The Red Poll was originally developed in the early 1800's as a dual-purpose breed in England by John Reeve, a tenet on the Earl of Leichester's Holkham Estate in Norfolk. It was developed from a cross of the Norfolk Red Beef Cows and the Suffolk Dun Dairy Cows.
They were originally called "Norfolk and Suffolk Red Polled".
They were officially recognized as a breed in 1846.
The Red Poll Herd Book was published in 1874 by Henry Euren and was one of the earliest purebred documentation registries in England.
The First Red Poll cattle were imported into the United States in 1873 by G.F. Tabor of New York.
Taber brought over a Bull and 3 heifers in 1873. In 1875 he imported 4 more Cows followed by 3 bulls and 23 heifers in 1882.
In 1882 a Bull and 10 females were imported by Messrs, Mead and Kimball of Randolph, Vermont.
300 Head of Red Poll cattle used to develop the US herds arrived between 1873 and 1900.
In 1883 the breed became known as "The Red Polled". That same year the first Red Poll Association was organized as the Red Poll Cattle Club of America. The Association re-incorporated in Nebraska in 1947 and the name changed once again to the current name of American Red Poll Association in 1975.
The Red Poll Cattle Society was formed in 1888 in the U.K.
The Canadian Red Poll Cattle Association was incorporated in 1906.
New Zealand imported Red Polls in 1898.
Red Polls were introduced into Canada in the 1880's by the New Brunswick provincial government.
While the Red Poll may now be classified as a 'beef breed' since 1972 they are still suitable as a 'dual-purpose' breed and I personally fail to see the purpose of their reclassification to a single purpose breed.
1800's - Developed as Dual Purpose Breed
1846 - Officially Recognized as a Breed
1873 - First Red Poll imported into the US
1883 - Red Poll Cattle Club of America formed.
Developed as a dual-purpose breed and can be used for both Meat and Milk.
Best known for their easy calving.
Red Polls are very competitive in the Dairy class producing 10,000 pounds of milk per year as a teenager.
They are a long lived breed producing calves at the age of 12 and beyond.
Red Polls are efficient grazers and are used in many Organic Farm Programs.
The Biggest Disadvantage of the Red Poll Breed seems to be the lack of breeders to cull to produce a better "Udder" on future Cows.
Productive as well as Long-Lived
Meat and Milk Breed
Excellent in Organic Farm Programs
Red Poll are most recognized for their Deep RED coloring with the Red & White Switch Tail.
White Udders are common in the breed.
Udders should be firm and well hung with 2 x 2 evenly spaced teats.
Additional Teats or Nubs should be considered a flaw and a strong reason for culling.
Red Poll bulls generally weigh 1,800 to 2,200 pounds.
Cows generally weigh 1,100 to 1,400 pounds.
Moderate Size Frame with sturdy legs and 4 straight front facing legs and feet.
Well-Muscled carcass with little fat cover.
Small Head without Horns (*POLLED).
A clean throat with little dewlap.
Eyes set slightly to the outside of the face.