The Red Poll is a dual purpose cattle breed developed in England in the mid-1800's. The Red Poll was developed by crossing the Norfolk Red beef-type cattle and the Suffolk Dun dairy cattle (both breeds now extinct). Breeders were trying to create a breed which would easily fatten, but which wouldn't grow to an extreme size. Good milk production was also considered important in the new breed.
The Red Poll was first brought to the United States in 1873, by G.P Taber of New York state. The Red Poll Cattle Club of America was created in 1883. The breed was introduced to Australia in 1870 and to New Zealand in1898.
Appearance / health:
Red Poll cattle are red - preferably a deep red with white only on the tail switch and udder. They are naturally polled (without horns).
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.
Behavior / temperament:
Red Polls cows are gentle, and bulls tend to be easy to handle though aggressive.
Housing / diet:
A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.
Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.