Randall Lineback is a purebred remnant of
lineback-patterned cattle once common in New
England. Though the origins of the breed are
not clear, it is likely to have originated
in New England from a combination of Dutch,
English, and French cattle. Historically,
Linebacks were multi-purpose, used for
dairy, beef, and oxen, and served as an
integral part of rural New England life for
several centuries. The population was not
formally organized, except for the brief
existence of the Columbian breed association
in the early 1900s. Most of the Lineback
population was lost this century through
crossbreeding with Holsteins.The "lineback"
part of the breed's name describes the
characteristic lineback color pattern. The
cattle are blue-black with a white line down
their backs. The roan coloring on their
sides varies from almost black to nearly
white, with black noses, eye rings, ears,
feet, and teats. Between the extremes are
many animals that are blue roan or speckled.
All of the variants are stunning, especially
against a background of green grass.
The name Randall comes
from the Randall family in Vermont, who kept
a closed herd of Linebacks for over eighty
years. The Randall herd was one of the few
herds of Linebacks that was not crossbred
with Holsteins. After the death of Everett
Randall, however, the herd was dispersed and
most of the animals were lost to slaughter.
Through a convoluted pathway and with the
efforts of American Livestock Breeds
Conservancy members, a small part of the
herd was saved and has been the foundation
for conservation efforts.
are medium in size. Some variation in
conformation does occur, but the majority of
cows have dairy conformation and
well-developed udders. The bulls are large
and demonstrate good growth rates. A few
steers have been trained as oxen, a task at
which they excel. Their unusual color,
willingness, and ability make them
attractive and capable draft animals.
Lineback breed is distinct from the American
Lineback, which includes any dairy animal
with the lineback color pattern. Though the
American Lineback registry includes some
animals of historic breeding, this
population falls short of the genetic
definition of a breed.
cattle are critically rare, and the cattle
are being closely managed for increasing
numbers and maintaining genetic health. With
more than 500 in 2015, the breed is more
secure now than in the recent past, although
additional breeders would ensure its
continued survival. - "the information above
is in Courtesy/Reference to the Livestock Conservancy"
The following pictures are
a few of the cattle within our herd!