The Belgian blue breed of cows is an unusual animal among cattle. The main feature of the blue cow is that it has highly developed muscles, as well as high weight (they are also called bodybuilders). These cows give birth early and often, and pregnancy is faster than other breeds.
Description and Features
Many people, seeing for the first time the Belgian blue breed of cows, think that this is Photoshop, because they look like pumped weightlifters. The peculiarity of these cows is in a large muscular body. Muscles of cows grow all their lives thanks to genetic modifications. The maximum weight of the bulls is 1400 kg.
The video below will describe how and when the Belgian blue cow was bred, it also talks about its appearance and features:
Color can be either bluish or white, and white-gray. Often the skin gives off blue, for this reason the breed is called blue. Cows are bred in warm countries, so their hair is practically absent. The skin of a Belgian cow is light and thin.
Although many people are horrified by the appearance of this cow, they are all smart, kind and calm. A big plus of cows in their ideal character. Belgian cows make good contact with people, are friendly and kind. They rarely show aggressiveness, therefore it is easy to look after them.
Origin of breed
The breed was bred in the 19th century. Breeders decided to cross a red-mottled cow with an English motley dairy cattle with short-legged bulls. After some time, through many experiments, we got cattle with a low landing.
Before the breed was bred, scientists for many years selected a lot of the best cows in the meat industry . At first they wanted the blue cow to belong to the meat and dairy direction. Thus, one could get a lot of high fat milk and high-quality meat. But still it was decided that the bias should be done specifically for meat.
According to the results of experiments on artificial insemination (in the city of Liège), strong muscles were obtained. As a result, a new species of cows called Belgian Blue was bred.
The most common breed in:
The cow received a completely different characteristic in comparison from its ancestors, namely:
- the skin is thin, hair is practically absent;
- muscles are round and massive;
- short legs both back and front;
- the height of the cow is about 140 cm, and the bull is 150 cm;
- elongated body;
- the backbone is strong;
- a thin layer of subcutaneous fat;
- the head is big;
- the neck is short but massive;
- the relief is strong.
The color of the cow is gray-blue with dots, but sometimes you can find brown, white and black with red. Spots and specks may have a different color. Although the mass of the animal is large, they move quickly, thanks to strong hooves.
Physical characteristics depending on age:
Age in months
|Body mass||Height||Body mass|
|120 cm||370 kg|
|135 cm||500 kg|
The yield of meat from one carcass is 80% and this is not enough. Beef of a blue cow is the most valuable, because it is juicy, soft and very tasty, it can be consumed even by dieters. It contains very little harmful cholesterol and fat.
According to the results of the study, it was revealed that a Belgian cow is very profitable to breed both in industrial and domestic conditions. By all measures, Belgian cow meat corresponds to chicken meat. In beef, both proteins and proteins, fats and carbohydrates are well balanced.
Benefits are provided in the table:
|Blue cow beef||Beef of other cows|
Milk indices are also not bad, in the lactation period, which is from 180 to 250 days, you can milk from 2000 to 4500 liters of milk. The milk fat content is about 4%.
To improve health and well-being, you should follow the maintenance rules. Belgian cows are hypersensitive to cold, so it is important that the room is insulated.
In warmer climates, you can save by building a cowshed of wood, but there is one drawback - such structures burn out quickly and well. For this reason, it is better to give preference to a cinder block or foam block. If a large herd will be bred, it is best to use a reinforced concrete structure.
According to the following principle, it is necessary to build a metal barn:
- To begin with, a place is cleared for a future barn. It is necessary to build on solid ground, for this the top layer of the earth is removed.
- Then crushed stone is laid out and leveled. If the frame will consist of iron beams, then you can do without a foundation, but if there are blocks, then pouring is needed.
- The next step will be the installation. Metal beams are laid out on top of the gravel, and in the center and sides, supporting columns are fastened with welding.
- Next, the installation of the roof is done and the floor is poured so that there is a slope for the fecal pit. Concrete screed reinforced with reinforcement with a diameter of 11 mm.
In order not to be disappointed in the great benefits of not cheap cattle, you need to familiarize yourself with some recommendations before buying:
- First, you should calculate the plot of land reserved for animals. These cows love space and consume a large amount of grass, judging from this, the area for walking should be large.
- Before purchasing, you must purchase the necessary equipment, feed. You also need to determine the veterinarian who will provide assistance to the animal.
