General Farm Going-ons: Americam Milking Devon Cattle
A few years ago a farmer in Northern Indiana came across my watercolor painting of an American Milking Devon cow, which had been printed in a wonderful publication called the Small Farmers Journal. She reached out wondering if we wanted to purchase a young American Milking Devon bull that she had reared, specifically mentioning his docile temperament, hardiness, and ability to thrive on grass. Before long this young bull was integrated into our herd, and we have gotten some beautiful offspring from him.
However none of these offspring were pure Milking Devons, as we didn’t have any females. We hoped the right opportunity would come along, as we wanted to be part of the breeding effort to preserve and maintain this beautiful hardy breed. The Livestock Conservancy has a great description of the breed, which you can read here: https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/milking-devon.
The right opportunity came sooner than expected, when the same farmer from northern Indiana reached out this spring, needing to rehome her cattle and sheep. Thus in early June, 10 registered Milking Devon females came to join our herd.
Along with the cattle came a flock of Katahdin Hair Sheep. After our experience with our wild Icelandic sheep flock, who thought electric fences were a tease and whose thick beautiful wool insulated them perfectly from any shock, we were a bit nervous (we never ever again wanted to hear the words: the sheep are out!).
When we decided to take a break from sheep a couple years ago, we made a promise to each other that we would NOT get sheep again until we had proper fence built. We did not keep this promise! But thankfully thus far the Katahdin Sheep have been immensely well behaved and mild mannered. And we built them a good sturdy fence in record time.
With the addition of these livestock, our breeding flock and herd is just where we want it to be. Our beginning years of searching for the right livestock for our farm is over. 5 years into farming, maybe this is a sign that the beginning phase of our farming journey is coming to a close. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has carried us through these first 5 years, and are excited to begin the next phase!
All the best,
Malaika, Matthew, and Able