At High Country, we run a herd of 250 registered stud breeders which are single sired and 450 unregistered purebred breeders which are joined to either Droughtmaster or Charolais and Simmental breed bulls to produce vealers for the local vealer and feeder market.
Our country is in the Somerset region and is predominately undulating forest breeder country with mainly native black spear grass pastures, which is frosted and of poor quality between May and November.
We also have a dedicated hay farm where we produce our own oats, rhodes grass, forage sorghum hay and silage for our forage based bull preparation.
All of our cattle are in the tick zone, with both cattle ticks and paralysis ticks. Our breeders show great tick resistance and usually only require treatment once per year, usually in April. Buffalo fly are also prevalent from October to April and cows are culled that show any evidence of fly marks. Lantana is present and although we control it, all of our breeders and growing bulls have access to areas of Lantana and learn not to touch it.
We have selected for a herd of easy doing breeders who apart from some phosphorus lick at joining have required no supplementation. However, in the terrible drought of 2019, when pastures were non existent, they were offered dry and molasses based licks. Despite the droughted paddocks, our herd returned a pregnancy rate of 96%, testament to the fertility of the herd.
Our herds have all been comprehensively tested and are JBAS 7 WA. All of our sires have been tested and are negative for Pompes disease. We fully vaccinate our cattle depending on their requirements. All cattle get 3 germ tick fever vaccine, breeders get 7 in 1 and Pestivirus annually and stud sires get vibrio. All cattle if on silage are vaccinated for botulism. Our sale cattle are vaccinated against 3 germ, botulism, 7 in 1, 3 day, heifers get Pestivirus and bulls also get Vibrio.
Joining starts in October for heifers and November for cows with all bulls out by Mid March. Cattle are preg tested in April and all weaning is done by June every year.