THE region’s recent drought conditions have seen a rise in cattle drovers running stock throughout the area.
Despite a lack of rain throughout the Gunnedah shire, cattle are still finding sustenance in dry roadside feed along highways between Gunnedah and Mullaley and Gunnedah and Boggabri.
Merriwa drover Liam Floyd told The Namoi Valley Independent the shire was still providing cattle with suitable dry feed.
“There’s still plenty of feed along the roads which is pretty good,” he said.
“It is only dry feed but still it’s better than nothing.
“We did get some rain over the weekend but it did nothing to help in terms of feed, we’re lucky that there is still some feed around the roadsides because conditions overall are pretty bad, some of the worst I think I’ve seen.”
Currently Mr Floyd is droving several hundred cattle along the Oxley Highway between Gunnedah and Mullaley with the stock being sourced from all over the state.
“These cattle have come from all over,” Mr Floyd said.
“Some from the Tamworth area, some from the Hunter Valley and places like that.”
Mr Floyd said it was unclear how long the herd would be in the shire.
“It all depends on the feed and what the feed is like,” he said.
“If the feed is there then we will stick around for a few days and if it’s not then we will push on past it.”
The Merriwa drover said compared to other areas he has seen the feed along the shire’s roadside is “not too bad.”
“When you get out on flat areas along the highway like this it’s pretty good,” he said.
“However if you are in the scrub a bit more it’s not quite as good, so you have to push on past it and keep looking.
“Our aim is to keep them going and at the moment, the roadsides around here are doing the job for us which is good.”
Mr Floyd said locals had so far been very careful while driving past the herd.
“We haven’t had any real problems so far which is good,” he said.
“You do get the odd person who doesn’t slow down but you will probably get that anywhere.”
The experienced drover said the cattle will continue to be moved as long as they are permitted.
“It all depends what happens with the permits,” he said.
“There was talk of all the routes being closed as of the July 1, but as far as I’m concerned I’m just out here everyday with the cattle, that kind of thing is out of my control.”
Motorists are urged to use caution when driving past cattle herds.