Saturday, August 22, 2015

Western Queensland

Kim and I just did a very quick trip out to Aramac. Kim's brother and his family own a property, Fortuna, out there and they are really starting to feel the effects of the drought. Most of western Queensland has been in drought for several years and there are a lot of people doing it very tough, with a lot of cattle being sold or moved off properties.

Fortuna is in what they call Desert Country. Out west, there is desert and then there is the Down's. The downs country is flat, black soil and almost treeless country. In good seasons it's highly productive fattening country and runs sheep as well as cattle. The desert country is tougher and more arid, and is really only suitable for cattle breeding, as it's not the best type of fattening country. However, when a drought hits, it's the desert country that hangs on you will often find graziers moving their cattle from the downs to desert to keep them going.

These photos were taken around the watering point, so there's no grass. There is grass out in the paddocks, but it's getting shorter! These are also younger cows and so they aren't in too bad condition.

There are quite a few people that have taken their cattle and are droving them along the stock route. They will do this until the drought breaks. Life is pretty tough out there at the moment for  a lot of grazing families.

Fortuna isn't too bad, but if they don't get rain this coming wet season, things will be pretty grim for them too.  Unfortunately they are now inundated with kangaroos, as they've moved up from the downs country. They are also having a lot of trouble with dingoes. They too have moved up because there are less roos and cattle on the downs now. The fairly large goat herd on Fortuna has been badly affected by the dingoes, so we brought a load in with us. We brought some young wethers as well as a few older nannies that won't make it through the drought. So our goat herd has grown!

Maitland got some leauceana so that we could give them a nice feed when we unloaded them. Some of our goats were keen to get to it too. Can you see the one on the roof and the other inside the car?

We spent Easter out at Fortuna and I had meant to post a bit of a story about that, so I'll do that in the next couple of days. 

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