South Devons

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Colin Chevalley

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Can any cattle people on this board give me a few hints as to why South Devons are not more popular. I breed them and are delighted with them, they cross well with our Brahmans,Angus,and Herefords. I've seen how well they do with Shorthorns,Murray Greys,Brafords and a number of other breeds. I have no calving problems,they are very docile they milk well,grow well and weigh well.
There are many people here in Australia who say they have not heard of them. I am one of the chief promoters of the breed here in Australia and still puzzled as to why there are not more of them about. There must be something that I am missing.

Thanks Colin
 
A

Anonymous

I have the same question about them, as well as Gelbviehs and Braunviehs here in the States.

I have tossed this idea around before on the Cattle Today discussion board, but I really think the show ring had a huge effect on which breeds were accepted the most back in the late 60's and early 70's when most Continental breeds were introduced to North America.

Back then Simmental, Limousin, Maines, and Chi's dominated the steer shows. Consequently these were the "new" breeds that got the most exposure. Commercial cattlemen were more likely to try a "new" breed of bull if they had at least seen some of them at a county or state fair.

South Devons and Gelbvieh weren't as fancy; too much leather up front. They also didn't have quite as much muscle expression in the rear as Limousin and Chi cross cattle, so they weren't used to produce club calves, and consequently didn't get the exposure that some of the "clubby" breeds did.

I truly feel that the Simmental and Limousin cattle have proven themselves in the commercial sector of the industry However, if it weren't for the club calf business I think there would be 50 to 75% less Maines and Chi's in the states today. Huh, that statement should get some fireworks started here in the new year :)
 

Jena

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I have a few South Devons and wish I had more. I had to look long and hard to find these. Well actually, I wanted a South Devon that looked like a South Devon and not a re-made angus. THAT was hard to find!

I was supposed to get a bull and some bred heifers from Canada last year, but BSE derailed that one. I would love to have more!

I have no idea why they are not more popular.
 

dun

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I really think that a lot of the popularity issue is more influenced by the breed associations and the amount of marketing that was done when they were imported. A friend of mine, haven't seen him in 20 some years though, was instrumental in the importation of both Simmenthals and Gelbvieh. He expected Gelbviehs to be the more poular of the two. The Simmenthal association started doing a good job and the Glebvieh association didn't. Simmenthals started publishing EPDs, actaully at that time they were EBVs and the EPDs generated from those EBVs look a lot different then they do today. There has to be enough of a membership to have the funds to have EPDs generated. Small membership, less income, less dollars for EPDs.
When the big importations started, that was the hayday of BIG animals, Simmenthal were bigger then the other breeds. I was talking to our vet today, when he was a prof at KSU, they weighed a Signal sone that as a 3 year old weighed in at over 3600 lbs. Bigger was better then, now most people have realized you don't need or want cows that weigh a ton.

dun
 

dun

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That;s the reason we've gotten away from the F1 Red Angus and Gelbvieh (now called Balancers by the Gelbvieh Association) and have gone to either straighbred Red Angus, Polled Hereford, or crosses of the two. Same problem with Simmenthal based cows. There are just too few quality herds of either Gelbvieh or Simmenthal within a days drive that haven't gone to using those off colored black Angus instead of REAL Angus.

dun
 

Oldtimer

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Dun- I think you may be right about the size factor limiting South Devons popularity. Its winters like we're having right now that makes those 1100 lb. cows look a lot better. Several in our area have been feeding since the end of October. Those 1500 lb cows can clean up a haystack fast.
I've noticed up here that many of the ranchers that back in the 70's went to Simmental and Charolais are gradually breeding back to angus (red or black) to moderate some frame size. About the only Charolais I see used any more are charolais bulls on black cows and they don't keep any heifers. Buy angus replacements.
Even many of the continental (especially simmental) breeders are now trying to moderate size some because people are going away from those huge cattle.
 

A. delaGarza

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depends where you are, I 'm a Simmental breeder and still like and love my big and huge Simmental cows.

Oldtimer":14eg7v42 said:
Dun- I think you may be right about the size factor limiting South Devons popularity. Its winters like we're having right now that makes those 1100 lb. cows look a lot better. Several in our area have been feeding since the end of October. Those 1500 lb cows can clean up a haystack fast.
I've noticed up here that many of the ranchers that back in the 70's went to Simmental and Charolais are gradually breeding back to angus (red or black) to moderate some frame size. About the only Charolais I see used any more are charolais bulls on black cows and they don't keep any heifers. Buy angus replacements.
Even many of the continental (especially simmental) breeders are now trying to moderate size some because people are going away from those huge cattle.
 

Oldtimer

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depends where you are, I 'm a Simmental breeder and still like and love my big and huge Simmental cows.
A. delaGarza-

And I'll bet where you live you haven't had 4 feet of snow with more predicted on the way, and below zero weather. Those large Simmentals 1400-1800lbs really eat a lot of hay to survive in conditions like we're having now. Might do good in Mexico, but they sure are expensive to winter in Montana.
 

txag

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they're expensive to winter anywhere. we have a neighbor w/sm cows & they sure can empty a hay barn.
 

A. delaGarza

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that's why I said depends where you are, we barely are below 0* Celsuis and rarely have snow, by the way I produce around 2400 round bales (Sorgum and Brizantha) in fall season.


Oldtimer":12bn0hru said:
depends where you are, I 'm a Simmental breeder and still like and love my big and huge Simmental cows.
A. delaGarza-

And I'll bet where you live you haven't had 4 feet of snow with more predicted on the way, and below zero weather. Those large Simmentals 1400-1800lbs really eat a lot of hay to survive in conditions like we're having now. Might do good in Mexico, but they sure are expensive to winter in Montana.
 

fit2btied

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We currently run Simm X AngusXHereford cows with a Simm bull. We use EPD's as a tool to reduce frame size from the Simm side of our cattle. Our cows currently run about 1200-1400 lbs and are easy keepers that raise growthy calves that with careful bull selection pose no calving problems other than mispresentations. Being located in southeast Missouri we don't usually have to deal with extended periods of extreme heat or cold and not a lot of snow. We have been very pleased with our calves but are always looking at ways to improve. We are considering bringing in some Red Angus gals to cross with our MV Red Light son Simm bull. Any thoughts?
 
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