WESTERN Queensland is home to cattle stations, cropping operations and now a miniature goat stud, we’re not kidding.
When Roma resident Robyn Goldsmith heard of a Jimboomba miniature goat stud dispersal 12 months ago, she knew she had to have them.
The six female goats and a kid at the time now call the 1011 hectare property Meadowbank, outside of Roma, home and the stud is already expanding with the addition of a baby girl on Easter Sunday and more kids due any day.
The goats are registered under the Bunge Miniature Goat Stud and are one of the few western Queensland studs.
Ms Goldsmith said they were initially purchased as pets but she now planned to show the goats and sell stud animals.
“Why not (have goats)?” she said.
“They are great pets, love doing tricks and they are great around children.
“They are just so friendly and you feed them a bit of hay and grain and they are right.”
Wethers can sell for between $100 and $200, a doe between $300 and $400 and up to $2000 for a buck.
It’s quite a different venture for Ms Goldsmith and partner Allan Tite who run three shorthorn studs; Meadowbank, Drumfern Major and Hazelgrove.
Just like their goats, the stud shorthorn venture began when they purchased cows at a dispersal sale and began converting their crossbred commercial herd to full bloodlines.
But it wasn’t the best of timing and as they began to switch their operation they were faced with drought.
“We had the big flood here in March 2012, we got frost at the end of March and that destroyed a beautiful body of feed and then by the end of June 2012 we were completely out of surface water,” Mr Tite said.
“We don’t know why but water just disappeared...so we started carting water in June 2012 and we carted for 27 months straight, seven days a week.
“We were just feeding during the day and carting water at night.”
He said their bore, which hadn’t pumped dry since it was installed in 1923, suddenly stopped and it took a visitor to their farm stay to find that the steal casing had sealed itself over with weed.
For the first time in four years and ten months the couple have stopped feeding hay to their herd after receiving 110mm from ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
“Debbie delivered,” Mr Tite said.
“Both creeks ran and it didn’t break the banks, just beautiful.”
The tough times did bring a positive however, the couple wanted to breed cattle and more specifically sell stud bulls that weren’t reliant on supplement grain feeding and could survive on grass.
The strict criteria meant their herd was quickly established and Mr Tite said they were getting a lot of enquiry for traditional Shorthorn bulls.
“We are trying to breed cattle that just do well,” he said.
“We want them to do well on grass. They are fattened on grass and bred on grass so that when they go out in the paddock to work there is no grain in them.”
They currently have 100 commercial breeders and 80 stud breeders but always keep enough heifers on if the season allows them to boost breeder numbers.