A Muster is when cattle that have been left to freely graze on a station property, are rounded up, or collected, usually for resale. Properties called Stations, can range to over 23,000 sq. kms in size, which is the size of Anna Creek in SA which is the largest property in Australia. This muster took place at Double Lagoon in Normanton ten years ago, when I was Cook for the duration of the muster a property used for fattening cattle for sale. The muster lasted 3 months.
Queensland Cattle were mostly Brahman breed as well as Brahman-infused breeds such as Santa Gertrudis, Droughtmaster, Braford and Brangus. The cattle here are Charolais and Droughtmaster. The area was mustered using motorbikes. The owner came in flying his helicopter towards the end of the Muster, but most of the muster was done with motorbikes.
A manager and his wife ran the property and during the Muster there was about 15 to cook for. I remember them killing an animal to feed the team. I asked about meat, and an entire beast was delivered by truck saying the ‘last cook processed it’. Joke…the beast was skinned and hung for a while and the farm dogs loved to sit under the beast hoping for drips. The team were expert at processing and labelling the meat for me to use in the following months. I cannot remember a second killing, so the one animal did last the full muster. I remember the roasts I made with huge chunks of meat, and the favorite was always barbecued ribs eaten with dripping sauce and fresh bread rolls.
After the cattle are penned, young calves are separated from their mothers. The little beasts are confused and shaky and the others roar out their dismay. The team have to send the calves into a separate area.
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