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Devon Cattle Trials

Although the trials below were undertaken some years ago, it will give you the reader documented proof of some of the advantages of Red Devon Cattle.

Department of Agriculture Trial - New Zealand

In this crossbreeding trial the following results were obtained where market bulls were used in field trials over approximately 60 cows of each breed, and the progeny killed and assessed.These cattle were all run by The Department of Lands and Survey under identical conditions. The Devon sired calves returned a significant dollar advantage.

Breed $
(Rec'd)
Weight
(kg)
%
Above Angus Control
Devon x Angus 880 264 35
Limousin x Angus 824 237 27
Simmental x Angus 803 258 23
Shorthorn x Angus 796 241 20
Hereford x Angus 744 241 14
Santa Gertrudis x Angus 714 265 10
Angus 651 220 00

Devon Crossing Trials at Ruakara Research Centre - New Zealand

A paper by Dr. D.C. Dalton presented at Ruakura in 1981 set out the results of these trials.
Breed Productivity Efficiency Reproductive Merit
Fresian x Fresian 100 100 100
Devon x Fresian 113 115 108
Angus x Fresian 107 114 115
Hereford x Fresian 101 108 113
South Devon x Fresian 103 98 100
Charolais x Fresian 101 96 98
Simmental x Fresian 95 91 95
Blonde d'Aquitaine x Fresian 87 80 79
Limousin x Fresian 72 76 80




Clearly the Devon X has the highest productivity and together with the Angus X, the highest efficiency. It is also well up with the leaders in reproductive merit. Dr. Dalton's conclusions from the trial as given in his paper were, "It can be concluded that the Devon has a considerable contribution to make to beef production as a crossing sire. Crossbred steers will grow quickly and the heifers make efficient beef dams. The Devon, as a small/medium sized cow should have considerable advantages in efficiency as measured by beef production per hectare."

NEW ZEALAND

Researchers from the New Zealand Department of Agriculture stated that, "Devons have a higher natural fertility. Heifers show oestrus at an early age, cows achieve high in calf rates and bulls are active. The result is high fertility, together with their easy calving and good growth rates as shown in the following table."

Performance of Different Breeds of Cattle Mated as Yearlings

Breed In Calf
%
Live Calves
%
500 Day Av. Calf Wt.
KG
Total Calf Wt. Sire
KG
Devon - Devon X 91 81 570 46,170
Fresian - Fresian 78 71 630 44,730
Charolais - Charolais X 74 62 654 40,548
Simmental - Simmental X 75 64 624 39,936
Hereford - Hereford X 85 73 521 38,033
Limousin - Limousin X 63 57 532 30,324
Angus - Angus 75 73 468 29,484
One hundred yearlings of each breed were used in the trial. All cows except Fresian and Angus were crossbred from Fresian dams. Figures presented by: Dr. D. C Dalton, Scientist, Ruakura Research Centre, New Zealand.

ENGLAND

In England, the Meat and Livestock Commission produced the following table in its 1978 report on various trials, commenting that "Devons grow faster and can be marketed before the second winter."

M.L.C. Trial - Weight of Bulls

Breed 200 day wt
Kg
400 day wt
Kg
500 day wt
Kg
Devon 264 490 569
Lincoln Red 253 480 569
Welsh Black 235 427 553
Sussex 228 464 547
Hereford 232 451 542
Beef Shorthorn 209 412 500
Aberdeen Angus 209 417 484
Galloway 163 360 468


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