This breed designation originated in 1961 when the Norwegian Red-and-White, Red Trondheim and the Red Polled Østland. Later in 1963 the Døle was also absorbed into the designation and in 1968 South and West Norwegians were added. Others breeds which have been said to contribute to the gene pool include Ayshires, Swedish Red-and-Whites, Friesians and Holsteins. By 1975, 98% of the Norwegian national herd belonged to this designation. Using the classical definition the Norwegian Red cannot be considered a breed. It is an amalgamation to develop superior strain of dual-purpose cattle. With time and selection this designation may develop into a breed but this is not the case yet.
Cows are selected for milking potential, rate of milk flow and fertility, while bulls are selected on the basis of performance in a rate-of-growth test.
In Norway they are also known by the name Norsk rodt fe.
Norwegian Red cattle do not express the external uniformity seen in a true breed, although they are red or red-pied for the most part. Cows weigh about 495kg to 600kg bulls about 900 kg. They produce approximately 6200 litres of milk a year.
They are of a medium size and give a average yield, average milk-fat and average meat - they are specifically bred for these traits.
Calving ease - with shorter gestestion lengths, fewer still births and more live progeny
High fertility - producing reduced semen, vet and AI costs
High fat and protein milk
Higher Mastitis resistance
Choice of Polled or Horned
This breed or type of cattle is not one of the most popular in terms of export and global numbers, but they are found in Norway and have a population of about 280000.