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The red steppe breed is very different from other types of cows. Animals withstand the intolerable heat of the southern sun, go without water for a long time and, if necessary, are content with scarce food. Pets are well known for producing quality milk. Cows are known for their agility. The milk yield of cows depends on the regularity of walks.
Breeding history of the breed
The history of the appearance of an unusual breed of cows has been going on for 3 centuries. The steppe part of sunny Ukraine became the homeland of the cows. In those early days, German settlers lived on the territory of the city of Melitopol. The zealous colonists crossed the local steppe cows with representatives of the Simmental, Wilstermarsh, Ostfriesian, Red Danish and Angler breeds.
Livestock breeders were specially selected for crossing dairy animals. All cows were similar in genetic traits and metabolism. If earlier local cows were mainly used as draft force, now the situation has changed. A red steppe breed of animals was born. Dairy cows are distinguished by their rare unpretentiousness to the diet and conditions of detention. They instantly adapt to any climate and rarely get sick. A few years later, the red steppe beauty received official recognition. Cows could be found in farms located in Western Siberia, the Volga region, Kuban and Stavropol Territory.
Today, animals are widespread in Kazakhstan, Russia, Moldova and the Caucasus. During the Soviet era, red cows were bred everywhere. In some parts of the country, the livestock of red steppe cattle occupied 80-90% of the total number of cattle.
Detailed description and characteristics of red steppe cows
The unique qualities of the breed are not limited to the ability of animals to adapt to any climatic conditions. Cows are able to do without water for a long time and survive drought without losses. With good care, animals produce 4-4.5 tons of milk per year. The fat content of the product is 3.7%.
Characteristics of cows:
- The chest in cows is not wide, deep. The girth of the animal's chest reaches 185-190 cm.On average, the pet grows up to 127-132 cm.
- The skeleton of the animal is graceful, light. The musculature is poorly developed.
- The mass of adult breeding bulls easily reaches 800-900 kg. Females weigh less - from 450 to 560 kg. Healthy calves gain weight well, and bulls gain 150-170 kg by the age of six months.
- A well-developed loin, powerful legs and a straight, strong back testify to the origin of animals. Their ancestors were used as draft animals for transporting salt.
- The length of the elongated body of the animal reaches 165 cm.
- The angular shape of the pet's body is compensated by the beautiful lines of the dry neck.
- A small oblong head of a cow is crowned with a pair of sharp horns. They are directed forward and represent a formidable weapon for people and animals. Because of this feature, the horns of pets are removed.
- The skin has a firm, smooth structure. It does not sag on the animal even with severe weight loss. Red steppe cows often lose weight for various reasons; even a change in weather is reflected in the condition of animals.
- The udder of the pet reaches medium size. It has the shape of a rounded bowl, unevenly developed. When filled with milk, the organ swells greatly. After the milking procedure, the udder is sharply reduced in size, and its surface is collected in folds.
- The skin of a cow is colored red, brownish or reddish-cherry. Some individuals are marked with white patches on the chest, head or udder.
- Skin folds are located under the neck of the animal.
Positive and negative sides
The red-steppe cow has a lot of advantages and is simply created for dairy farming. However, for successful breeding and production of dairy products, it is necessary to take into account the disadvantages of the breed.
Cows can handle the hot climate with surprising ease. All they need are shade canopies to shelter from the midday sun. Such awnings are easy to make yourself.
Pets are not afraid of winds and rains.
Even in conditions of complete drought, cows maintain their fattened body weight.
Being the owners of strong immunity, animals rarely get sick. Not only adults, but also small calves are resistant to various infections and ailments.
Burenki are excellent mothers. They take care of their babies on their own, without causing unnecessary trouble for the owners.
The red steppe breed is resistant to leukemia. This quality is appreciated by livestock breeders, because the disease adversely affects the milk yield of cows.
Due to the fragility of the skeletal system and weak muscles, animals often injure limbs. Especially often the trouble happens on pastures with hilly relief.
Milking a cow with a machine in most cases results in mastitis. Trouble happens due to the design of the device. Cup caps clamp the nipples and prevent milk from coming out. An unpleasant phenomenon can be avoided with the help of a special massage of the animal's udder. The procedure is done after each milking.
Cows do not produce much meat.
Is it possible to let the red steppe for slaughter?
The red steppe cow belongs to dairy cattle, but in some cases the animal is sent for meat. Such use of animals can hardly be called profitable, because the net product yield is only 50%. However, the taste of meat is highly valued.
