Community & Business

13 June, 2024

Wild dogs devastate sheep at Freestone

Devastating sheep losses

Sheep attacked at Freestone.
Sheep attacked at Freestone.

by Gerard Walsh

Wild dogs and sheep don’t mix as a farming couple at Freestone found out yet again last week.

Jim and Debbie Dieckmann have been on 40 hectares on Payne’s Rd, Freestone, for two-and-a-half years after moving from Mosquito Creek between Inglewood and Millmerran where their family ran sheep for generations.

The attack happened overnight Monday, June 3 and in a mob of 70, only 40 survived.

Mrs Dieckmann said her husband could tell the attack was by wild dogs and not dingoes due to the footmarks and the way the sheep were attacked.

“Jim could see from the footmarks that there was more than one dog, one was a very large dog,” she said. "We lost sheep on the first night and then by the end of the week it was one loss each night. The bites from the wild dogs cause septicemia.”

They lost 18 ewes they bought for $250 each and 12 ewes they bred themselves which could be worth $100 each on the current market.

Some of the ewes had lambs at foot which they also lost.

When the Dorper lambs are ready for sale, they usually make $150 each so the loss is more than $5000 in one night.

She said dogs might start chasing kangaroos and chase cows and calves if there are no sheep nearby.

Dogs have killed calves and bitten the ears off cows.

“Most dog owners are responsible but some don’t lock or tie their dogs up at night thinking they don’t wander,” Mrs Dieckmann said.

“A neighbour has lost seven sheep. Dogs can also chase horses, if an animal runs, dog can have fun chasing it.

“We have exclusion fencing on three sides of our property but not the fourth side.”


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