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TAS Country : March 17th 2011
rch 18, 2011 17 s apart wn south ut with, centre, Don's son, Dale. This year the price of cattle has gone up to where it should have been years ago. We can probably make a bit of money now.' shack, and rods lean against the shed. ''Pretty good lifestyle,'' Kevin said. ''Get up at half-past-seven, go round the craypots, you're back here at 8 o'clock.'' The original Seaview herd was Simmental cross cows run by former owners Barry and Margaret Wallis. Don and Kevin went interstate soon after buying the property and had a look round during beef week, Dale said. Don rang Dale to tell him about the best cattle he'd ever seen --- Herefords. Dale said ''Buy them'' and that's how the stud started. The Duggans slowly turned the herd over to Poll Herefords, after a brief trial of horned Herefords. ''With all the kerfuffle about the horns on the cows we decided to go to polls,'' Don said. Dale went abalone deckhanding for a few years before coming on to the farm full-time. He and wife Narelle operate Southport Holiday Units. The strong recent cattle market has been good news for the Duggans after a tough 10 years. ''We weren't getting any money for the cows,'' Dale said. ''We were cutting 1600 bales of silage and feeding it out, the operation costs outweighed the production costs at that stage when we were running about 220 breeders. ''This year the price of cattle has gone up to where it should have been years ago. We can probably make a bit of money now. We still cut between five and six hundred but we're not flat out feeding cattle all the time, moving and fixing fences.'' Seaview steers and heifers are sold at Bridgewater saleyards. There's a shed full of ribbons from the past 10 years of showing and a photo on the lounge-room wall of the Duggans' first bull. They now own seven bulls and breed one to 25 cows. A group of Poll Hereford cattle breeders from interstate visited Seaview recently. ''We had salmon, crayfish, abalone, sausages and hamburgers,'' Don said. ''We were eating the sausages and hamburgers and they were all eating the seafood.'' Dale's brother David came to Seaview to demonstrate abalone diving to the visitors, who were so fascinated they kept the bus driver waiting for hours. ''Couldn't get rid of them,'' Don said. Seaview is not known for its bulls, but the Duggans say that's just because they are at the wrong end of Tasmania. They are not about to move, though. ''We've never run out of water, and we don't have to irrigate. We get a lot of rain in the winter and a 40 inch rainfall over the year. Some months we get nine and 10 inches.'' ''We've tried selling bulls up north but all we did was give them a holiday for a day or so,'' Dale said. A mob of two-year-old heiffers is in the calving yard. ''They're all springing,'' Don said. It's a long way to a vet from Seaview. The men use a Hobart doctor to pregnancy test cows and are self-reliant in other cases. The Duggans thought they had lost a cow over the cliffs a while ago --- a drop of about 10 metres. A fisherman told them he saw a cow on the rocks. ''It had been there for a fortnight, must have got water off the rocks when it rained,'' Kevin said. ''I went round in the boat and Dale went over the cliff, lowered himself down on a rope. She took to him when he got down, so he lassooed her with a slip knot and threw the rope out to me. I towed her out to water and swam her a kilometre around the bay and put her out down the bottom.'' There are 50 dams on Seaview including the biggest but the Duggans are not sure how big. ''It's fairly deep,'' said Don. ''I've been in it. He overturned his dinghy trying to reattach a pipe in the middle of the dam two years ago. '' I didn't touch bottom,'' he said. ''I done my mobile in my pocket and a new pair of glasses.'' Don is happy to be back on the farm after a long absence caused by illness. ''I don't want to go home and sit in the chair all the time because most of my friends my age who've gone home and sat in the chair, they're dead,'' he added. Meanwhile Dale is calling the cows, Don finishes a call on the mobile to a prospective buyer and Kevin is searching for new sites for his growing number of bee hives. ''We're all in it together,'' Don said.
March 10th 2011
March 24th 2011