Subtleties of content
Representatives of the red-steppe breed do not tolerate keeping on a leash poorly. Animals need constant movement outdoors and indoors. Physical activity of cows will help to avoid postpartum complications and udder swelling. The loose housing of pets helps to increase milk yield and fat content.
Basic care of red steppe animals does not require much effort. In winter, cows are kept in a warm, dry environment. For the normal well-being of pets, it is necessary to maintain an air temperature of + 12-22 degrees. The stable is equipped with natural or artificial ventilation. The room must be lit. Windows should occupy 15-20% of the wall area.
In winter, the stall floor is covered with an impressive layer of bedding. Periodically, it is replaced with a fresh portion of hay. In the barn, pets are kept in a common herd or individually. In the case of group keeping, the breeding bulls are separated from their relatives and sent to their personal apartments.
In the case of the birth of a large number of calves, the young are divided into age groups. The older category of bulls corresponds to the age from 1.5 to 2 years. The middle age group is from 1 to 1.5 years old, the youngest is from 6 to 9 months.
For babies, they make an irreplaceable warm bedding consisting of sawdust and straw. This pillow is treated with a drug to inhibit the growth of pathogenic organisms. The product prevents straw from rotting. Already 3 weeks after birth, the calves need active movement, so a special area for walking is equipped for them. Calves are regularly washed and thoroughly combed out, thus getting rid of parasitic insects.
Before each milking procedure, the udder of the cow is carefully washed. Animals are regularly treated with drugs for the prevention of diseases caused by intestinal and pulmonary parasites, and also used against gadfly larvae and ticks.
Dry cow is called a temporary period of refusal from milking a cow. Depending on the physical condition of the animal, the "vacation" lasts from 50 to 70 days. The pet needs such a rest, because she spends a lot of energy on bearing and feeding the offspring. Otherwise, the health of the cow will be undermined. It is impossible to reduce the time of the dry period. Lack of rest leads to decreased milk quality, barrenness or the birth of an unviable calf.
Red-steppe cows mature quickly, therefore, already at the age of 16-19 months, the cow is inseminated. For breeding, healthy individuals are selected that do not have obvious, external flaws. During pregnancy, the cow is fed and watered 3 times a day. It is forbidden to give cold and poor quality food to the cow. Representatives of the breed rarely have difficulty in labor.
The newborn calf is cleared of mucus, rubbed with a piece of soft tissue and returned to the mother.
In the first hours of life, the baby feeds on maternal colostrum. Feeding the animal is carried out at least 5 times every 24 hours. After a day, warm water is given to the calf. The permissible daily water intake for a baby is 3 liters. After 14 days, the calf is trained to eat solid food. The best food for an animal is hay brewed with boiling water. Before consumption, the food is infused for 6-7 hours.
The health of the newborn calf depends on good hygiene. The excrement must be removed immediately, the dishes must be treated with boiling water. After a successful calving, the horned beauty is provided with a clean bedding and plenty of drink. All the necessary vitamins, proteins and trace elements are included in the animal's diet. The cow is taken for a walk every day. The animal needs exercise at any time of the year.
In the summertime, cows get food on the pasture. If there is not enough grass for the animals, the cows are fed with vegetables and concentrates.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
In winter, the daily ration of cows consists of 12 kg of hay, 5 kg of potatoes, 4.5 kg of compound feed, 6 kg of carrots and 15 kg of fodder turnips. Salt must be added to the feeders.
Animals of the red-steppe breed are famous for their strong immunity, but in some cases it is not possible to avoid the disease. In these cases, it is important to diagnose a dangerous ailment in a timely manner and begin treatment.
Pets are amazed:
- Leptospirosis. A dangerous infectious disease threatens the animal with death. The infection affects the mucous membranes and internal organs of the cow.
- Demodectic mange. The culprit of the disease is a tick. The disease manifests itself in the form of small bumps covering the head, neck and back of the cow.
- Poisoning. Trouble happens as a result of animals eating poisonous plants.
What do you need to know when buying?
When buying a calf, you need to know the weight of the young animal. The pet's weight must correspond to the age norm. At 6 months, the goby weighs from 120 to 145 kg. The heifer is gaining up to 90 kg. The animal must be energetic, mobile. When buying an adult cow, pay attention to the udder. There should be no deformation or hardening on it.