Ayrshire cows are deservedly among the leaders of dairy productivity. This breed is considered one of the best in milk yield and milk quality. Ayrshires enjoy the love and trust of breeders around the world.
History of Ayrshire Cows
Ayrshirets, as a separate breed, trace the history of their appearance from the end of the 18th century. Their homeland is the Scottish county of Ayrshire. The breeding material was made by indigenous cows, which local farmers crossed with bulls of the Dutch, Tisquater and Alderney breeds. However, it is not known for certain which breeds took part in the selection. Perhaps they were Shorthorns, Jerseys and other cows - there are many versions in this regard.
The official registration of Ayrshirov took place in 1814. Unpretentiousness, high milk yield and delicious milk are qualities that quickly made the Ayrshire breed popular all over the world. At the beginning of the 19th century, Ayrshire cows were brought to the United States. And in the 20th century, the triumphal procession of ayrshirs around the world began. Ayrshirets were brought to Russia at the end of the 19th century from Finland.
The breed belongs to cattle of medium size. External characteristics of Ayrshires:
- Weight. Females weigh 400-500 kg. Maximum - 540 kg. Gobies - 600-800 kg. The weight of one-year-old calves is 250-300 kg.
- Height. In height, females and males reach 125-130 cm.
- Color. Red-white or white with brown spots. Bulls have a more saturated color of spots. The color of the spots varies from light red to brown.
- Body type. Strong body with developed muscles. Length - up to 154 cm. The chest is wide, the neck is even, smoothly passes into the shoulders and head. The back is straight. Legs are short, set correctly. The head is small, elongated. The horns are large.
- Udder. Cup-shaped, well-built. Nipples are wide, cone-shaped or cylindrical.
Ayrshirets have very strong hooves. They are safely bred not only on flat lands, but also in mountainous terrain. The hornless breed is not from birth. Degeneration is acquired among Ayrshires - calves are burned by horns immediately after birth. If this is not done, then over time the cow / bull will grow long and beautiful horns.
Advantages and disadvantages of the breed
Positive qualities of Ayrshire people:
- Easily adapt to different climatic conditions.
- Undemanding to the conditions of detention.
- Easily carry hauls over long distances.
- Good feed digestion.
- They are distinguished by energy, good health and longevity.
- Demonstrate the stability of milk yield in any season.
- Early maturity - can produce offspring from the age of two.
- High productivity and economic benefits of breeding.
The breed has a few shortcomings:
- Poor heat tolerance.
- Wayward. Differ in complexity of character.
- They love freedom - they do not want to be locked up all the time.
Ayrshire cows can feed up to 7,000 liters of milk per year. Average milk yield - 4,000 liters per lactation. In terms of quality indicators, Ayrshire’s milk surpasses the production of Holstein, the leaders of milk production. Characteristics of Ayrshire milk cows:
- Ideal raw material for the production of cheese and butter.
- Fat content - 2.3-4.2%.
- The amount of protein is 3.4-3.5%.
High-quality Ayrshire milk is used for the production of baby food.
Record cows can produce up to 11,000 liters of milk per lactation. Duration of milking per year is 305 days.
Productivity characteristics make Ayrshireans the most profitable breed for breeding in the dairy industry. The meat productivity of the breed is satisfactory. Cattle is rapidly gaining weight, and its slaughter yield is more than 50%. Read about growing bulls for meat here .
How to choose a cow?
The main goal for buying an Ayrshire cow is to get milk. Choosing a burenka, first of all, evaluate its milk productivity. External signs indicating high milkiness of the animal do not guarantee, but increase the likelihood of high milk yield.
How to choose a dairy cow:
- In productive cows, the udder is well developed, has a cup shape. It is wide, highly attached at the back and, speaking far forward, smoothly passes into the peritoneum. The bottom of the udder is almost horizontal, located at the level of the hock joints.
- An excessively large udder is a minus. If the udder hangs too low - below the hock joints, it will cling and hurt itself against bushes, dry, hard grass, and more.
- Animals that have a goat udder are characterized by low productivity. The "goat" udder has a triangular shape, and the nipples are long and thick, close set.
- A sure sign of high milk yield is a well-developed milk vein.
If the exterior of the purchased cow meets the signs of high milk productivity, we proceed to evaluate other criteria:
- Health. The coat should be smooth and soft. Gait - hard, eyes - foggy. A sick animal can be distinguished by its behavior - it stands drowsy, weakly reacts to stimuli.
- Age. Horns or teeth are examined to assess age. It is not recommended to take a cow older than ten years - after this age, milk yield of cows is reduced.
