Cows of the red steppe breed are representatives of the dairy type. The main thing that is required of her is to give a sufficient amount of milk. The breed is popular and widespread in the post-Soviet space - Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan.
It is believed that this is the first breed bred in Ukraine. Since the 18th century, they tried to improve Ukrainian cows with the help of the imported breed “Red Ostrfizslyandskaya”, later it was replaced by the “Wilstershsky” breed, and even later - “Angelskaya”. And already at the end of the 19th century, many dairy-type cows with homogeneous characteristics appeared on the territory of Ukraine. It was at that time that the Red Steppe was registered. The breed that is known to us now has come a long way and has undergone various changes. It was formed by breeding in the process of crossing several breeds of cattle. In order to increase the endurance of cows and the level of milk production, various genetic material was crossed, in particular, it combines genes of the following breeds:
- Gray steppe;
- Ukrainian sulfur;
- Red Ostrfizslandskaya;
Red steppe breed is widespread in Ukraine and the southern regions of Russia. Moreover, breeding work on it is still ongoing. Today, the red steppe is crossed with inseminating bulls of various breeds due to the fact that it is a carrier of excellent genetic material, with the help of which it is possible to improve the qualities of other breeds, such as:
- body type;
- udder shape;
- milk production.
Detailed breed description
Horned animals are easily recognizable by the color of their hair - it is colored red or reddish brown and is distinguished by its intense tone. Red brown spots and white spots on the forehead, stomach, udder and limbs are allowed. In adult bulls, the upper and lower parts of the body are darker.
These are quite large animals in physique. The skeleton is light and thin, in tandem with underdeveloped muscles is a drawback, animals are injured, dislocated legs, walking along the uneven terrain of the pasture.
The body itself is somewhat angular and elongated. The abdomen is voluminous, which is typical for all representatives of dairy breeds, since their ribs are widely spaced. Unlike other breeds, it does not sag in the red steppe representative even during the period of gestation.
The head is small, narrow, we can say elegant, the nose is dark-colored. The neck is long with a lot of folds. The horns are light gray and point forward. This poses a threat to livestock and humans. In a fight, a burenka or a bull can rip the enemy apart and cause him serious injuries. Therefore, it is recommended to deactivate the calves if possible.
The skin is smooth and supple. If the cow is losing weight, the skin will not sag. And losing and gaining weight is a frequent occurrence, depending on weather conditions. The backbone is quite and light and fragile, the muscles are developed rather weakly.
The udder of cows is small, rounded, well developed, with cylindrical nipples. It is convenient to milk cows by hand, as it is ferruginous, that is, soft to the touch. A fairly common picture is an udder of irregular shape. With the accumulation of milk, the udder is greatly stretched, so that after milking, its volume decreases several times, and small folds form on the udder. The nipples are quite convenient for both manual and machine milking, the front ones are about 6.5 cm long and the rear ones -5.7 cm
Red steppe is a fairly recognizable breed, the distinguishing features of the exterior include:
- withers at a height of 125-132 cm;
- chest girth reaches 190 cm;
- oblique length can reach 160 cm;
- chest width as measured from 37 to 42 cm.
- the body is angular and slightly elongated, the muscles are weak;
- neck narrow, tendon with pronounced folds, head slightly elongated;
- the metacarpus in girth is 17-19 cm.
- legs are strong and straight, chest is narrow;
- the udder can be developed unevenly, of medium size.
The average weight may vary depending on the gender and age of the representative:
- males do not exceed 900 kg;
- in cows - 500 kg;
- a newborn calf does not exceed 40 kg;
- the calf has even less - no more than 30 kg.
Milking rates, given that it is a dairy breed, are above average. But farmers note that the climatic conditions under which the animal lives strongly influence milk production. So, if a cow grazes in dense green meadows, she will produce up to 5 thousand liters of milk per year. In arid regions, milk yield will not exceed 4 thousand liters. It is possible to increase milk yield, but up to a maximum of 10 thousand liters, if you provide the burenka with high-quality feed and good content.
The record for milk yield of these representatives is 12 thousand liters per lactation period.
Healthy milk, boasts a high protein content (up to 3.6%), but a low percentage of fat content (up to 3.7%). However, some cows are capable of producing milk with a fat content of up to 5%, but this is an exception to the rule.
Is it possible to let the Red Steppe to slaughter?
Although the breed is considered dairy and is used exclusively for milk, often among red representatives there are individuals with characteristic signs of meat and dairy and meat breeds. So in the meat industry they also play a rather large role, despite the fact that they do not differ in impressive size and weight.
With the usual feeding of bulls, the meat yield is not more than 50%. If you purposefully fatten them using an intensive feeding system, the rate becomes slightly higher, but not so much as to grow them solely for meat.
It is also believed that the beef obtained from the Red Steppe breed does not differ in special taste characteristics, although it has a juiciness and quite pleasant taste. Quality indicators directly depend on the method of feeding and the age of the animal.
So, the meat kept on a free pasture in the warm season, and in winter, hay-fed cows has higher taste characteristics.
Although the breed is unpretentious and easily adapts to external climatic conditions, it is necessary to adhere to certain rules for its care.
In winter, calves and adult animals are kept indoors without a leash, as they are less adapted to frost than to heat. It is not necessary to heat the barn, but for newborn calves, the room temperature should be above +12 ° C. Usually they are warmed by the cows themselves, and also take care of everything they need. Contain animals individually or in a herd. If they are holding a herd, then the insemination bulls are isolated from the cows and calves.
