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The Droughtmaster evolved in north Queensland originally by crossing Brahman and Shorthorn cattle in an attempt to combine the desirable qualities of the two breeds to produce a breed suitable for the tropics. Other British breeds — mainly Hereford — have since been used in its development to arrive at a fixed tropical breed containing approximately 50% Bos taurus and 50% Bos indicus bloodlines. However, the Bos indicus content may be raised, depending on the environment.


The breed is spread throughout the mainland states, the largest numbers being concentrated between Cape York and the New South Wales border. Shipments have been exported to South-East Asia as well as to Nigeria, Pakistan and a number of South Pacific islands.
Breed characteristics

Droughtmaster bull

The breed is basically red in colour, with variations from a honey colour to dark red. Animals may be polled or horned. They have medium to large ears, an extended dewlap and a moderate hump.

Droughtmasters are medium to large cattle with medium maturity. They have good body length, a sleek coat, and a reputation for reasonable fertility, ease of calving and good mothering ability under harsh conditions. Dressing percentage is high. They have a quiet temperament, are good foragers, have a high resistance to bloat and are tolerant of heat and ticks.