Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Monday, October 18, 2010


On my recent cattle post, Christiane Kingsley noted she had never heard of Red Devon cattle.
Then, in my recent classes, we painted one of our cows, Erin. For some reason, the ladies were fascinated by her and wanted to know more about her and Red Devons in particular.

Red Devon cattle came over with the Pilgrims - you can eat them, milk them, use them for draft purposes (like ox) and tan their hide - all purpose cattle!

They also make great grassfed beef due to genetics (or so we are told!) They are also docile and a bit smaller than most cattle. I could go on and on – apparently they are the “wunderkattle” of the cattle world!!!

As far as docile – the 2 times they have gotten out of the electric fence they have stayed close by – including walking down the drive to the house! The other time my husband just let them stay where they were and moved the electric fence to re-enclose them, then moved them to another pasture!

Now, cattle have a “flight path” or "flight zone" - defined as a cattle's personal space. When you penetrate the flight zone, the animal moves. This distance that will vary from cow to cow. Our cows’ flight zone is “contact!!” My husband can walk right up to them, pet them, touch them, whatever! We went to a seminar to learn how to move the cows utilizing the flight zone – but I don’t think he will ever have to use that information! If he carries the bucket that he puts the alfalfa tablets in (like candy to our cows!) they just come running! My fear is that they will crush him while attempting to get to the bucket!

The only time we have had a problem (so far) is when he got 3 new cows and they got scared and took off. (Their journey from Tennessee being pulled in a trailer behind my son’s pickup, going 80 MPH down the highway MIGHT have had something to do with this sudden fear – I’m just sayin’). Mike and my son recovered 2 in a couple hours, but the other was gone a few days until the neighbor got her into his barn and they could retrieve her.

We are hoping next year for our first slaughter and will try the meat ourselves before we give it to any other “guinea pigs”! Our beef will be completely grassfed – absolutely no grain of any kind – and so far my husband is achieving his goal! I’ll keep you posted!!

(Of course, our farmer neighbors think he’s nuts!)
p.s. They may have reason to think he’s nuts other than this cattle thing, though!


Kathy Wirth said...

How can you keep the cows entirely grass fed with this drought? There isn't much grass worth eating around here, and you're not very far away. I know some farmers will give their cows hay, but evidently you don't do that. Just curious!

Vicki Greene said...

That is really very interesting. I am afraid that I would try to make pets of them.

debwardart said...

Kathy - thank you for being concerned about the cows during this drought! They are getting hay as supplement now - they eat grass or hay - no corn/grain products!
Vicki - trust me on this - you would NOT be making pets of them!

Christiane Kingsley said...

Deb, how wonderful that you remembered my interest in your Red Devon cattle. They do sound very special. Thank you for the informative post.

debwardart said...

Christiane - you are welcome! And, it makes my husband happy to see yet another cow post on the blog!!!

Christiane Kingsley said...

Deb, I have just featured your work on the Artalee site: