Cattle breeding is practiced all over the world. Dairy and meat farms provide not only food for the milking population, but also are the basis of international economic relations. For this reason, scientists from all countries are engaged in breeding aimed at breeding new and improving existing breeds. British species of cows are known in many countries of the world for their performance and excellent taste of the products received from them. Of course, in the first place, these species spread throughout the territories of the former British colonies, but now they are an integral part of world cattle breeding. This article will tell about the most popular of the British.
Features of the British breeds
Most British representatives of cattle are meat production. They are distinguished by well-developed musculature and fitness for pasture type of content. Stamina, the ability to travel long distances in search of pasture, rapid mass gain on natural nutrition are also inherent in these breeds of cows. Almost all Britons have a thick coat that evenly covers the entire body of animals. They adapt perfectly in cold climates, tolerate cold and wind (with the exception of Shortgon). Many British breeds of cows did not undergo any changes and remained in their historically original form. Milk indices are generally low, as is the percentage of milk fat. Often the British are used in breeding, as they have very persistent genes and hybrids inherit most of their advantages.
These cows are distinguished by early maturity and high survival of offspring.
The most popular cattle breeders in the world are the Galloway, Aberdeen Angus , Shortgon large cows and dwarf highlands or dexters. Thanks to the work of breeders and natural qualities, these species are excellent for both home maintenance and large-scale production. Breeds have received worldwide recognition relatively recently. For the first time at international exhibitions they were presented to the public at the beginning of the 20th century, after which the demand for them more than tripled. British cows are used not only for production, but also for the improvement of other cattle breeds. The only negative that can be distinguished for these breeds is the rather high market value of calves.
The historical homeland of the Gallowian cows is the northern regions of Britain with their harsh cold and dry climate. Cows of this breed are kept almost all year round on pastures, which contributed to the formation of their unusual bizarre appearance. If changes in physique are not so noticeable, then thick curly hair catches your eye immediately. The Galloways are completely covered with a dense “fur coat”, which makes them seem somewhat larger than they actually are. At the same time, they have no horns; only small keratinized protrusions are visible at the place intended for them.
Thick hair helps Gallove cows to adapt to any climatic conditions, including in hot regions (they do not suffer from overheating). Well-developed limbs allow them to make long transitions in search of green food.
This breed gained fame relatively recently, after some selective improvement. Pure Gallovets for many decades, beginning in 1760, crossed with the largest representatives of the Scottish cattle, such as cows of the Ayrshire breed . As a result, we got individuals whose distinguishing features include:
- large physique, well-developed muscles and a strong skeleton;
- long fur of brown, less often gray shades. In winter, the length of the coat reaches 15-20 cm, which allows them to withstand even the lowest temperatures and not be afraid of gusts of wind or drafts;
- slaughter yield of meat, reaching 60-65%;
- high meat productivity, adult bulls weigh from 800 to 900 kg, females have a mass of 450-500 kg;
- rapid growth and mass gain;
- unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention and feed. Read about keeping cows at home here .
Galloway cows quickly reach puberty and bring first offspring. Childbirth passes without complications, as calves are born small, only 25-27 kg. Mortality among newborns is low. With perfect care, one cow does not produce more than 1300 kg of milk per year, and its fat content does not exceed 3-4%. This material will tell about the feeding ration of cattle.
It’s pointless to keep the Galloway people to get milk.
The Shortgon Cow is one of the oldest British representatives of cattle. For the first time this species was bred in York County and Durgam (by the way, the second name of the breed is Durgam), after which it was improved by breeders for many years. Material for crossing was taken from Dutch cows of meat and dairy direction. Shortgon has some of the highest meat productivity. These are large-sized animals, the growth at the withers of which reaches 150 cm, and the oblique measurement of the body exceeds 169 cm. The distinctive external features include:
- small, almost invisible horns;
- muscular shortened neck, smoothly passing into the body;
- a small head with a short front part;
- wide chest with a strongly protruding massive chest
- short strong legs;
- rounded back, on which sciatic tubercles, mackloks and sacrum are almost not visible;
- thick coat, which covers the entire body evenly.
