A senior advisor in cattle husbandry with the Department of Primary Industries Mount Isa reported in 1965 that 44 per cent of branded Gulf cattle were not getting to market due to nutrition and climatic stress.
Advisor K. F Howard said the greatest death toll came when the added stress of cows calving coincided with the period of poorest nutrition in the hot weather from October to December.
To reduce wastage, station managers of Gulf cattle were encouraged to prepare their female herds ahead of time.
Managers must aim at preparing their female cattle for the annual, ever-recurring hurdle of October to December stress.- K. F Howard, Department of Primary Industries Mount Isa senior advisor
Increasing water facilities was noted as paramount with some properties still inadequately watered.
"And for such there is little question about water being the most important avenues for improved production," Mr Howard said.
"The bulk of breeders will not walk more than three miles from water for feed, but on some Gulf properties there is good feed living 10 to 20 miles from permanent water."
The scarcity of useful feed around watering points due to overstocking was noted as one of the reasons for the heavy annual death toll.
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