High Country Droughtmasters began in 2010 after we began to realise that within our commercial herd, our Droughtmaster females continually were the best performers. They were low maintenance, easy calving, milked well and showed high tick and buffalo fly resistance. They dealt well with both extremes of heat in summer and frosted pasture during winter and in our opinion, Droughtmaster females were clearly the ultimate "base for both pure and crossbreeding programs.
Initially, we built our herd from the best females available and chased high content females to ensure calving ease, good mothering and doing ability and purchased multiple Billabong bulls over this time to help us retain our home bred heifers. To these, we added a multitude of sires from successful herds such as Glenlands, Oasis, Glen Fosslyn and Billabong to build our herd.
With 90% of our replacement females now homebred. Our knowledge of the cow family history together with excellent sire data ensures we are improving our herd each year by selecting truly superior females. We also purchase a handful of heifers annually that we believe are exceptional, to ensure we maintain a variety of bloodlines and to support fellow breeders. Our breeders, replacement and sale females as well as young sale bulls are run over four properties in the Somerset region.
We operate both a stud herd of 250 registered breeders and an unregistered purebred commercial herd of 550 breeders over almost 10000 acres in the Somerset region. It is from our single sired stud herd that we select the vast majority of our Annual Sale animals. We also have built close partnerships with three co-operative breeders who run their own purebred registered and unregistered breeders and with whom we share a range of bulls from our sire battery annually. All together, we have the ability to mate 1550 females to registered Droughtmaster sires. We work closely with these breeders to produce both bulls and females that not only represent a vast array of strong genetics, but also meet our extensive quality requirements. This is pivotal to our production of genetically diverse stock, which offers continual options for our clients annually to use new bloodlines that are complete out crosses to their previous purchases. It also allows us to use increased selection pressure on each calf drop to ensure the animals we offer exceed our stringent criteria.
Today, we are extremely proud of the herd that we have created. Vision and planning has ensured that it is a fertile productive herd, genetically diverse and now self generating. Growing in quality and consistency year after year. We are excited about the future!
The annual on property sale
We annually offer between 40-60 bulls annually, with our cattle sold to areas as far as Western Australia, South Australia, Atherton Tablelands and St George, as well as many that sell locally. We very much appreciate the support from both new and return clients and look forward to the sale growing and evolving over the future years.
For our 2020 sale, we saw a 100% clearance for the day with bulls topping at $21,000 and averaging $10,126 and heifers topping at $13,000 and averaging $6,025.