on farms, fences, gates etc. As a city girl, I have been ticked off at times with my country family in law; the attitude that City People don't care has been thrown my way time and again and it is just not true. City dwellers do care - we just don't know how to help. You deserve a medal Michael! Good luck with your holistic approach to farming - and Peace to you and your family.
3:13 AM


anonymous said...
I need to ask could I please adopt a sheep so I can hack its arse away without any anaesthetic (mulesing) then slaughter it and eat it afterwards? __Many thanks.__Jeune Robinson
6:11 PM

fred schebesta said...
Somehow I dont think that is the idea. I think they want to keep the sheep alive.
7:55 PM

michael kiely said...
You have every right to be outraged at the measures we woolgrowers have traditionally taken to protect our sheep from flystrike. Mulesing, or removing a flap of hide that attracts fly strike, is cruel and I can't be in the vicinity while it is being done. Although an animals's hide doesn't have the same sensitiivity as human skin, there is a lot of blood. Not a lot of bleating, though. And the agony a sheep experiences with maggots eating away at its flesh after a fly strike is far worse, don't you think? As soon as the new clips are available we will trial them. We already use fly traps liberally scattered about the property. And we check our flock everyday for strike - and pull a sheep out for treatment if required. Mulesing upsets me. It's strangely like circumcision. Or body piercing. It's interesting that a lot of animal rights activists willingly submit to having bits of metal thrust through their skin. They appear to want to be kinder to animals than to themselves or other human beings. Did you see the recent South Park episode where PETA was (I think unfairly) depicted as a bunch of emotionally lopsided human haters with a primitive desire to deify animals and sacrifice humans to them. Very funny, but not very fair or objective. It's good to be fair and objective, don't you think? We live by the belief that all living things are part of a community and that all members of the community - even weeds and farmers and animal rights activists - have a role to play and a right to exist. Amen.
3:07 AM

michael kiely said...
PS> I have a gentle rebuke for selfrighteous vegetarians. Read the Secret Life of Plants. Vegetables, we now know, have emotional responses to death and destruction. DO you say a benediction over the carrot so cruelly torn from the ground, sliced, boiled and devoured along with your other veges? "No one feeds unless it is on another." I like eating lamb. Especially one I know. Did you know that in Christ's time a shepherd was so well known to his sheep, he could call them individually from out fo the villages flocks herded together for the night behind a sheep fold? Sheep can recognise up to five human faces and a dozen other sheep. How do you reckon the shepherd felt eating one of his friends? And why is it that humans have got canine teeth? For tearing at lettuce leaves? Let us alone to gnaw our bones.__All the evidence stack up against vegetarians.__In the words of my song EATING ANIMALS IS COOL__"Vegetarians are insane if they think plants don't feel pain,_They enjoy being killed as much as cows and pigs and such._Don't look down your noses at the carnivores._At Least they're honest about all the death they cause."__We are all of us slaughtered and eaten eventually... by the earth.
3:55 AM

This is a fantastic idea/site! I'm going to beg my hubby to adopt a sheep for my birthday :) I'm an addict to knitting and without these sheep I wouldn't have as much sanity as I do now. Thank you for doing what you do. It touches peoples' lives in so many ways. I have a knitting charity that knits and prays for people going through a tough time and without farmers like you we wouldn't be able to do it. It's amazing to think that a sheep farmer in Australia can touch the lives of people all over the world just by doing what they do everyday. Lots of love and prayers for you and your flock!


PS here's the charity site just in case :)

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