A FAULTY electric fence is being credited with saving the life of a lamb stuck in a sinkhole at Moyarra last week.
Prom Country Cheese’s Burke Brandon had Tuesday, February 23 off from his usual cheesemaking duties and was doing other jobs around the farm, moving cows, tracking down a fault in the electric fence when he spotted a pair of black ears poking up just above ground level.
“It was one of our lambs from last winter. They live up in the hills and I hadn’t seen them for a couple of weeks,” Burke said.
“There’s no way I would have seen it unless I was doing that job.”
He reckons the lamb had been stuck in the metre-deep hole for three or four days and only survived because it could drink the water flowing through the hole.
“The underground water course had eroded the soil away and made a hole. It was just deep enough the sheep couldn’t get itself out.”
Burke grabbed the animal by the scruff of the neck to help it out of the hole.
“As soon as it got over the edge, it started eating grass, just wandered off and kept eating, no thanks at all,” he laughed.
Burke said holes were common because the topsoil was quite deep, very loamy and friable so when it got wet, it could just erode beneath the surface.
As for sheep falling into the holes, that’s an occasional problem, but he doesn’t usually find them alive.
Burke has covered the hole with a wooden pallet and was pleased to report the lamb was happily back with the flock when he checked the next day.