The Senepol cattle breed is a medium-sized breed of polled cattle selectively bred to lack horns. If you’re interested in raising cattle that are good for both milk and meat production, the Senepol breed is a good choice.

Senepol cattle are gentle by nature, intelligent, and easy to handle. They’re also hardy, strong, well-adapted to heat, and have excellent grazing abilities, making them good cattle to raise all across the United States. One of the best things about these cattle is that they have vigorous calves. Senepol breeders love that these newborn calves typically jump up and nurse immediately after birth.

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Quick Facts About Senepol Cattle

Breed Name:Senepol Cattle
Place of Origin:St. Croix
Uses:Meat and milk production
Bull (Male) Size:2,050 pounds
Cow (Female) Size:1,322 pounds
Color:Red, black, or brown
Lifespan:15 – 20 years
Climate Tolerance:All climates
Care Level:Moderate
Meat and Milk Production:Good

Senepol Cattle Origins

The Senepol cattle breed was developed in the mid-1800s on the tropical island of St. Croix by crossing a N’Dama with a Red Poll. The Senepol was developed to get a breed of cattle with a high tolerance to heat and good insect resistance, along with the docile nature and good meat and milk production of the Red Poll.

Senepol breed cattle
Image Credit: Diego Franco Miguel, Shutterstock

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Senepol Cattle Characteristics

Senepol cattle are a moderately-sized breed with a gentle nature, making them a pleasure to work with. These docile cattle have good udder and teat quality, and they’re great grazers. Since these are polled or hornless cattle, keeping them reduces labor requirements and positively impacts herd management.

Senepol cattle can easily thrive wherever forage can be found, making them great animals to keep if you have a large pasture. While these cattle can be red, black, or brown, the majority of them have red hair.

These cattle are known for their ability to easily handle sweltering outdoor temperatures, making them a popular breed in many US states that have hot weather, like states in the Southwest and Midwest. While many other types of cattle kept in hot climates will head for shade during the summer months, Senepol cattle will happily graze in the warm sun all day long.

Senepols are reproductively efficient animals, with the bulls being aggressive breeders and the cows remaining in the herd until they’re 15–20 years of age. Since these animals mature early, it’s possible to replace heifers with calves at just two years of age.


Because these cattle are known for producing tender, delicious beef, Senepols are used primarily for meat production in the United States. However, since they are good milk producers, they’re also kept on dairy farms for milk production.

Sometimes, the Senepol is used for crossbreeding with dairy breeds to produce heat-tolerant milk cows. Some of the dairy breeds used for this crossbreeding include Holstein, Jersey, and Ayrshire cattle.

Red cattle of the senepol breed in a field
Image Credit: BrunaT, Shutterstock

Appearance & Varieties

As stated earlier, Senepols can be red, brown, or black, but most of these cattle are red, ranging from dark red to a lighter ginger color. They are short-haired cattle with good eye and skin pigmentation. With the average bull size being just over 2,000 pounds and the average cow being around 1,300 pounds, Senepols are considered medium-sized.

Distribution and Habitat

Senepol cattle can be found thriving in nearly two dozen states in the US and around the world in countries such as Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe. In essence, these hardy, good-natured cattle can be found in any location where their tropically-adapted production is needed.

Red cattle of the senepol breed
Image Credit: BrunaT, Shutterstock

Are Senepol Cattle Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Considering that Senepols are gentle cattle and easy to handle, these animals can be kept on small farms. If you’re interested in starting a small beef herd and don’t want to hassle with things like dehorning or handling difficult temperaments, the Senepol may be the perfect breed for you. Just remember that these cattle love grazing, so be sure to have plenty of grazing opportunities before deciding to purchase one.

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The beautiful and docile Senepol is a medium-sized, polled breed of cattle that thrives in hot weather. These cattle are used mostly for meat production because their meat is deliciously tender.

Senepols are also excellent milk producers and hearty cattle that reproduce efficiently. If you’re a small-scale farmer who wants to raise docile cattle for meat or milk production, the Senepol breed may be a good fit for you!

Featured Image Credit: BENJAMIN MEDINA, Shutterstock