What happened? Why is Red Poll Cattle a Rare Breed?
Not so long ago the breed went out of favor when there was no need for dual purpose breeds, to pull plows, wagons, give milk and raise a calf. When the family cow was no longer needed, there were a few Red Polled dairy herds that hung on for a time; but Holstein was too superior at production. Those who carried on were contributors to what the breed is today, as they struggled to find a place in the market for the cattle they loved.
I know of a famous in Canada dairy herd that finally turned into a beef herd as unable to financially compete with Holstein domination of milk market. One herd started the bloodlines referred to as the Elgins. This farm in 1947-1954 had a milking herd that traveled by rail. Box car days from fair to fair and show to show, winning "udder classes" and being judge for beef and milking traits that are compatible, production qualities needed at a practical level now for small holistic farms.
"We breed cattle, not papers" was the motto. Known for characteristics valued by breeders, now important again; the breed is being rediscovered.
I first heard about Red Poll cattle in 1968, a neighbor AE Brown with pride said see all these cattle here. They are all descendants of the Red Poll cow my dad brought to the Flathead Valley in 1902. The cattle he was showing me looked Hereford to me, but he seemed to see or know something I did not understand or see. Alonzo is gone a long time, but the calves he sold made his calves sell for more at the yard as he had a reputation of shipping good growing, calm cattle. Some of those early settler families were pictured in a frame that use to hang at the livestock yard in Kalispell. I remember only Sullivan and Brown, and feel now I understand as I discovered the breed.
This is not about Red and not about hornless, its RED POLL a heritage breed of cattle.
* Heritage Breed
* Rare Breed
* Reference Sires
* What's a Red Poll
* Our Red Poll
* For Sale