CLINT Gollan feels confident in the quietness of his cattle to include his children in mustering duties.
“There’s nothing better than seeing the kids go out with their dogs to bring in the cattle,” he said.
Ellie (10), Will (8) and Hattie (6) are dab hands at mustering on horseback alongside their parents, Clint and Emmily.
Clint and Emmily Gollan, in a partnership with Brett Pointon, manage three properties in Queensland where they breed, finish and trade Brahman-Charolais cattle.
As Pointon Pastoral Company, based at Manumbar, they have purchased around 30 Charolais bulls over the past decade from Ascot Angus and Charolais stud, on the Darling Downs, to join to Brahman breeders that run on country in the South Burnett.
In particular, Mr Gollan prefers the homozygous 100 per cent polled Charolais bulls bred by Jim Wedge.
“They’ve made a dramatic difference to our progeny and to the wellbeing of calves at branding and weaning time,” Mr Gollan said.
“Jim Wedge is probably the leader on homozygous breeding. His genetics have eliminated the need for us to dehorn cattle.”
The capacity of the Ascot Charolais bulls to stand up and perform in tick country also impresses Mr Gollan.
“The Ascot Charolais bulls handle the ticks. All the bulls we buy have been blooded, to build their tick resistance.
“We buy cattle off the Downs and they go through the coastal country, and they’re handling coming into the tick zone.”
Pointon Pastoral Company purchases Brahman heifers and cows from northern Australia, joining 1200 cows in a ratio of one bull to 30 cows at Gobongo. The herd grazes on improved pastures at Gobongo.
“I source cows and heifers from about 10 breeders. I like to go and look at the cattle and put a good line of breeders together.
“It’s important they genetically have low birthweights, are hardy and durable, and are quiet to handle.
“I just try to source good cows that complement the Charolais bulls – well handled, quiet, with a good temperament in the yards and in the paddock.”
Mr Gollan supplementary feeds the bulls prior to joining. They are also semen and morphology tested.
Bulls go in with the cows and heifers in October, and are out by February.
“We always supplement the bulls a little bit so they have extra energy and work hard in the first month they go out with the cows, which means a tight calving pattern for most of the cows,” Mr Gollan said.
He chooses low birthweight bulls for the heifers, and his decision is justified.
“Of 1200 cows and 200 heifers, we don’t have any calving problems. Since using the low birthweight Charolais bulls for the heifers, I’ve only had to pull one calf.”
Weaning begins in March.
The calves are taken off their mothers and transported to Riversleigh at Surat, where they’re yard-weaned on sorghum hay and dipped for ticks twice over that period. Once weaning is complete, the full complement of steer and heifer calves go onto pasture through April and May, on improved pastures that are a blend of panic, blue and Rhodes grass. The pastures are broadcast oversown by plane.
Then they graze on 809 hectares (2000 acres) of forage oats until being sold to a feedlot buyer.
“Once the oats are gone, the majority of the steers and heifers are gone,” Mr Gollan said.
Mr and Mrs Gollan also trade cattle, buying in cross-bred steers – depending on the season, they can graze an extra 800 steers at Riversleigh.
“We buy about 800 steers out of the saleyards and find Charbrays work best for us,” he said.
“We breed as many Charbrays as we can and top up with trade steers.”
Author – By Jeanette Severs