Save the Devon
Survival or Extinction – The American Milking Devon Cattle
The Westward Expansion of the 1840’s and 1850’s was made possible largely due to the American Milking Devon Cattle breed of oxen. For a variety of reasons, this breed of oxen made it possible for early frontier settlers to travel long distances and farm the hard soil needed to settle the West. This beautiful and historic breed is currently on The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list as critically endangered.
We have these oxen at the Flying W Ranch and use them in authentic exhibits of Western life. We believe in giving back to support the heritage of the West and the institutions that are the very foundation of the American way of life. We prioritize excellence in our event and entertainment services as well as being purpose-driven leaders in serving our country in a way that tangibly impacts lives. That’s what is at stake for a true pillar of the West, and the Flying W Ranch is committed to saving this important part of Western Heritage.
More Than Oxen; An American Tradition
American Milking Devon Cattle
A Critically Endangered Species
Today the American Milking Devon oxen are listed as a critically endangered species by the American Livestock Breeds Association. The decline in their population can be attributed to several factors including the rise of industrialized farming and the demand for high-yielding dairy breeds. Furthermore, the mechanization of agriculture reduced the need for working cattle, further diminishing their numbers. The breed’s vulnerability to diseases and parasites also contributed to their decline.
Milking Devons are calm, friendly, and very intelligent. Milking Devons make excellent oxen and are highly prized by teamsters. They are fast walkers and strong for their size. Milking Devons are also known for their adaptability to new environments.
Preserving the history of the American Milking Devon Cattle is crucial to protecting the agricultural heritage of the West. To conserve this endangered breed, raising awareness about the breed and its historical significance is essential. This can be done through educational programs, farm tours, and public exhibitions, such as the one at the Flying W Ranch. By preserving the gene pool and encouraging responsible breeding practices, we can ensure that the legacy of the American Milking Devon Cattle continues for future generations.