Choice of cow breed has long term consequences for any suckler beef producer. The bull is still half the herd, but while choice of sire has significant bearing on future generations; it is the suckler cow that determines the herd’s day-to-day profitability.
Whatever your farming system, the Red Ruby Devon cow should be seriously considered…
Females are a true, medium sized cow making them economic to keep in breeding condition, light on the ground, and an optimum sized butcher’s carcass.
Their size makes them one of the very best options for conservation grazing, especially where terrain is difficult.
The cow is docile and good natured both outside and housed. This trait is passed to her calf, whether pure or cross-bred. This ‘good-will’ benefit is advantageous while handling stock or when grazing areas with public access; while the inherited calmness of youngstock is often thought to aid Daily Live Weight Gains.
Many commercial farmers, who first came to the breed for Devon bulls to work on continental suckler cows, have found the docility of the Devon such a positive influence on profitability: they retain their Devon cross heifers as replacements.
Females and bulls are well known for their fertility. Devon herds routinely achieve 100% in-calf year-on-year. Under sound dry-period management, incidents of assistance at calving are negligible; with spring calvers averaging birthweights of 35-40kg. Calves belong to be up and on their feet and sucking, unassisted, soon after birth.
The breed is prized for its milking ability from grass alone. Combined with the modern Devon’s good udders and neat teats, the Red Ruby cow is quietly fulfilling her role as an efficient production unit.
Females are famed for their longevity – significantly increasing profitability. A Devon cow will typically work well in to her teens, producing between 13 and 17 calves in her lifetime.
Superior Carcass Traits
Whether pure or cross-bred, females pass the Devon’s famed ‘premium beef’ traits on to their progeny. The finely grained beef and marbling, combined with the right level of finish; creates top quality meat that earns a bonus in added-value markets.
The real strength of the Devon cow is found when farming systems are put under stress. She will keep milking – doing her calf well and hold to service (maintaining annual calving interval) in a wide range of adverse conditions. Undaunted by whatever is thrown at her, the Devon cow performs on just grass and haylage.
The Devon cow works in a low-input system while producing a premium output, saving costs while earning a bonus.