Farmers acknowledge that Ayrshire cows have a complex disposition. Many even refuse to breed “Scotch” because of their troubled nature. These cows are aggressive and extremely shy at the same time. Often it is fear that provokes their aggression. Increased activity complicates the maintenance and milking of Ayrshire cows.
Compared to other breeds, Ayrshire people are very mobile. They are not satisfied with standing idle in one place, they begin to get nervous, being in a limited space. For this breed you need to arrange open pens, where they could freely walk and stretch.
Breeding in Russia
The largest number of Ayrshire people is in Finland. Burenko live here for a long time - for decades, while giving stable milk yield of 11,000 liters. Today, the breed is willingly grown by farms in Russia.
The breeding range is concentrated mainly in the western regions of the Russian Federation. Aireshire breeding regions:
- Moscow region;
- Novgorod region;
- Leningrad region.;
- Krasnodar region.
In our country at the same time approximately 90 thousand heads of Ayrshirets are raised. Milk yield in breeding farms is 7000-8000 l / year. And 1 kg of live weight - 200-260 rubles. The cost of an adult animal is 80-100 thousand rubles. Tribal males and females are more expensive.
Ayrshire breed is unpretentious and easily adapts to different content systems. These cows are in good health and milked equally well, living on pastures and in stalls. True, they need to ensure walking - they do not like to stand long in one place.
Conditions of care and maintenance:
- Although Ayrshire people are hardy, in winter they need to pay special attention to providing favorable conditions of detention - temperature at + 15 ... + 17 ° C, no drafts, good ventilation.
- In the summer, cows are offered a walking area. So that animals can hide from the sun and rain, a canopy is set up on a walk.
Ayrshires are ready to tolerate cold and high humidity, but they react poorly to heat - it harms the body of burenki, milk yield falls.
The nuances of the equipment of sheds for cows:
- Shine. The crib should be light. Not very bright lamps are needed.
- Air exchange. Mandatory street air.
- Floor. They are made of wood planks. Above is a straw litter.
- Stall. It is built according to the size of the animal. A place for a leash is usually made of pipes with a diameter of 10 cm.
- Feeders. You can build a feeder-trough for food - it is placed in front of the stall, so that it is convenient for the animal to eat. If the animals walk around the shed unattached - the feeders can be made mounted.
Care after calving
Ayrshirks hastened - bring the first calf in 24 months. The mass of the newborn is 25-30 kg. Calving is almost always successful. Newborns are highly survivable. When calving is completed, a certain care should be provided to the cow and calf:
- Remove the last.
- Half an hour after calving, the cow is given hay and water at room temperature or slightly warmer.
- Burenka, after calving, is given 4-5 times daily.
To keep cows and young animals healthy, you should regularly clean the stall:
- Cattle are introduced from the premises before cleaning.
- Manure is removed, feeders and drinking bowls are washed with water.
- Sweeping debris, changing the straw litter.
In summer, it is better for cows to stay on pastures, and in the winter, it is better to stay in the room where a corral is set up so that the cows can stretch their legs. The addiction to the new nutritional system for ayrshirets is painless. They are given food:
- Main. The basis of winter food is hay. Other roughage is also given - husk, chaff, husk. Experienced breeders are advised to provide Ayrshirek food in the public domain.
- Balancing. For the growth of milk yield and quality indicators of milk. Burenki need wheat, oats, oilcake, soybean meal.
- Compound feed. "Portion" for a burenka - 3-4 kg.
Giving cows mixed feed, it should be remembered - an excess of this feed can provoke gastrointestinal problems. If there is an excess of starch in the feed, a one-time norm is limited to 2 kg.
When feeding ayrshire, it is not recommended to abuse haylage - sunken grass, and silage - fermented plants. In the diet, you must enter:
- a piece of chalk;
- juicy food - beets, cabbage, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes.
On the content of Ayrshire cows, see the video below:
An approximate daily diet of a cow weighing 500 kg is shown in table 1.
A cow should receive about 30-40 liters of water per day.
More information about feeding rules for dairy cows is here . We also recommend that you read the article on feeding calves from birth , because the diet in adults and babies is different.
How are Ayrshirets bred?
Breeding Ayrshirek can give real income if, after calculating everything, organize rhythmic production. To grow milk-producing cows profitably, proceed as follows:
- To master the knowledge of breeding, keeping and feeding cows in summer and winter.
- Find out reliable places to sell products. Products can be delivered to different points - shops, dairies, supermarkets.
- Prepare a business plan in which all risks and costs must be taken into account.
- Register an enterprise. Buy a plot of land for a farm, or rent it. Obtain permission from Rospotrebnadzor for their activities.
- To erect sheds in accordance with livestock standards. Fit in it feeders and drinking bowls. Build a stall.
- Buy young animals. Animals are bought in accordance with their intended goals.
