South Devons kill out at around 58-60%, usually producing a steer carcase of approximately 370-400 kg and a heifer carcase of approximately 340 kg. Because the UK beef industry pays on weight as well as grade, the inherent size of the breed as the largest of the natives is very significant. A few kilos extra can mean the difference between profit and break-even.
South Devons tend to grade mostly as U’s and R’s, with some E’s from the best beef performance systems. Intra-muscular fat helps to keep the beef succulent during cooking, and the animals do not tend to run to excess external fat.
At the end of a cow’s productive life she is still an important economic contributor to the beef producer, with a well-finished heavy carcase bringing in an important financial return.