American Milking Devon Cattle
About the Breed
American Milking Devons are the descendents of small red cattle that roamed the hills of southwest Britain. Their existence was written about by the Romans as early as 55BC. They had been gradually domesticated as triple purpose animals (milk, meat and oxen), and by the early 1600s were exported to support the early colonies in Virginia and the eastern seaboard.
Initially, they were most prized for their abilities as draft animals. For many years, they had been already known in Devonshire as very hardy animals that could thrive on even poor quality forage and still produce rich milk and excellent meat.
Over time, an emphasis on either high production of dairy breeds, or fast-growing heavy beef breeds, diminished the popularity of dual and triple purpose cattle. By 1952, Devon cattle breeders diverged, the majority focusing on beef, while a small committed group set out to preserve the ancient triple pupose animal characteristics. From a very small remaining number of cattle, The American Milking Devon became recognized as a separate breed. There are virtually no cattle of this type remaining in Britain. Overall numbers of registered American Milking Devons are somewhere between 700-15o0 animals.