What is a Red Poll Cow? WHAT IS A RED POLL Cow? This is what is said about the breed in general: A dual purpose breed of cattle once very popular in the USA. The breed is considered rare and in some countries listed as "vulnerable." Her majesty The Queen of England has established The Red Poll Cattle Society to help promote the breed and its important traits. The breed went out of favor when there was no need for dual purpose breeds. No one needs oxen to pull plows or wagons, nor is there much interest in milking a cow or having one that can be milked once a day and still raise a calf. Some breeders did try to promote and some breeders tried to carry on and develop the breed as a dairy animal, but were not successful because of the capable Holstein breed. Some breeders continued to believe the tenderness of the meat and the quality of grass fattened beef would be very important. The first in current times to appreciate her traits were the Australians, who developed the Low-line and use Red Poll in cross breeding programs. A smaller beast, not a miniature breed, but practical for small landowner, she is worthy of consideration when introducing younger children to animal care. Whether 4-H or learning responsibility or experiencing the fun of presenting their animal to be judged, this breed has some traits of importance. The words "we breed cattle, not papers" became a motto for the breed as they tried to focus on characteristics of economic importance. They succeeded when their cattle were selected for research in Australia and the USA. It has been consistently indicated that a positive relationship between good temperaments and feedlot performance for both temperate and tropical cattle. The selection of beef genetics for temperament and tenderness and ability to forage has put this small breed in a good market position as a cross on Bos Indicus. Now, as more concerns over efficiency the breed is finding favor in drought areas. It has been said that by selecting for marbling and rib-eye you will receive a premium, but today you must have feed efficiency too. Red Poll cross steers have had live weight average of 1060 pounds while they produced a warm carcass weight of 656 with a Carcass Weight Day of age of 1.63 with a Rib-Eye of 15 Sq. In. Because of the docile temperament, Red Poll is a good choice for younger or older owners. As a cow she fattens her calves quickly on a rich milk, and many allow her to keep her calf on her until it is 8 or even 9 months old then slaughter it. Her fertility is not compromised by this extended nursing and as she is an easy fleshing animal, so if on acceptable pasture she handles this without loss of condition. Red Poll has exceptionally tender meat, and most inherited a genetic predisposition for tenderness, the tenderness gene. Red Poll are all hornless. They have earned a reputation for "doing well" even on poor weedy pastures. As efficient forager, they have a place in sustainable working landscapes. As small breed they are finding their way onto small acreages as some consumers want to take control of their own meat production, you may see more of this quiet and calm animal. Calm animals do not have as many health problems as high strung or flighty animals, it is believed that this breed will again be appreciated for its practical important genetic traits for small ranchette and cross-breeding. Read Udder-nonsense link above if you have not. We will have more Red Poll information as above only in a more youthful format. Go Red Poll
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