‘Swimming with cows in flood’ fame, cows are hungry without hay

ABOVE: Elaine Trustum’s house at Tatham where 60 cows took refuge from floodwaters. Now the cows are hungry and need hay. Photo: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

Elizabeth Steele is getting calls from Sydney media after indynr.com posted their video of cows swimming in the paddock on Tuesday, March 1.

Their inspiring story of swimming 60 cattle to safety has inspired people around the world.  On our Twitter account more than 80,000 people have watched the video.

Yet the family and cattle face the harsh reality of the floods at their Tatham home.

The cows Elizabeth and her family swam with during the height of the floodwater belong to her mother Elaine Trustum who lives next door.

They sought refuge on the mound where the house stands and waited in Elaine’s garden during the floods.

The shed full of hay went under and 100 bales of silage got washed away, and some are stuck up in high trees, Elaine said.

“We have been hemmed in since Sunday, no way of getting milk, SES have forgotten us,” Elaine said.

We would love some dry hay for our cows but will have to wait until bridges are no longer flooded, she said.

The cows have eaten everything in Elaine’s garden including her prized roses.

“They’ve had three days without feed. The lawn is like a feed lot.”

Elaine said they hadn’t been able to get to the chickens.

“We put them in a loft above the chook pen but I think they drowned,” she said.

Is there anyone local who has a boat that could take hay to Tatham? Free hay is available to farmers in Casino.

The cows in Elaine Trustum’s garden.

Elizabeth said the water had receded enough for them to look at the damage to their house next door to Elaine.

“The flood water came up four notches on our Colorbond and was 1 inch from reaching our floor. We are hoping to get advice on the timber supports under the house due to the level,” she said.

“We have power, but no water and our septic tank needs the water pumped out. Both cars were partially submerged past the doors which we still can’t believe given the height of the mound at the front of our house.”

Snakes are an issue in the floodwaters.

“I’m not wading through any more water so am unable to get under the house or into the dairy.”

The cattle are able to get back on the road this morning now we just need to get them feed, she said.

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