to look at Red Poll Saturday - any advice?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by mamagoose, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    SE Ohio
    Our lone Jersey heifer was not bred, actually to find out, not a breeder even. Nearly a year later and we're back to square one. After much consideration, we thought we might like to try one of the dual breeds instead. Less milk to deal with, hopefully less mastitis probability and easier for someone else to milk if we are away. The farm where we are going to visit has several Red Poll cows, descendants of the farmer's father and who had milked them up to the early 60's. He has pure bred for more beef since then and they are registered and he has shown, gentle and halter-broke cows, no indication of quality from him on the phone. They have a few bred heifers due from Feb to April for $1k each. Also, several young heifers. The older ones we'll be interested in won't have a full udder yet, so we're not sure what to look for other than to look at their dams. We've checked out what photos there are on the net of show winners, etc. to get an idea. I want a small cow (he has one who will mature around 1100) with long teats as easy to milk as my old dairy goat! One idea is to have 2 cows in lactation for say 7 months (or however long we decide to leave her calf on and we could possibly milk twice a day for a short time after weaning) with an overlap of both cows to make lots of cheddar during that one month. At least keeping 2 cows would give us a backup and possibly to annually sell one calf for breeding or beef and keep one for our freezer. The milking a cow is all new to us at this point, though. I don't want to milk twice a day and I don't want to be inundated with milk. Our kids are grown, so unless they get desparate, they will rarely consume any. I know there are Dexters owners who could be helpful, but if there are any Red Poll milkers out there, I could use some info on what to expect from this breed in milk volume, handling, etc. Thanks! ps Looking back, I should have just kept my free orphaned Polled Hereford cow and tried to milk her!
     
  2. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Victoria Australia
    We have 2 Red Poll cows and they are each raising a Dexter/Red poll heifer calves...I can hardly see their udders and they are big tall cows....they tower over my Dexters.
    So I am not sure whether the Red Poll is suitable to what you are looking for. But then again these are Aussie red polls...here I would see more udder on a Shorthorn cow, being another dual purpose cow. One of our cows is of show quality but she has white on her udder so wasnt kept by the breeder. The other cow is taller and is quite hard to keep weight on cos of her size, she will be huge when she finishes growing...they are 3 now. Good luck.
     

  3. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Western NY
    I had thought red Poll were big to, do you have Tarentaise in your area? They are dual purpose also, try a search for them. Good Luck,

    Carol K
     
  4. farmerdan

    farmerdan Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Michigan
    I've had several Red Poll cows. They udder up nicely and raise big calves. A neighbor guy used to milk his. You won't be overflowing with milk but you should get enough for family use. Mine aren't fed any grain - only hay and grass. If you get a bull calf, you can sell it or raise it as beef. The ALBC had a taste test and Red Poll came out over the other breeds. Tarentais in the US aren't like the ones being milked in France. The ones I've seen don't udder up much at all. Maybe they do in your area Carol.

    Dan