Farmers prefer to breed purebred Ayrshirek - this helps prevent genetic defects. To increase milk productivity, livestock breeders often cross Ayrshire bulls with cows of different breeds - Holstein, red steppe, and Simmental.
About the line of bulls
Today, in breeding dairy breeds, the main emphasis is on breeding lines from one ancestor. The line of bulls is called males, which not only belong to the same breed, but also descended from the same producer.
Types of bull lines:
- Genealogical. In this subgroup, the bulls have one head of the clan. It consists of bulls with a variety of pedigrees.
- Factory. It is created through careful selection, which allows you to preserve the unique characteristics of the breed.
- Find a bull through which to improve the quality of the future livestock.
- After evaluating the quality of the offspring, they are looking for the ideal ancestor - the lineage creator.
- The ancestor is given to breed. Then their offspring will be propagated - they will receive material for the next selection.
- Having evaluated the bulls received from the ancestor, the best ones are selected. One successor of the genus is determined. This is repeated over and over for each subsequent generation.
Bull lines are needed as long as winning characteristics are maintained. But by the fourth or fifth generation, they are dying away.
Before breeding calves of Ayrshire breed, it is necessary to prepare for their maintenance. If there is an appropriate room, paddock, feed and everything else that is necessary for growing young animals, you can choose calves.
Criteria for their assessment:
- Pedigree. The productivity of the mother cow and the bull line matters. Inbreeding - crossbreeding of close relatives is not welcome.
- Development . They evaluate the physique, how intensively the calf grows and whether his constitution is strong.
- Live weight. Each breed has its own standards, based on which, the weight of individuals of different ages is estimated. For example, it is known that one-year-olds should weigh about 250 kg, and if their weight is less, it is possible they are sick, or born weak.
You need to buy young animals on the collective farms. By contacting unknown sellers, you can become the owner of non-viable or outbred individuals. Pedigree farms breeding Ayrshire cows:
- IT PPZ "Change" (Moscow region, Sergiev Posad district).
- OJSC Moscow Stud Factory No. 1 (Moscow region, Odintsovo district).
- Federal State Institution “Novoladozhsky” (Leningrad Region, Volkhovsky District).
Ayrshire breed, distinguished by good health, is resistant to ordinary cow diseases. But they are not immune from pathologies that may appear due to violation of the rules of detention:
- Pneumonia. If the room is cold, animals can catch a cold. If bacteria from the environment enter the lungs of a weakened animal, pneumonia can develop. Symptoms of inflammation - temperature, wheezing when listening, panting, coughing. Effective antibiotics are needed for treatment.
- Mastitis . They treat him with antimicrobials and homeopathy. Symptoms of mastitis - clots in milk; soreness, inflammation and swelling of the mammary glands of the cow. Remember, swelling of the udder can be observed for other reasons.
- Poisoning. Due to grazing of the animal in the fields where poisonous plants grow, as well as in violation of the storage conditions of the feed, the cow may get poisoned. In addition, it is necessary to limit the access of cattle to pesticides that can be used in agriculture and horticulture.
For the prevention of young individuals vaccinated against:
- foot and mouth disease;
Ayrshirek is appreciated and loved by farmers all over the world. For high milk yield and high-quality milk, they are ready to forgive them the vagaries and cool temper. Farmers claim the following:
- This breed is ideal for grazing.
- The breed is also suitable for household.
- Ayrshirek milk is very tasty, with excellent characteristics.
- The meat has a good taste.
What ordinary owners of Ayrshire cows say:
Polina Romanova, Novgorod region
I love my Ayrshire very much. This is a super cow. She is small in stature, and gives milk after the first calving 23 liters. Feed is not necessary much, not jaunty - you can always agree. Milk has a creamy aftertaste. In a jar left overnight, 3 cm cream on top.
Vasily Perminov, Kaliningrad region
Ayrshirek milk is not as fat as, for example, the Jersey breed. But the milk yield on top. Yes, and get airshire easier. They eat a little, milk steadily, milk is sufficiently fatty, tasty.
Nikolay Berbets, Komi.
Buying a cow, I was worried whether my investments would be justified, the Ayrshire Burenka is not cheap. As it turned out, the cow is undemanding and has perfectly taken root in our harsh climate. My barn is equipped specially - heated. Therefore, the cow is comfortable, and she milks perfectly in the winter. I feed with hay, I give vegetables, compound feed. When it’s warm, I let it graze, there she finds food herself. Separately, I will say about milk - no unpleasant aftertaste. We drink, make cheese, cottage cheese and other milk.
Ayrshire cows are an ideal acquisition for a farm charged with milk production. This breed, without requiring royal conditions, will provide the family with delicious milk, and the farmer will bring considerable profit - due to large and stable milk yield.