Our Grass Fed Cattle Breeds

We currently raise two breeds of cattle:  South Poll and Devon.  Both are renowned breeds for grass fed beef.  They thrive on grass alone, have a gentle nature, and finish out tender and well-fattened.

South Poll are a 4-way cross between Red Angus, Hereford, Barzona, and Senepol.  The breed was established about 25 years ago in Alabama.  The Angus and Hereford contribute beef flavor and tenderness.  The Barzona and Senepol are heat-tolerant breeds.  Their influence helps these cattle thrive in the summer heat common to Texas and the deep South.  South Poll are well known as great ‘mama’ cows that nurture their calves well and rarely have trouble during calving.  Visit SouthPoll.com for more about this breed.

Pure bred South Poll cow

One of our pure bred South Poll cows

Some of our cattle are pure bred South Poll and others are cross bred with Devons.  Devon were brought to the American continent by the first English settlers.  For centuries they have thrived on grass alone.  Most modern cattle are bred to do well on grain, a relatively new phenomenon.  Before the 1940’s almost all cattle ate grass exclusively.  As petroleum based machinery came into common use after World War II along with synthesized nitrogen fertilizers, corn and other grain production surged and flooded the commodity markets.  The surplus grain was fed to cattle to fatten them more quickly.  Cattle that can tolerate the grain do gain weight more quickly, but the meat is not as healthy.  The Devon breed is not suited to a grain diet so declined in the United States.  Recent interest in grass fed beef brings renewed interest in this traditional breed.  They are well adapted to living entirely on grass with no grain.  They’re also very gentle and generally very healthy, like the South Poll, requiring no vaccines or antibiotics to thrive.  Visit RedDevonUSA.com for more on Devon cattle.

Devon/South Poll cross mother cow and her calf

Devon/South Poll cross mother cow and her calf

Devon have a thicker hair coat than the South Poll so do not tolerate the hot Texas summers as well.  They are also a larger breed than the South Poll, which has led to some calving difficulties with the cross bred cattle.   For these reasons we’re increasing the South Poll influence in our herd with a new pure bred South Poll bull, while continuing to keep a number of Devon/South Poll cross-bred mother cows.

This entry was posted in Grass Fed Beef, How To Farm. Bookmark the permalink.