Milking Devon

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by lamaster, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. lamaster

    lamaster Member

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    WV
    I tried to post this question earlier today, without success, so "If at first you don't succeed..."

    We are ready to add cattle to our homestead, and are considering the Milking Devon because of it's ability to produce milk, meat and it's considerable value as a draft animal. So, before we go any further, I'd like to hear your opinion. What do you think? Is a small family homestead (230 wooded and pastured acres) appropriate for a couple of Milking Devons? Has anyone knowingly eaten a Devon? How was it? How does the milk compare to say a Jersey? How difficult is it to train a pair of oxen to pull? How are their general temperments?

    I'm looking forward to your responses!

    Gini in WV
     
  2. Belle

    Belle Active Member

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    Oklahoma
    I think you will find Dexters much easier to find and buy, but I'm in Oklahoma not back East. They do all three too, and this has been a real roundrobin subject in the past as to price, milking amt/quality, and meat. I'm a breeder, but not close. Talk to Sentree or InPursuit--they have them too! Belle
    Again on my soapbox..... :eek:
     

  3. lamaster

    lamaster Member

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    Yes, I've read (intently!) the conversations about Dexters, but am drawn to the Milking Devon. Does anyone out there have any first hand experience with them?

    /g.
     
  4. woody321

    woody321 Guest

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    IF a devon is what I call a milking shorthorn, I have eight of them as of this writing. I have trained 2 paris as working oxen, also recently butchered a steer, with excellence results. These animals have always been gentle and easy to train and raise. I wouldn't have anything else.
     
  5. I was not aware that Devon and Shorthorn were the same. could be, but I don't think so. There is a small heard in southern Minn. I heard some were for sale. This is the only reg. herd I know of, but there could be more.
    Ken in Minn
     
  6. Ken in Minn

    Ken in Minn Well-Known Member

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    Hi all
    I am sorry, I forgot to log in. And will try hard not to do that again.
    I will try to find the add for you on the southern Minn herd. and post back.
    Ken in Minn
     
  7. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    My impression was that Milking Shorthorns (the old-fashioned dual-purpose type that can also be used as draught animals) are now known as Durhams.

    Incidentally, if you don't need the full power that a pair of oxen have, you can also train cows as draught animals. Economical.
     
  8. lamaster

    lamaster Member

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    I now have a conversation going with the folks in MN, but I am disappointed in those cattle because they have all been dehorned. The true American Milking Devon has it's horns intact.

    Like the Shorthorns and Durhams, the Milking Devon are also triple purpose, and we're very excited about training our family milk cow to help out with logging, etc.

    We'll keep searching, but any of you come up with any contacts, or any suggestions, I'd love to hear from you.
     
  9. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Incidentally, for anyone who doesn't know about it, if you have an interest in draught animals then http://www.ruralheritage.com/ is a must.
     
  10. spring77

    spring77 Well-Known Member

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    pennsylvania
    The Milking Devon is a great cow. I've also tentatively selected one for my first milk cow. Someone you might want to talk to is Joe Cafferey at the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown NY. I've put my name on the waiting list for a heifer calf born this year. They have a big herd of Devons relatively speaking (15 cows) and a team of Devon oxen and a team of Shorthorn oxen. They have a website if you do a google search you should find them. They don't give nearly as much milk as a Jersey which may or may not be a good thing for you. It is very high quality milk as high or higher than Jersey milk in butterfat, protein, and sugar. Never having had a milk cow before I can't say much more than this and thats all stuff I've read or learned from Joe.
    As far as oxen go I have some experience with that. I used to work a team of Devon/Holstien crosses and they were terriffic. A good resource to have before you train a team in "Oxen, A teamsters Guide" by Drew Conroy. It has just about everything you need to know about oxen and training them. Devons are considered one of the best breeds for oxen by experienced teamsters because they are very active intelligent and allert. This makes a much snappier team when you are using them alot or competing at a fair or show. They may not make the best oxen for a small homesteat type situation if you've never trained a team before. Because they are so smart and active they can get away from you easily and develop bad habits. Possibly a better choice for a begining teamster would be a more mellow breed. Since you are a small homestead I'd suggest Guernseys, they get plenty big enough for any work you'd need them for and they are really mellow, obedient and good natured. You can start you Devon herd at the same time and by the time you have some bull calves you'll already have trained one team and will be better able to handle the Devons. The key thing to easily training a team of oxen is to get the calves when they are still babies and bottle feed them and tie them up so they associate you with food and control. The problem with getting a nice team of Devons (or Dexters) together is no one milks them anymore so they leave the calves on their mothers in pasture and they grow up wild. They younger you start your oxen the tamer and more reliable they are.
     
  11. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    NW IL
    We currently milk a Jersey (that is currently bred to a Dexter) and will be getting a Milking Devon ox real soon (we already work with draft horses).

    A milking devon stands a bit larger than a Jersey and can produce a bit more milk than a Jersey. The butterfat is higher in Jerseys than in the milking devon.

    Most any type of cattle can be at least a dual purpose (milk/draft or beef/draft). Dexters are a bit too flighty when it comes to a draft breed, much like a devon! Devons have a richer historical side to them. Consider what is your main reason for buying cattle?? Is it for beef or milk? Jersey beef is suppose to be one of the best tasting if you can get past the yellow colored marbeling.

    We bred our Jersey to a dun Dexter because we have less land and want to downsize the Jersey a bit more.

    Check out http://www.milkingdevons.org/ for more information and links