Devons are gentle and friendly animals; they calve easily and are very rarely aggressive towards humans. They are native to the South West, and they will happily live outside all year round, although they do tend to enjoy getting muddy in the winter time!
The Devon, sometimes called Red Ruby Devon or North Devon, to distinguish it from the South Devon breed, is one of the oldest beef breeds in existence today. In fact, some authorities consider the Devon's origin to be prehistoric, the assumption being that the breed descended directly from Bos lonqifrons, the smaller type of aboriginal cattle in Britain. According to an offical reference material compiled by the Devon Cattle Breeders Society, 'Devon Cattle - The Red Rubies', it appears that the Red Cattle of North Devon may have contributed to the Hereford and other British breeds.
The native home of the Devon is in southwestern England, primarily in the counties of Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, and Dorset. For centuries, herds of red cattle grazed the grass covered hills of this cool, moist region. History records that the Romans took notice of the red cattle when they occupied this area in 55 B.C. There is some evidence that the seagoing Phoenicians may have brought some ancestral red stock from northern Africa or the Middle East to Southwestern England during their visitations for tin. Some breeders speculate that this might account for the Devon's remarkable adaptation to hot climates in spite of its centuries of exposure to the damp, chilly hills of England's Atlantic coast.