The origin of Devon cattle maybe traced back to prehistoric times. Some experts believe that the Phoenicians could have brought red cattle over to the south west of England from Africa or the Middle East. It would certainly help to explain why this breed can adapt so well to hot climates.
Devon cattle are also known as the North Devon, Red Ruby or Devon Ruby. Previously classified as a dual purpose breed, selective breeding has resulted in an animal that is primarily used in beef production today. A milking strain is maintained in America. (The first Devon cattle reached those shores in 1623!)
It is believed that Devon cattle could well have contributed to British breeds such as the Hereford. One thing is certain, improvements in the breed were down to the Quartly family of North Devon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the family refused to take advantage of the high prices offered by butchers. Instead, they kept and acquired the best specimens and founded the Champson herd.
The Devon herdbook was subsequently founded in 1850 and in 1884 the Devon Cattle Breeders’ Society was formed.
Today, Devon cattle can be found in many European countries as well as in Australia, Brazil and New Zealand.
Devon cattle – Characteristics
Devon cattle are red in colour. This can vary from a deep red to a light or chestnut colour. Their incredibly thick hide gives the breed good resistance to external parasites. Their coat is often long and curly in winter and short and sleek in summer. Now, around half of Devon registrations are of polled animals (the breed was originally horned).
Mature Devon cows typically weigh between 430 and 590 kilos. They are excellent grazers and are often referred to as, “the beef breed supreme at grass”. They are docile, mature early and calve easily. Male calves weigh around 34 kilos, heifer calves a couple of kilos less.
Devon bulls typically weigh between 770 and 1,000 kilos. Bulls have an excellent heat-regulating system that enables them to remain fertile in very high temperatures.
Devon cattle are of a size to be practical and profitable. The beef has excellent flavour and is tender.
If you are interested in purchasing Devon cattle, please get in touch.
Devon cattle for sale and much more
Dual purpose cattle such as Brown Swiss, Danish Red, Dexter, Fleckvieh / Simmental, Montbéliarde, Norwegian Red and Rotbunt can all be sourced. Dairy cattle include; British Friesian, Holstein, Kerry and Jersey crosses. Beef and dairy Shorthorn can also be supplied.
To discuss your requirements, please contact our friendly team on 00353 87 257 6434.