Why the South Devon?
The first South Devons were imported to South West Africa (currently Namibia) by MC Human in the late 1940’s from the then Union of South Africa. Three bulls were purchased from a certain Mr. B.J. Bourke from the Karookom Stud to be used for commercial breeding purposes to improve milk ability and heavier slaughter animals from the veld.
In those years many commercial farmers in Namibia were dependent on cream income as meat didn’t have a price. Nearly 200 cows were milked by hand and the cream was delivered on a weekly basis to the Gobabis Creamery. The love for these docile yellow cattle grew and was the Ondana South Devon Stud founded in 1961. That was only a further step in the establishing of cow herds. Over the years this breed has shown its ability to withstand droughts and was found to be an excellent cross breeding animal.
Picture Courtesy: Republikein Archives
“The South Devon is a truly versatile breed, which produces premium quality beef characterized by low fat covering. South Devons improve the growth rates, milk production and carcass quality of other British breeds. They also improve the fertility, calving ease and efficiency of production of the large, lean European and tropical breeds.
South Devons and Bos indicus breeds combine well when crossed. Their crossbred progeny retain the desirable Bos indicus traits and show improved live weight gains, muscling and temperament, which they inherit from the South Devon. These crosses also exhibit early maturity, which means that calves will finish at an earlier age and the female progeny come into their breeding and productive cycle earlier than other British breed and European breed crosses.
South Devon cross Bos indicus females will have improved milk production and mothering ability, which results in the production of heavier weaners.” (South Devon Cattle Breeder’s Society of South Africa – 2013)