- If cows live in the steppe region, where they mainly keep meat breeds, one should stock up on feed reserves. The fact is that in such areas there are often droughts, and in summer the humidity is greatly reduced.
- You also need to take care of the housing for the cows. In winter, they are mostly kept in a cowshed on a leash. The litter consists of a thick layer of straw (height 50 cm). Animals trample it with their hooves and moisten it with urine. Straw enters the biochemical process, due to which additional heat is formed.
In order to grow a Belgian cow you need to have a lot of empty land, premixes, feed and agricultural equipment. Nearby there should be a veterinarian who will look after the animal and livestock specialist.
The care is the same as for other cows of meat direction. On the basis of personal farming, you need to make feed stocks, as well as create an area with summer feed.
To get a lot of beef when growing Belgians, you need the cheapest pasture. With the use of modern agricultural technology and the proper selection of feed, they can be kept in the pasture from early spring to late autumn. In a warm climate, cows are kept in the meadow year-round.
In order for animals to gain weight well, they must be properly and rationally fed. The main food should be straw, hay in the winter, and grass in the summer and feed. In addition, you need to add vegetables and herbs. Calcium supplements are also important for a healthy, normal life and strong bones. Moreover, they can be given without fear, since the legs of the representatives of this breed are fragile and they must constantly be strengthened.
For clarity, feeding the Belgian blue cow, the table below. Calculation of feed is given for a weight of 1000 kg.
Name of feed
|Feed rate in the dry period of a pregnant cow in winter||The norm of feed in the dry period of a pregnant cow in the summer||Winter cow feed rate|
Winter cow feed rate
|8 kg||30 kg|
|5 kg||7 kg|
|8 kg||18 kg|
|8 kg||6 kg|
|0.9 kg||1,5 kg|
|1 kg||0.6 kg|
|4 kg||4,5 kg|
|50 g||70 g|
|2 kg||3 kg|
The influence of proper nutrition has a positive effect on livestock health and its productive qualities. Without the necessary amount of minerals, proteins, fiber and other useful properties, it is impossible to achieve good growth and weight gain of the animal.
Read more about how to raise gobies for meat, read here .
Cows are predisposed to diseases, both infectious and bacterial, that is, parasite damage. The main diseases of cows are:
- Leukemia This is a chronic disease of the hematopoietic system that causes the corresponding virus. At first, it is very difficult to detect a pathology, but when it moves to the next stage, it is almost impossible to cure.
- Leptospirosis. It can affect both calves and adult animals. Symptoms are as follows: diarrhea, jaundice, fever.
- Actinomycosis. Fungal affection when an infection gets inside through open wounds. A fistula is formed that interferes with normal breathing and nutrition.
- Pathology of the mammary gland. The presence of mastitis in a cow brings enormous losses. Productivity decreases, fat content decreases, and milk cannot be consumed these days. Symptoms of mastitis are as follows: fever, soreness and tightening of the udder.
- Blockage of the esophagus. Such a pathology can occur only if the animal was fed a small potato or root crops, not previously crushed. Symptoms are visible on the face: appetite has disappeared, chewing gum has stopped, increased salivation, the animal is restless. To eliminate this scourge, it is necessary to pour vegetable oil into the mouth (quite a bit), belching will soon go and at this moment it is necessary to put pressure on the esophagus from the outside and the food will come out by itself.
- The delay of the afterbirth. The most common problem is Belgian shelter. The placenta should leave immediately after birth, but if this did not happen within 6 hours, then you need to seek help. The symptoms are: the butt becomes shaky and trembling, appetite stops.
Breeding and calving
Belgian cows differ from others in their well-developed muscle mass, in the process of crossing this provoked a narrowing of the pelvis, and this complicates the natural birth. Belgian blue calves are born using cesarean section. If you want the cow to give birth itself, then it is better for her to make insemination with a Belgian bull. Then there is a high probability that the heifer will give birth on her own.
The blue cow brings the first calf into the world at the age of 28 to 35 months. When compared with other breeds of cows, the Belgian pregnancy is slightly shorter. The heifer is born on the 281th day, and the bull - on the 285th day. A newborn calf weighs about 60 kg and a heifer 50 kg.
The baby has a gene at birth that is responsible for growth, thanks to which they begin to grow rapidly one month after birth (in one day it gains 2 kg of weight). Heifers add 900-1500 g per day, and calves - 1200-1700 g per day.
