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Welcome To Our Newest Addition

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.

Jennifer McCreery

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2 Responses to “Welcome To Our Newest Addition”

  1. Christine Hansley Says:

    Congratulations on the new “little” arrival. Why is the calf being bottle fed? Is the cow ignoring the calf?
    A great and safe long weekend to all!
    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. Mount Vernon Contributor Says:

    Hi Chris. Thanks for your questions!
    The reason we’ve been using a bottle is that mama cow was just not producing enough milk to feed her baby. In order for the calf to get the proper amount of colostrum (which provides the necessary antibodies during the first 24 hours) and milk, we needed to be able to feed her.

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Portraits in Schools

Kids holding George Washington Portrait

Mount Vernon recently invited K-12 schools nationwide to request framed portraits of George Washington to display in a respectful, prominent place.

The response was overwhelming: thousands of schools submitted letters! Along with the portrait, schools received curriculum materials to help explore our first president’s contributions.

Where has George Washington gone back to school? Click here to see!

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