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Devon Cattle

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Other common names: North Devon Cattle; Red Devon Cattle; Beef Devon Cattle; Red Ruby Devon Cattle; Devon Red Cattle; Ruby Red Cattle; Ruby Red Beef Cattle

The basics:
According to the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University, "The Devon, sometimes called North Devon, to distinguish it from South Devon Cattle, is one of the oldest beef breeds in existence today. In fact some authorities consider the Devon's origin to be prehistoric, the assumption being that the breed descended directly from Bos lonqifrons, the smaller type of aboriginal cattle in Britain. The native home of the Devon is in southwestern England, primarily in the counties of Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, and Dorset. For centuries, herds of red cattle grazed the grass covered hills of this cool, moist region. History records that the Romans took notice of the red cattle when they occupied this area in 55 B.C."

"The functional characteristics of the Devon make them a valuable "genetic tool" for the commercial beef industry. The breed has long been noted for its fertility, calving ease, docility, hardiness and ability to adapt to temperature extremes. The well-developed heat-regulating mechanism of the scrotum of Devon bulls give them an unusual ability to remain fertile despite extremely high environmental temperatures."

Appearance / health:
Devon Cattle are ruby red with black-tipped, creamy white horns. Cattle are medium in size, with cows averaging 1,100 pounds and bulls 1,600–2,000 pounds. The appearance is compact with a straight topline, square set legs, and well-formed udders.

Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.

Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.

Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.

Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.

Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).

A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.

Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.

wonderful

docile breed, Beautiful coat, beef production qualities, lean carcasses, wonderful mothers

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