Care and maintenance of calves
Calves are born not muscular like their parents, but they (muscles) appear at the age of one month. The daily gain in calves is good:
|Chicks||from 40 to 55 kg||from 900 to 1400 g|
|Gobies||from 42 to 73 kg||from 1200 to 1800 g|
The mass of older bulls in a year and a half reaches 740 kg.
The first days of the newborn calf must be closely monitored, since they are still helpless during this period.
The first half hour after birth, the calf must be given colostrum after it has been moved to a warm, clean room. It is not necessary to let the calf in to drink colostrum from a cow on its own; it is better to strain it and drink the baby through a bottle.
The first colostrum feeding should be carried out in a volume of 4 liters at a temperature of 40 degrees. The faster the calf tastes colostrum, the stronger its immunity will be. In comparison with people, immunoglobulin is not transmitted from the mother to the calf in utero, so feeding on colostrum is a matter of life and death.
In order for calves to gain weight well, they should be fed in two ways:
- Traditional. The calf lives next to the mother and eats her milk at any time. With this method, mom is calm, and the baby quickly gets on his feet, gets stronger and is gaining weight well. It is important to understand that the calf cannot completely suck out all mother's milk, and this can lead to mastitis, which entails bad consequences.
- Artificial. In this case, calves are fed a special mixture of milk, separated from their mother until two months of age. 350 ml of milk are consumed per day.
If the calves are ill with something, then they must immediately be separated from healthy ones in order to avoid infection of the rest of the offspring. Subtract calves from the udder gradually at the age of 5-6 months.
Advantages and disadvantages
Any animal has both advantages and disadvantages. According to experts, the following positive qualities are inherent in the Belgian blue cow:
- excellent body structure;
- constant muscle growth, regardless of age;
- rapid development;
- high daily gain;
- calm character, friendliness;
- early calving;
- high percentage of meat;
- dietary meat, tender and juicy;
- does not require special attention and care;
- illegibility in feeding;
- short pregnancy;
- high probability of getting delicious milk.
In addition to a large list of positive qualities, these cows also have negative aspects:
- since the animal is massive, they often have swelling of the legs;
- increased heat lovingness;
- possible complications during childbirth;
- genetic modifications may be present in meat.
Given the mass of adult livestock and a correspondingly high percentage of meat yield during slaughter, the commercial benefits are obvious, but only in Europe. As for Russia, it is almost impossible to find such cows there, because they have an awesome look, and cows are demanding for heat.
Where can I get cows?
This breed of cows is bred very rarely, since it is considered unusual. Because they are easy to care for, they are not picky about feeding, you can also get considerable profit from milk and animal meat, private farms are thinking about purchasing them.
Where to buy a Belgian cow:
- This method of purchase is quite expensive and more suitable for large farms, because for one animal you have to pay about 2 thousand dollars. In addition, you need to give a lot of money for transportation.
- The second way is to buy a blue cow seed in Belgium. It is possible to buy it at a price of 300 to 400 euros for 100 doses of bull sperm. Parcel will be sent by mail, and sperm will be in containers with special conditions for the preservation of life.
Popular breed myths
Many people are afraid to buy a blue cow because of the rumors that are common among farmers. The most common myths about a Belgian cow are described below:
- Cows of this breed live a little. This is a myth, because Belgian cattle live no less than cows of other breeds, and offspring completely survive in 100% of cases.
- Constantly edematous limbs. In fact, there is a predisposition to swelling, but not as big as they say and it can be easily cured. The hooves are strong enough to support their weight and even move quickly and confidently.
- Due to the fact that representatives of this breed are a product of genetic engineering - meat and milk can not be consumed. In fact, the gene that is responsible for muscle mass does not adversely affect the human body. The birth of calves with an ugly appearance is not more common than in other breeds.
Farmers reviews of the Belgian blue breed of cows:
Alexander, Kirovograd region.
Belgian cow is the most promising breed in the world. Compliant character, big weight, tasty and fat milk and juicy dietary meat are all huge advantages of this breed.
I have been farming for many years, I tried many different breeds, among which were both profitable for breeding, and not very. Recently I bought Belgian cows and realized that this is the best I've had over the years. They are easy to care for, they are not picky in their diet, a high percentage of tasty and juicy meat.
Belgian cows, they are also bodybuilders, are very beneficial in keeping and breeding, but this does not apply to Russian latitudes, since they only need a warm climate. A high percentage of tasty and juicy meat, rather high milk yield of a high percentage of fat content - all this makes cows profitable in keeping and breeding, both in industrial and in private households.