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South Devon

Australian

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Probably asked this question before. What are the views from around the board about them? I have been breeding South Devons for 20 years now. Their popularity has decreased in that time here in Australia.I still love them for their beautiful temperament and great weight gains and great milk.
I have just placed some adverts in newspapers to sell some 2nd calvers with Angus calves at foot and another group of in calf heifers.I've had a lot of enquiry but no one has purchased any yet. The same old questions I get are
1. What are South Devons?
2. Why are you selling them what is wrong with them?
3. My goodness you are too far away from where I live (most enquiries come from 5 to 8 hours away)
4.What price? Seems any more than $800 is too much for them
I have offered packages of heifers with a bull thrown in just to get them started. I've offered them for nothing to schools to help them. But no takers.
I am fortunate that we can use most of our cattle in our commercial herd,so excess cattle are utilised most of the time.
What is wrong with them? :?:
 

plumber_greg

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I don't know what is wrong with them, I have been wanting to buy one from Nicholas Farms in N. C., but Tony has been sold out. I want to cross them with my angus cows, save the heifers to replace some older cows, and breed them to Simm. to send to the feedlot. Probably by the time I get that done, I will want another cross, cuz' something has always gotta' be better than what I have. gs
 

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We've used South Devon in a crossbreeding program with Angus and Hereford for almost as long as you. At first we were keeping quite a few F1 SD heifers but we have since used them more as a terminal cross. The udder quality was a bit hit and miss and the cows got a bit bigger than we like. My daughter still has a purebred SD cow off a Leachman cow we flushed she's a great little cow if we could of made more like her we might of pursued the purebred thing harder. I bought a bull at the Midland test in Montana called Prairie Granite 112G-I've never run a bull of any breed that was better on his feet and legs or more of an athlete out breeding cows. Now we A'I black and baldy cows that we wouldn't keep replacements off of to South Devon and utilize them that way-carcass quality is very good with them.
 

Aero

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big frames and even bigger ugly heads :D
 

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I have no problem with the bigger frames but will concede that sometimes the polled ones that I have seen about could be assessed as having ugly heads or long faces. I have both polled and horned and none of these come into the ugly category. I still think the "name" South Devon is the problem and their past history of having calving problems and their lighter colour.I have many darker coloured cattle and calving problems have never been a problem using the bloodlines that I do. I have no problem with the name except that cattlepeople still call them "Devons" supposedly putting them in the same boat as Devon cattle the dark red ones from North Devon. I have no problem with these Devons they were the backbone of beef cattle in our country along with Shorthorns and Herefords.
South Devon breeders over the years here in this country have been hobby farmers and are very narrow minded and not receptive to change and lack the skill to promote this wonderful breed of cattle.
 

Keren

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Publicity.

You answered your own question Colin, with the first thing people ask you being 'What are they?'.

The biggest thing holding back the breed is publicity. We all know that is why Angus is king, because they were smart enough to make it that way. I believe any breed could have done the same if angus didnt do it.

Add to that, there are not many around, not many at shows (not down my end of the state anyway), and you start to understand why people dont know about them.

Why the schools wont take em, I have no idea :???:

I had a couple of 25% South Devon, 50% Limo, 25% Shorthorn steers, good steers but wow, that was a fiery combination. Jumped like roos too. Dont know which of the breeds contributed that. But thats the extent of my limited experience with Sth Devs
 

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Thanks Keren. South Devon Limousin steers do well most years in Brisbane. I'm the only one that shows the SDs in NSW and Queensland these days and have done so for a long time now.Complacency and laziness is the biggest problem. There are virtually no SD breeders in Southern NSW or Northern Victoria. The only ones about NSW are 4 in the New England.2 in the North West,1 on the North Coast 1 on the South Coast and 2 in the Central West. So you see there's hardly any about. I agree publicity could have bossted them along in the early days as well as the registration system. The female inventory has been the biggest drawback. Inferior cattle being kept because the yearly inventory has been paid equalled a good animal. The once in a lifetime registration payment is the best way to go. It works well with the Brahman Association and is working well with the South Devon Association (The Aust South Devon Society doesn't use it so they are floundering)
Colin
 

LoveMoo11

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Is there a difference between Devon and South Devon? We have a Devon breeder that lives not too far from us and he has some great animals.
 

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Yes there is a big difference between Sout Devon and Devon.
Colour for a start. Size. milk quantity.
SDs are generally lighter in colour more a coppery brown.They come from the south of Devon in the UK and the Devon is from the north of Devon. Have a look up the South Devon Cattle Breeders Australian Association site here in Australia for info about them. I don't believe the US site gives as good information and animal types as the Australian one. The US are like Red Angus or sometimes Black Angus. The English site is good too.
Colin
 
A

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The biggest thing holding back the breed is publicity. We all know that is why Angus is king, because they were smart enough to make it that way. I believe any breed could have done the same if angus didnt do it.

Agreed. Add to that the fact that, when media ring breed associations for possible stories, the Angus society ALWAYS comes back with something. Not too many other breed societies are as driven.

As you say, any breed can do what ANgus have done. It's a matter of having societies prepared to put in those first few hard yards... and to continue keeping themselves 'out there' when they do make it. Herefords Australia are definitely showing some promise with their recent ventures.

I had a couple of 25% South Devon, 50% Limo, 25% Shorthorn steers, good steers but wow, that was a fiery combination. Jumped like roos too. Dont know which of the breeds contributed that.

I'd say your answer may be pretty obvious :p
 
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