Good Life Ranch was finally able to acquire our first cattle in Fall 2011. After much research, we decided on Red Poll cattle as our breed of choice and we were able to purchase 2 young bred cows with heifer calves at their sides from Simpson Calhoun at the National Red Poll Sale in Danville, KY. Since then we have added to our herd with 2 more cows from Wiese Farms in Kansas, heifers from Stieber's Red Polls in Oklahoma, and a young bull from Shuter Sunset Farms in Indiana. We have had calves every year since, and the Red Polls are wonderful mothers!

The Red Poll is a dual purpose breed from England that once enjoyed a prominent role in the dairy industry because of the large amount of quality milk they could produce. Prior to the advent of the modern Holstein, the Red Poll held many all-breed records for milk production. Since the introduction of the Holstein, the Red Poll has almost gone extinct - especially in North America. The few remaining proponents of the breed started to improve the Red Poll's already strong meat characteristics in an effort to save the breed. They have been successful at creating an ideal grass-fed beef animal, but the breed still teeters towards extinction. Red Polls are listed as Threatened by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy with fewer than 1,000 head in the US and less than 5,000 head worldwide.

We chose Red Polls after considering other breeds like Angus, Galloways, Longhorns, and Highlands. They had a combination of traits that matched up well with our desire to produce beef on grass and hay only without feed, antibiotics, hormones, and other props and crutches. The Red Poll breed are very fertile - which is the most important trait of all because without a new calf to work with every year all of the other traits become moot. They are easy calving because their calves are small at birth. The calves grow very quickly and in several studies I read Red Polls led all breeds in 205-day calf weight per cow bred. The cows are able to do this because their breed history in the dairy industry means that they can produce large quantities of milk. The breed is known for being docile, which is an important characteristic for us since we move our cattle every day. We want protective mothers, but not aggressive cattle. We get that with the Red Poll breed. The breed is also moderate in size (cows around 1200 lbs and bulls around 1800 lbs), giving them the ability to fatten and marble on grass alone. They are one of only a handful of breeds that can finish to Choice on grass. Red Polls are reknowned for the tenderness and quality of the beef they produce.

Our herd gets moved to fresh pasture daily. This keeps them into quality grass and clover and away from their excrement. They have access to mineral salt and diatomeceous earth, but are given no hormones, antibiotics, or other non-natural supplements. We do vaccinate, but that's it. The cattle love moving about the pastures throughout the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, they are fed hay in the area where we make the next year's garden and enjoy adding their fertilizer to the soil.

The animals we process for beef will have consumed nothing but mother's milk, grass, hay, and salt. They will have enjoyed pasture throughout their lives and will have enjoyed a much longer lifespan than the supermarket beef animal. Our cattle will have reached 29 months in age to allow the animal to finish growing and fatten naturally on grasses and clovers rather than be forced to fatten unnaturally early on a diet of grain - a diet that will cause the cow to die from liver or rumen failure if it's not processed by about 18 months of age. Letting our cattle grow to 29 months old also allows time for the true flavor to develop. Eating grass-fed beef from an mature, naturally fattened animal is an unforgettable taste experience and once you've tasted it you won't willingly go back to corn-fed beef.

 

Beef Availability: We have sold out of Red Poll beef through 2015 and have created a waiting list for our Red Poll beef in 2016 and beyond. Previous purchasers have first right of refusal; in other words, they can stay on the list until they decline to purchase. Please contact us to reserve your spot on the list.

Price: Market price at the time of your deposit. Deposit is a non-refundable $100.

Breeding Stock Availability: From time to time we offer select animals that do not fit our breeding plans for sale. These will be animals that we feel are too high-quality to go to beef. We offer these animals for sale off the farm or at the National Red Poll Sale in the fall.

Our small but growing herd currently consists of:
Click on the names for more information. The animals
are arranged in order of age, oldest first.

Bulls
Shuter's Last Chance
GLR McCracken

Cows/Heifers
WFH Sunshine PP743
SMC M635'S B Vella
SMC WW670 Babe's 904
WBH Daisy BR235
Stieb's Shanna CRM155
JF Violet
Esquire's BL Vicki
Esquire's BL Ruby
Esquire's BL Thers
GLR Adair
GLR Fayette