Initially bred for both beef and milk, today Lincoln Reds are bred solely for their exceptional meat. Finely marbled, Lincoln Red beef is tender and succulent with incredible flavour.
Because of its long history as a dual-purpose breed, Lincoln Red cows have a high milk yield, giving Yarn Hill calves a great start. Easy to calve, Lincoln Reds are perfect mothers with strong maternal instincts, and their progeny are blessed with high growth rates.
Lincoln reds are known for being intelligent but docile animals, and Yarn Hill Lincoln Reds are exceptionally gentle and easy to handle. They are also very hardy with good longevity, producing calves at up to 16 years old.
Numbers of Lincoln Reds in the UK dropped in the 1970s and 1980s, alongside other native British beef breeds, as continental cattle breeds began to be imported. The Lincoln Red was effectively crossbred with these imported cattle breeds, but purebred Lincoln Reds have become an endangered breed and are now monitored by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
The Lincoln Red is one of the oldest native beef cattle breeds in the UK. Genetic studies have traced its ancestry to the wild Bos Urus, whose descendants were brought to eastern England by Viking invaders between 449 and 660AD.
The pedigree Lincoln Red began to emerge as a recognisable breed in the 18th century. Included in the very first volume of the Coates Herd Book in 1822, the Lincoln Red Shorthorn Association began publishing its own herd book in 1896.
Yarn Hill Lincoln Reds’ pedigrees can be traced to the 11th volume of this herd book. The first Yarn Hill bull came from Robert Needham’s herd, first recorded over 100 years ago.
By 1926, the Lincoln Red Shorthorn was the second most registered breed of pedigree cattle in England. Traceability is increasingly important for restaurants and consumers, and this is one of many reasons (alongside the taste!) that prime Lincoln Red beef is enjoying a renaissance today.