Southern Australian Dairy Herd Walks 20km to Avoid Flooding – Cowsmo

Southern Australian Dairy Herd Walks 20km to Avoid Flooding

Among them is Dave and Yvonne Poole whose dairy cows have completed a 20-kilometre walk to a friend’s property to ensure they are clear of the water.

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Dave and Yvonne Poole dairy cows have completed a 20-kilometre walk to a friend’s property to ensure they are safe from the flooding ©Yvonne Poole

The Pooles’ farm is close to Bullock Creek near Pyramid Hill in northern Victoria.

The creek starts south of Bendigo and runs north toward Kerang. It is usually an insignificant watercourse, but right now it’s carrying a huge amount of water across a vast floodplain after the torrential rains a week ago.

When that rain fell and water started to run, Mr Poole had a rough idea of what to expect based on when floodwater covered the property in 2011.

With similar flooding possible this time, he knew the cows needed to be moved to higher ground, but they also needed to be milked.

“Step one was to try and find somewhere to milk the cows,” he said.

“We had numerous offers of disused dairies so we went and had a look at them, but it was going to be a big job to get them going.

“So I’ve got a good mate at Cohuna and he said we could bring them to his place.”

A long and slow drove 
Mr Poole, who stayed behind at the farm to move other stock while a team of volunteers hit the road with the cows, said it was a long walk.

“It took five or six hours and the last hour was tough on them,” he said.

“It’s been a stressful time on them, but they’re here and they’re safe and they’re a lot better here than they would be at home.”

Mr Poole said he and his wife could soon be cut off from one another as he’s staying at Cohuna and looking after the cows, and Ms Poole and an employee are back at the farm taking care of things there.

They don’t know how long they will be cut off or how bad the flooding might be.

“I think that’s been the biggest problem, trying to find information about what’s going on in the Bullock Creek. It’s been very difficult,” he said.

And with a lot of water from multiple directions all converging on the same point – in this case, the Loddon River at Kerang and ultimately the Murray River near Swan Hill — it’s unknown what impact it will have.

But at the end of the day, like so many people, Mr Poole sees a silver lining amid the destruction.

“Everyone’s been terrific and that’s the take-home message from this. The community support has been terrific,” he said.

 

Source: ABC News

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