Wild dogs get ass-whip­ping

Don­key de­fence force works so well, farmer is spread­ing the love

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - PESTS - CAS­SAN­DRA GLOVER Cas­san­dra.glover@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

ELIEZER Robin­son lost $120,000 in live­stock be­fore he de­cided to em­ploy don­keys to pro­tect his sheep and cat­tle from wild dogs.

Mr Robin­son said a pack of eight wild dogs started ter­ror­is­ing his 122ha prop­erty at Co­ramba, be­tween Grafton and Coffs Har­bour in New South Wales, at the end of last year. The sit­u­a­tion got so bad that he got rid of all his sheep and ag­isted his cat­tle.

“We were los­ing $1500 a night,” Mr Robin­son said.

“We ended up bring­ing some more cows in. They didn’t touch the cows and we thought it was okay. We bought 80 cows out of dis­per­sal, they cost $2000 each pregtested in calf.

“That was last year in Au­gust. By De­cem­ber there wasn’t one calf left.”

Mr Robin­son said they had also bought in some wean­ers.

“Christ­mas Day we lost 15 wean­ers. They were tak­ing down 150kg wean­ers. You’ve never seen a slaugh­ter­house like it.

“They weren’t eat­ing any­thing just killing them.

“It wasn’t safe to have any an­i­mals on our farm.”

Then some­one sug­gested Mr Robin­son try a don­key.

“I got one from a guy in Grafton. He’s a jack (ass) and his name is Percy,” Mr Robin­son said.

“He was here for a month and I looked down one day and he was go­ing flat chat af­ter these dogs across the field.

“We were just about to give up be­fore Percy came in May.”

Af­ter suc­cess with Percy, Mr Robin­son de­cide to bring a truck load of 120 don­keys across from the desert.

“They came from Alice Springs, they spent 24 hours at a dip sta­tion in Lon­greach, then came straight down to Grafton. I picked them up there,” Mr Robin­son said.

“Be­fore the don­keys I was sleep­ing out in my ute and wak­ing up ev­ery hour and putting a spot­light on to try and scare the dogs.

“All that has stopped now I’ve got the don­keys.

“We have 250 lambs now we’re fat­ten­ing and 150 goats. We got them back about three weeks af­ter the don­keys came.

“We leave them out in the pad­dock and they’re still there the next day.

“We have bought all our cat­tle back.”

Af­ter see­ing Mr Robin­son’s suc­cess, the don­keys have be­come in de­mand.

“It was go­ing to cost me the same to get a body truck load as a small load so I fig­ured I’d just get a big truck and sell them off.

“They’ve all started hav­ing ba­bies so I’m go­ing to breed them.

“I am just want ev­ery­one to have the same op­por­tu­nity I’ve had.”

Mr Robin­son said he has sold about 50 don­keys so far for $850 each plus GST. The don­keys have gone to Ten­ter­field, Dubbo, down to Vic­to­ria, and some be­ing sent up to Mackay.

He said his don­keys have been calm and quiet since they ar­rived.

“I run my don­keys with my cat­tle and my sheep. I could prob­a­bly put on in the chook pen and there’d be no drama!” Mr Robin­son said.

“They’re re­spect­ful to work­ing dogs as long as you’re around. They’re fine with horses and they don’t touch fences.

“I have two kids, Ty 13, and Flynn 11, and the don­keys are fine with them. They won’t touch my kids or at­tack them.

“Percy will talk to Flynn. Flynn makes the noise and Percy will start go­ing on with it.”

Mr Robin­son said hav­ing the don­keys has changed his life.

“We lost all our live­stock and our money and then it got so bloody dry,” he said.

“But we’ve come out the other side, we’re be­hind but we’re out of it, and it’s all be­cause of the don­keys.

“As soon as you’ve got donks, it just changes your life. I don’t worry about the dogs any more!”

❝Be­fore the don­keys I was sleep­ing out in my ute and wak­ing up ev­ery hour and putting a spot­light on to try and scare the dogs. All that has stopped now I’ve got the don­keys. — Eliezer Robin­son

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

DOG DEV­AS­TA­TION: Eliezer Robin­son holds up a wild dog.

One of Eliezer Robin­son’s don­keys with a baby.

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