How much a cow weighs can be found in this article .
Shortgon cows can be of any color. When breeding, scientists did not pay attention to the color. However, red and brown colors still prevail in the stock.
As for productivity, the Shortgon breed is significantly superior to many representatives of cattle. The highest weight indicators are observed at the age of 2 years: bull-calves weigh 800-900 (and sometimes 1000) kg, cows weigh up to 600 kg. The yield of pure meat is 65-82%, and the meat is soft, almost no fat. The advantages of the breed include early maturity: daily weight gain in calves is 1-1.5 kg. But there are a number of disadvantages that also need to be addressed:
- whimsicality to the conditions of detention and the feeding regimen (insufficient quantity or poor quality of food sharply reduces productivity indicators);
- inability to adapt to cold climates;
- low fecundity;
- weak immunity and disease resistance.
This species is a descendant of cattle that have not undergone selection of Celtic breeds, which became world famous at the beginning of the last century. Recognizing a Highland cow among other species is easy. Highland color most often has a red, brown, black individuals are less common. The eyes are protected from the wind by a long wavy bangs. Their physique is strong, and their growth is small. The legs are short and strong, adapted for long pasture in hilly areas. Highland has good health and copes with frosts, but it does not tolerate heat at all. Read about the loose housing of cows here .
Highland cows can not be kept in stall conditions, they need year-round grazing. Otherwise, the animal simply ceases to gain weight.
This breed is unpretentious in maintenance: all it needs is a canopy where you can hide from the rain. It only needs feeding in winter, and the rest of the time, it gains weight perfectly on independently found pasture. The maximum mass of adult gobies reaches 750 kg, and heifers - 500 kg. Slaughter is usually made at the age of 1-3 years, when the meat is the most tender and soft. Cows breed fast, and offspring have high survival rates. Childbirth passes without complications, calves grow quickly and can go to pasture with an adult livestock. Another advantage is a very calm disposition, they are obedient and quickly get used to the owner.
This species belongs to the class of mini-cows, has impressive size horns and a thick long coat with lush undercoat.
Today, many amateur breeders breed highlands for decorative purposes because of their unusual appearance. However, the main area is meat breeding.
Dexters are often included in the lists of the most unusual breeds of cows. The reason for this is its unusually small growth for horned animals, rarely reaching 100 cm at the withers. The color of the dexter is mostly dark brown, sometimes black. The legs are disproportionately short in relation to the trunk. Such cows are bred most often on small farms, since large-scale production does not justify the costs. Mini-cows are ideally suited for home farmsteads: they take up little space, do not require special care, and do not suffer from diseases. Dexter breed productivity indicators are small - 2.5-3 liters of milk per day and 100-130 kg of meat at the exit. Such a small amount of product is fully justified by even lower maintenance costs.
Mini-cows are ideal for home yard: they take up little space, do not require special care, and do not suffer from diseases.
Often, dexters are bred for decorative purposes or to a tribe. These small cows, due to their stamina and good health, serve as the genetic base for many hybrid species.
The meat of dwarf cows Dexter is characterized by a high content of nutritious proteins and iron, a minimum percentage of fat content and excellent taste. The milk in this breed is somewhat specific, has a delicate filling smell and a fat content of up to 5% with the correct content. These are pasture animals, they do not need additional feeding, as their digestive system is adapted to roughage, cereals and herbs that the cow obtains on its own. Cubs quickly gain strength and gain weight, have strong immunity. Read about keeping calves at home in winter here .
In the video we are talking about the Gallove breed of cattle, their pros and cons.
- British breeds are known and popular all over the world, as they have high rates of productivity and give excellent meat.
- Almost all British cows belong to the meat industry, with the exception of species obtained by crossing purebred Britons with cows from other countries.
- British cows have long been used for breeding as a business , because they can be both large champions in terms of the amount of meat received, and dwarf burenki meat and milk direction, giving an average amount of both of these products.
- World livestock production today is impossible to imagine without British breeds of cows. In all countries of the world, if not purebred British, then hybrids of these breeds are bred.