Milking Devon Steers?
You certainly can’t milk a steer. But you can learn more about Milking Devon steers at the Nashville Zoo’s heritage breed farm, where two steers named Tipton and Boone graze in a pasture.
The Milking Devon breed of cattle is considered one of the only true American breeds used for three purposes: milk, meat and labor. According to the American Milking Devon Association, there are only about 600 living registered Milking Devon cattle today. In England, where they originated, they have been crossbred with other cattle and no longer exist.
They have the name Milking Devon to denote the difference from the Northern Devon, which came to Plymouth from England in the 17th century. They are known to be gentle and the perfect cow for the early formation of our country. Early settlers used the Milking Devons to provide milk, butter and cheese for their tables, as well as to plow their fields and pull their carts. In the wintertime, they were used for beef. Over time, they were replaced by the more efficient Milking Shorthorn.
Despite its name, you still can’t milk a Milking Devon steer. In fact, if you try to milk a steer, as Pettus Read says, it would be an “udder disaster.”