Merilba South Devons
Merilba is home to one of the largest commercial South Devon and Black South Devon herds in the world. We are currently running 1200 female, as we move forward we intend to increase that number to over 2000 head. The unique breed is renowned for their milking ability, maternal instincts, and temperament. The cattle are very versatile with the ability to meet many different market specifications. Currently Merilba runs a Spring and Autumn calving program where we aim to produce quality store weaner steers weighing an average of 250kg at 8-9 months of age. We have found this market to be very successful with return buyers purchasing our cattle each year.
We retain our heifers which are joined at 15 months of age with over 90% conception. We put our animals through a very strict classing process with emphasis on structural correctness, early growth, fertility and most importantly temperament. With this selection pressure we consistently achieve 98%+ calving in both the spring and Autumn Cows. We have found that the cattle suit the Merilba landscape and climate. They complement our other enterprises allowing us to better utilise the country. We aim to minimise our chemical usage with all our livestock and thus have bred a lot of natural resistance and resilience to internal and external parasites making our cattle very economical to run.
Each year we produce quality Bulls which we use in our own heard as well as sell to other beef producers. The size of our herd means we have a large genetic pool to select from and we only select the best genetics for our bull breeding program. We run an annual AI program with genetics purchased both locally and internationally. This allows us to continually improve our genetics base and produce top quality animals. Our clients feedback suggest that both our red and black bulls have performed well in many different locations. They have been used in both pure bred and cross breeding operations.
The red cattle tend to have a recessive red coat gene meaning that when crossed with black cattle, we achieve black claves with the bonus of hybrid vigour. This allows producers to capitalise on the premiums for black cattle whilst achieving superior growth rates. That combined with the temperament and fertility of the South Devons means that these cattle would be a great addition to any heard. We generally have bulls for sale so please contact the Merilba manager for any enquiries.