Breeding and growing cattle in the heat and frequent droughts of Northern Queensland was a significant challenge to the early pastoralists with their British bred stock, but the arrival of cattle ticks from Asia in 1896 made the challenge almost insurmountable.
In an effort to create a type of animal which could adapt to the adverse environment, several astute cattlemen set about crossing the hardy Zebu cattle (Bos indicus) with the traditional British breeds.
They spent many years meticulously selecting progeny for their parasite resistance, heat tolerance and general adaption to the environment, whilst never losing sight of important traits like fertility and docility.
After many years of crossbreeding and meticulous selection for:
These innovative cattlemen created a breed with the best of both worlds - a breed which could produce and reproduce in the harsh environment as well as resist parasites, whilst economically producing high yielding carcasses of quality beef.Containing approximately 50% Bos indicus and 50% Bos taurus genetics the breed is generally red in colour, although variations from golden honey to dark red do occur.They can be polled or horned, but the vast majority are polled and exhibit only a moderate hump with deep even fleshing and a shallow evenly distributed fat cover.
The breed's reputation for surviving and thriving in adverse conditions, attracted the attention of other cattlemen, and as a consequence the Droughtmaster's popularity has grown to the stage where today the breed is reputedly the 2nd most numerous in northern Australia and rapidly gaining prominence in the traditional "British-bred" areas in southern Australia. The Droughtmaster's unique blend of characteristics has also been recognised by astute cattlemen elsewhere in the World, and since the 1970's Droughtmaster cattle, semen and embryos have been exported to countries throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, South America and the Pacific Islands.The Droughtmaster breed was created from the adversity experienced by Australia's pioneering pastoralists and proudly takes its place as one of the great success stories of rural Australia.
The Droughtmaster breed was developed in Australia by Australians specifically for Australian conditions.
Breeding and growing cattle in the heat and frequent droughts of northern Australia was a substantial challenge to Australia's early pastoralists with their "British-bred" stock, but the arrival of cattle ticks in Queensland in the 1890s created an almost insurmountable barrier to economical beef production in the vast pastoral areas of Northern Australia.During the early 1900s several Queensland cattlemen sought a solution through the crossing of Zebu or Brahman cattle with their existing herds of "British-bred" animals.
The entire registration procedure is geared to allow breeders to begin with classified foundation cows and upgrade to purebred by using Droughtmaster bulls over five generations.Easy and accurate identification of Droughtmaster cattle, both by scrutiny of the Herd Book Certificate and examination of brands on the hide of the animal, becomes possible by a simplification of the description given to the existing categories of Droughtmaster cattle.
The Necessity for Identification is valid for several reasons.