ABC Rural Droughtmasters are affectionately known as Droughties. They were bred in Australia to combine the best characteristics of the Hereford, Shorthorn and Brahman for Aussie conditions.

The Name 'Droughtmaster' was originally coined by the cattlemen who developed the breed to overcome the perennial problems of dry conditions, cattle ticks, heat and many other challenges.

The name does not belie the quality carcass the breed produces nor its adaptability to temperate climates. Droughtmaster is synonymous with quality Aussie beef.

Distribution Droughties are spread throughout the mainland states, the largest numbers being concentrated from north Queensland to the New South Wales border. Shipments have been exported to Southeast Asia as well as to Nigeria, Pakistan and a number of South Pacific islands. From its initial development in Queensland, the breed has grown to the stage where it is now acknowledged as the second most numerous breed in northern Australia and is rapidly gaining prominence in the temperate areas to the south particularly as more severe dry conditions become more common.

Characteristics The Droughtmaster is a medium sized breed, basically red in colour, with variations from a honey colour to dark red. It has a short sleek coat with loose skin to enable it to lose heat in the sun. Animals may be polled or horned. They have medium to large ears and an extended dewlap. They have a quiet temperament, are good foragers, have a high resistance to bloat and are tolerant of heat and ticks.

The cows have a range of qualities such as calving ease with low weight calves, strong maternal instincts, high milk production and the females mature early - some in calf at 14 months. The bulls are docile, virile and mature early making a longer working life possible. These characteristics are passed on by Droughtmaster bulls, and can be very advantageous in crossbreeding or joining to heifers.

Dressing percentage is high.

Comparative Optimum growth under a range of variable conditions is major benefit offered by the Droughtmaster. From prime improved pastures in temperate regions, light native pasture in the tropics right through to drought conditions which invariably plague many areas of Australia, the Droughtmaster is recognised as one of the leading performers.

References
www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
www.wikipedia.org
www.northernregister.com.au
www.thecattlesite.com/breeds/beef/86/droughtmaster

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