Breed Traits & Benefits

From docility and adaptability, to fertility and carcase yield, Droughtmaster’s natural traits underpin its wonderful reputation as an allrounder. The constant evolution of the breed is seeing it flourish across the world whilst meeting the demanding standards of Australian producers and supply chain.

Rigorous genetic selection has seen major advances in breed eating quality to exceed evolving consumer demands and stringent MSA and Euro requirements.

Lower production costs and greater producer profits are part of the Droughtmaster DNA.

Instinctive foraging abilities and adaptability, as well as parasite and disease resistance combine with the genetic strength of its Bos Indicus heritage to make it “low touch” and economical to manage. A significant advantage over the handling, vaccinating and supplementing requirements of many British and Euro breeds.

Beef producers are attracted to Droughtmaster’s amazing versatility.

The breed possesses a rare combination of traits including adaptability to harsh conditions and varied geographies.

It also offers unparalleled responsiveness, with an ability to bounce back quickly when the rain finally comes. Droughtmaster offers true multi market suitability for both domestic and international segments and, importantly, its cuts also provide terrific value to foodservice and retail customers.

In gaining the optimum reproductive performance, both Sire & Dam must play their part. It’s fair to say the Droughtmaster breed delivers on both fronts with consistent high fertility rates over varied herd geographies.

Excellent walking and foraging abilities coupled with lower nutritional requirements give Droughtmaster cattle the ability to retain condition and keep cycling and breeding, irrespective of prevailing conditions.

The inherited Bos Indicus traits of pelvic structure, calf shape and low birth weight make for very easy calving, which can be used to great advantage in crossbreeding programs using high-growth sires.

The breed’s maternal instincts are strong. Droughtmaster cows are attentive to their calves and care for them in adverse conditions.

Droughtmasters are known for their high milk production, helping to calves to thrive under favourable conditions. 

Droughtmaster females mature quite early and it is not uncommon to see them joined at 14 months. This early start to breeding, plus their ability to adapt to the environment, give them an enviable reputation for longevity.

Low nutritional requirements combined with high feed conversion rates and excellent walking and foraging abilities, provide a big advantage in marginal country and adverse seasons.

The important breed characteristics of low birth weights and calf shape are passed on by Droughtmaster bulls, and can be very advantageous in crossbreeding or joining to heifers.

Early maturity, structural soundness and a naturally active constitution can mean a longer working life, thereby reducing bull replacement costs.

Selection for docility and high libido by the pioneer breeders, has given the Droughtmaster a reputation as a potent and active performer.

A low-maintenance digestive system, unique to Bos Indicus derived breeds, contributes to the Droughtmaster’s reputation for super-efficient feed conversion, which provides a large economic advantage.  

Further, excellent milking ability, low nutritional requirements and strong walking and foraging ability combine to make Droughtmaster an outstanding performer.

Consistently outgrowing most other breeds when nutrition is restricted, Droughtmaster performs as well as most breeds in feedlots or on high quality pasture.

In the temperate regions of Australia, traditionally the home of the British breeds, low maintenance Droughtmaster is being used increasingly in crossbreeding programs to produce easy-care, productive cattle.​

They are also used in tropical areas to improve carcass qualities and performance.

The progeny resulting from this crossbreeding, have a significant economic advantage through their inheritance of Droughtmaster traits (in addition to the expected heterosis):
– Calving Ease
– Adaptation
– Longevity
– Reduced eye problems
– Bloat resistance
– Mothering ability
– Milking ability 

High-growth sires can be used successfully over Droughtmaster females, due to generations of Droughtmaster breeders constantly selecting for:   
– Low birth weight
– Calf shape
– Pelvic structure 

The Droughtmaster bull passes on these dominant traits to his progeny in a crossbreeding program.

Consequently, the F1 Droughtmaster female is renowned as a very efficient dam, and most effective when used with high-growth sires.

This combination fits the axiom ‘cows for your country – bulls for your market’. 

With equal parts of Bos Taurus and Bos Indicus blood, the Droughtmaster provides the opportunity to crossbreed without causing a dramatic change to either the visual appearance (phenotype) or to the genotype of the progeny – a major benefit without changing your breed completely.