This Milking Devon calf was born this past Saturday, August 18 on the Mount Vernon estate. She is our newest addition to the livestock family and is currently being bottle fed 4 times a day. Our livestock managers even come back in at 10 p.m. to give her the last bottle of the night.
Milking Devons, despite their name, are also suited for meat production and to work as draft animals (i.e. oxen). Here at Mount Vernon this breeds does a lot of the farm work on the Pioneer Farm and aids with hauling wheat straw and harrowing the fields.
Cattle were a valuable source of beef and veal and cow’s milk was used to make butter, cream, and cheese. Even the manure was composted and later used to fertilize fields and gardens. So it is not surprising that Washington worked diligently to improve his herd. He experimented with a variety of breeds and imported breeding stock from England. One of his favorite breeds was the Milking Devon, the type of cattle pictured above and is still raised at Mount Vernon today. Washington’s 1799 inventory (the year he died) lists 171 head of cattle.