Red Poll cattle

Red Poll cattle

Red Poll cattle are a dual purpose breed. It is widely believed that the Red Poll is the result of crossbreeding between the Norfolk Red (used for beef) and the Suffolk Dun (a milk producer). Both breeds which are now extinct. Prior to being named Red Poll, the breed was called the Norfolk and Suffolk Red Polled.

Breeders of Red Poll cattle tend to focus on the high quality meat. That being said, the milk is good quality and full of flavour. Butterfat content is 4.2% and protein levels are 3.5% making it excellent for cheese.

Red Poll cattle
Pic: Pinterest

The breed slipped out of favour in the mid 1900s as the Friesian (for its milk) and imported continental breeds (for their meat) gained in popularity. After spending time on the endangered list, Red Poll cattle have undergone a revival and its future looks bright.

Red Poll cattle adapt well to most climates. Today, the Red Poll can be found in America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and across Europe. Indeed, the Red Poll is the oldest registered breed of cattle in the USA.

Red Poll cattle size & other facts

As the name suggests, the breed is naturally polled and is usually a deep red colour. It has white markings on the tail switch.

Red Poll cow
Pic: TripAdvisor

The breed is of a medium size. (It is thought that Red Poll cattle were developed to gain weight quickly without reaching an enormous size.) Cows weigh around 545 kilos. Bulls weigh 800 – 1000 kilos. Calving is easy. Calves gain around 1.5 kilos a day.

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The Red Poll adapts very well to extensive, intensive and organic systems and will calve to any terminal sire. They are also said to enjoy the longest life span of any British breed.

Red Poll cows temperament

Red Poll cattle are calm and easy to handle. Cows make excellent mothers and can reproduce for over 12 years. Their fertility and maternal instincts make the breed popular for suckler herds. Cows produce sufficient milk for their offspring. Milk yields average around 5,000 litres a year.

Red Poll cattle
Pic: Pinterest

Red Poll beef

The Red Poll carcass yields excellent dressing percentages. The meat is tender and full of flavour. It is also high in both omega 3 and polyunsaturated fats. Red Poll beef has won numerous competitions and awards.

If you are interested in purchasing Red Poll cattle, please get in touch.

Red Poll cattle for sale and many other breeds 

David Clarke Livestock supply many other breeds of dual purpose cattle. These include; British White, Danish Red, Dexter, Kerry, Fleckvieh / Simmental, Montbéliarde, Norwegian Red, Rotbunt and Welsh Black.

Beef cattle

Beef breeds that can be sourced and supplied include; Aberdeen Angus, Aubrac, Beef Shorthorn, Blonde d’Aquitaine, CharolaisDevon, HerefordHighland, Limousin, LonghornMaine Anjou, Parthenais, Piedmontese and Salers.

Dairy cattle for sale

As Ireland’s largest exporter of dairy cattle to the UK, we can source; Ayrshire, British FriesianBrown Swiss, Dairy Shorthorn, Holstein, Guernsey and Jersey.

Find out more about our beef cattle service and our dairy cattle service.