About 50 head of wild charolais-brahman cross cattle were sold at he Coolabunia Saleyards.
About 50 head of wild charolais-brahman cross cattle were sold at he Coolabunia Saleyards. Michael Nolan

The wild ones fetch a good price at Coolabunia

IT TOOK of a team of men in a helicopter to muster a mob of about 50 charolais-brahman cross cattle from a paddock out the back of Durong.

The beasts were from the estate of a farmer who passed away and they hadn't come into contact with humans for the better part of four years.

Penning these wild animals presented a challenge to the team at the Coolabunia saleyards when they went under the hammer on Tuesday, November 28.

James Bredhauer from Aussie Land and Livestock said the yard hands knew what to expect.

"You have to make sure your safety stuff is all right and that everyone is aware that those are wild cattle coming in the runs,” Mr Bredhauer said.

"All the gates have to be prepared so it's easy to access the weigh station. They need to be penned separate from the rest of the cattle.”

Generally speaking, cattle at the Coolabunia yards are from smaller vendors whose cattle are raised in constant contact with humans.

This means come sale time they don't stress and are easier to handle.

While the wild cattle are a bit of novelty in the South Burnett, they're common up north and out west.

"If you're somewhere like the Charters Towers or Gracemere saleyards, they'd be common. There'd be plenty of them up north where you have that really inaccessible country,” Mr Bredhauer said.

Ordinarily Mr Bredhauer said he would deal with these sorts of beasts through an on-farm sale, where there's no crowd and the animals' stress levels are easier to control, but the mixed nature of the yard forced his hand.

"If there were facilities out on the property you might have drafted them and sent them straight to the meat works but they had to come in and be sorted out and go to their homes.”

The large cattle went to the abattoir, while the litter cattle went into feedlots.

The calves we sold locally.

"They'll quiet down with a bit of tender love and care,” Mr Bredhauer said.

Despite the cattle's rebellious temperament, the vendor's estate returned a good result.

"They did get pretty decent money, somewhere around $1300 per head for the bigger cattle,” Mr Bredhauer said.

MICHAEL NOLAN

South Burnett

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