July 13th 2017
|Stock yarded and ready for drafting|
An early excursion this morning. It was the Mustering morning for cattle on the West Leichhardt Station. Helicopters started their motors at 7.00 am with the mustering process expected to take about 3 hours. We climbed up to the lookout hill behind the Homestead to watch the helicopters at work as they collected and corralled all animals into a mob and headed them toward the stockyards. The helicopter pilots are skilled in hunting stray animals into the mob. All stragglers were eventually gathered. It was a sight to see the two helicopters dipping up and down, dodging trees and each other. There was ground staff in vehicles ready to shut gates and even supply some fuel to the very busy machines. Dust was rising as cattle herded together in the yards. After an hour or so we walked along the dusty track to the Stockyards to see how the herded animals were settling into captivity. There were 3 stockmen sitting in the shade of a tree watching the animals to ensure that everything stayed calm. Hay had been given to cattle in some yards. I am sure this helped to settle them.
This afternoon the drafting took place with breeding cows, young bulls and fat steers all drafted into different yards. The steers for the meat market were drafted into another area ready for the Road Trains to collect them in a day or so. Each Road Train would hold approx 130 animals in double decker-trailers. Off to the Meat Market they would go. One cannot be too soft hearted!