CROSSBREEDING WITH DEVONS
As new breeds of cattle have been introduced to Australia, Devons have been successfully tried in
Devons possess many attributes which complement weaknesses in other breeds and, with the added benefit of hybrid vigour, make excellent cattle for crossbreeding.
The fertile and efficient Devon has high weaning percentages, excellent feed conversion, early puberty and conception, high milk production, renowned foraging ability, a docile temperament, a high resistance to bloat, no eye problems and will adapt and survive in all Australian environments. This combination of breed advantages ensures that Devons have the versatility to enhance any crossbreeding program. Devons have proven to be excellent crossbreeders overseas as well as in Australia.
Over the last thirty years a great deal of research has been carried out around the world on different crosses and their relative performance under varying agricultural systems. As the amount of research increases, Devon cattle are measuring up as one of the best all round breeds.
As the result of extensive research into the Devon's most suitable role in crossbreeding, the breed was found to be outstanding in three particular applications.
As the sire or dam of FI females joined with other British breeds (The British Fl Connection).
THE BRITISH F1 CONNECTION
The 'British Fl Connection' highlights the use of Devons in the production of Fl's when joined to Angus, Herefords or Shorthorns. It has been demonstrated in many parts of the world, over a number of years that crossing any combination of Angus, Devon, Hereford or Shorthorn has resulted in an FI with an outstanding performance as a beef producer. The FI progeny of the Devon, crossed with any of these three British breeds will embrace the established advantages of hybrid vigour and breed effects, as outlined below.
BENEFITS SPECIFIC TO THE DEVON-ANGUS CROSS
BENEFITS SPECIFIC TO THE DEVON-HEREFORD CROSS
BENEFITS SPECIFIC TO THE DEVON-SHORTHORN CROSS
BENEFITS SPECIFIC TO BOS INDICUS BREEDS
In northern Australia, many herds are now experiencing excessive Bos indicus infusion which has led to a decline in fertility and prolonged maturity patterns. The Devon has a major role as a sire in restoring the balance. Valuable fertile Fl's and faster finishing steers are the resulting progeny.
In the composite breed, Belmont Reds, developed by the CSIRO to produce premium beef in the tropical areas of Australia's north, Devons were a major influence. To the surprise of many, Belmonts have had many successes in carcase and taste test competitions. Could it be the Devon influence? Other composites using other base breeds have not had the same success.
BENEFITS FOR THE DEVON-EUROPEAN CROSS
The Devon cow has been used with great success in crossbreeding situations where a European breed is used as a terminal sire, the Devon cow contributing earlier maturity and improved feed conversion. As the European content rises in a commercial herd the Devon bull is an ideal choice to cross back to to breed softer and easier doing cattle.