Kranky Kids® home page
My Daily Cow®
Polska czerwona (RP) - heifer calf - Poland

Polska czerwona (RP)
(most common name)

(transboundary/brand name):
• Polish Red
also named (Polish):
• Czerwona polska
• pc
also named (English):
• Polish Red-Brown (historical breed name)
also named (Russian):
• Krasnaya pol’skaya
also named (Ukrainian):
• Chervona polskaya

The Polska czerwona (RP) is an old brachyceros-type indigenous (native) breed of Poland.

By the 1880’s, the Polska czerwona (RP) had evolved into two separate types of cattle:
Polish Red Lowland
Polish Red Highland

By 1900, a breed society and herdbook existed that had mixed the two types together for serious breeding and upgrading with imported red breeds. (Exact years vary depending on source.)

So, during the first quarter of the 1900’s, the Polska czerwona (RP) evolved into a mixture of upgraded Polish highland and lowland red type cattle.

WWII caused heavy losses in their population. Black Pied Lowland cattle were brought in to replace the losses and, by the 1950’s, all the original Polish Red Lowland cattle strains in the northeast were absorbed. Amongst the Polish Red Highland cattle, a strain named Podgórska (Podgórska Red in English) was the last surviving.

Then, in 1982, after about a century of upgrading and turmoil, government conservation herds were established using the Podgórska.

In 1999, one of the conservation herds tested had genotype admixtures of Danish Red (23%) and Angeln (28%), with microsatellites and protein markers displaying closeness to the Angeln. As such, the Polska czerwona (RP) is now classified as Baltic Red.

According to the DAD-IS database:
In 1983, the Polska czerwona (RP) general population was 85,140. Since then, numbers have fallen dramatically with the current 2018 population reported as a maximum of 3,000.

Today, the Polska czerwona (RP) is found in:
• Warmia-Masuria (a northeast province)
• Podlasie (a northeast province)
• Małopolska (a southeastern province)

The Polska czerwona (RP) was traditionally dual-purpose but the focus is now on dairy performance. Qualities reported are:
• perform well in extremely poor environmental and feeding conditions
• perform well with low feeding
• high resistance to disease
• high fertility, longevity and vitality
• easy calving with calves having high vitality and fitness
• milk with high fat content, protein and solids
• milk with a kappa-kazein content that is valued for cheese production (also called kappa casein, K-Casein - a milk protein which helps determine how fast and firm milk will clot to make cheese).

(Polish) czerwona = red


You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Poland and read about other Polish cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.