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Randall cattle are a rare breed of purebred cattle developed in Sunderland, Vermont, USA, on the farm of Samuel Randall, and later his son, Everett Randall. The Randall family kept a closed herd for over 80 years. Randalls are considered to be a landrace breed, descended from the local cattle common in New England in the nineteenth Century.
In 1985 the Randall cattle were rescued from the Randall farm after Everett Randall had died. The animals were widely dispersed but soon began to disappear. Cynthia Creech, then living in Tennessee, stepped in to purchase most of the remaining animals to preserve the genetics from extinction.
Randall Cattle are an all-purpose breed, meaning they originally served as dairy, meat, and draft animals. From fewer than 20 animals the breed population has increased to over 350 breeding females.
Randall cattle are quite variable in size and conformation and have a constitution that is suited to the New England climate. Randalls on average are medium in size with the cows weighing about 600-1100 lbs. and bulls weighing from 1000 to 1800 lbs. or more. Randall cattle have a "Colour-sided" lineback pattern, black markings on a white base, varying from almost white to very dark. Other subtle shades such as blue, mahogany, and gray have been observed, and there are now a number of recessive reds.
Randall meat characteristics can vary between different family lines, for example some produce a lean carcass with yellow fat and others produce a beefier well marbled carcass.
Calving difficulties are rare, and metabolic disorders have not been seen. They have strong maternal and survival instincts, high intelligence, and are very docile when handled regularly.
This breed is uniquely adapted to extensive or low input farming systems. Historically, the most suitable and natural environment for these cattle has been on small scale forage-based farms, subsistence farms, and homesteads. It is on such farms and homesteads that the unique genetic attributes of the Randalls can be fully expressed. .
Most Randall cattle are currently found in the Eastern United States and Canada. While breed numbers are greatly improved, the breed remains critically endangered.