Calves are grown in groups in which young growth is combined by age:
- 6-9 months;
- 1-1.5 years;
- 1.5-2 years.
In the room for calves, litter is made from sawdust and straw on the floor, it must be deep and irremovable. Provide them with space for movement, they should be able to actively move in the fresh air and in the pen.
In the warm season, the herd is allowed to graze freely on the pasture, which should be located 2 km from the farm. First, a place must be provided with a watering place so that animals do not suffer from thirst.
The main care enterprises:
- regular vaccination of livestock;
- preventive examinations;
- hygiene - cows are regularly combed out, washed udder before milking, massage;
- before free grazing begins, hooves and horns are cut.
Each cow must be given a “dry” rest when it is not milked. The period lasts from 40 to 70 days. Its duration depends on the state of health of the cow and its fatness. Weak, thin animals need a longer dry period - a maximum of 70 days.
40–60 days are enough for a well-fed burenka with average productivity indicators. It is impossible to reduce rest from milking. If a cow is constantly milked from calving to calving, then this will adversely affect its reproductive function, health, and the quality of milk.
Red cows are fertile - there are an average of as many calves per 100 females. Chicks first time happen (on average) in a year and a half.
The selection of the insemination bull is approached with great attention, it should not have hereditary defects in the structure of the body. If the cow has flaws in the exterior, then it is imperative that a bull be picked up in pair with it without genetic flaws. This will reduce the risk of low-quality calves.
If the cow has malformations of the udder, then it is not used for breeding.
Although animals are unpretentious to food, but to increase milk yield, they must be fed with high-quality feed.
In summer, juicy fresh vegetation is quite enough for them; in winter, livestock is fed hay with the addition of animal feed. It is also good to add root vegetables, silage and concentrated compounds to the menu.
Do not feed animals:
- poor-quality products - rotten, rotten, spoiled;
- cold, including cold water.
Food for calves should also be of high quality, otherwise they may develop malformations of the croup and improper positioning of the legs.
Red cows are highly immune, they rarely suffer from leukemia and respiratory diseases. They are necessarily vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease, anthrax and emphysematous carbuncle (emkara).
From parasites that settle in the digestive system or lungs, prevention is carried out annually. In summer, animals are checked for ticks and larvae of the gadfly, which develop inside the skin, treat bites.
Another disease of the female breeds is mastitis, which develops during machine milking. To avoid this, massage the udder carefully after each milking.
What you need to know about caring for a newborn calf of the breed Red Steppe?
The newborn calf is immediately placed in a special cage. The temperature in it should not be below +12 degrees, it is important that there are no drafts, and a thick layer of straw is present on the floor. The calves are fed maternal colostrum, 4-5 times a day, a serving - 0.5-1 l per dose, can be increased to 2 l as they grow. Feeding is carried out through a special nipple, a hole in which is designed specifically for newborn calves.
A calf 2 days old can already be given warm water (2-3 liters per day).
The first weeks of life are the most important for calves, therefore care must be provided with particular care. The manure should be thrown out several times a day, pour over boiling water over all containers for drinking and feeding. Upon reaching 10 days of age, solid food can be introduced into the diet, as an option - custard hay.
Advantages and disadvantages of the breed
When choosing a breed, you should not rely solely on milk characteristics. Red steppe breed is not in vain popular in private households. It has many more pros than cons.
Of the benefits, experts note:
- High adaptive qualities, animals easily adapt to different climatic conditions. It is best to breed them in the southern regions with a hot climate. Under scorching sunbeams, they not only feel great, but also do not lose, but, on the contrary, exercise weight on scarce feeds. But still, animals must be taken care of. They will be grateful to the owner if he makes canopies, in the shade of which they could take refuge and rest from the heat.
- They are distinguished by environmental endurance. Animals are not afraid of either cold wind or rain, they endure the summer heat when the thermometer reaches over +30 ° C. And also animals can graze in the sun without water.
- Propagate well, increasing livestock rapidly.
- All individuals, regardless of age, have high immunity to various diseases, including leukemia.
- Unpretentious animals in food and keeping.
However, along with significant advantages, there are some disadvantages:
- A significant disadvantage of cows is the irregular shape and uneven shares of the udder. As a result of machine milking, milk does not completely exit the nipples, which provokes the development of mastitis. To reduce the risk of developing the disease after milking, a massage is mandatory every day, which also helps to increase the return of milk.
- And the second drawback was described above, it is poorly developed muscles of the lower extremities. Therefore, hilly places for grazing should not be selected for red steppe cows; the legs of representatives of this breed are absolutely not adapted for fermentation on uneven pastures.
What you need to know when buying representatives of the breed "Red Steppe"?
If you intend to purchase a calf of this breed, then it is worth paying attention first of all to its weight, which should fully correspond to age. So, a new-born goby should weigh from 35 to 40 kg, and a heifer from 25 to 30. But already a six-month-old goby reaches a weight of 120-140 kg, and a heifer - 80-90.
Not the last place when choosing a cow is occupied by the growing conditions, as well as the availability of a complete set of veterinary documents (animal passport, certificate of vaccinations, data on diseases, if any). Before buying, it is worthwhile to carefully examine the animal, already the manner of behavior says a lot - it should be well-groomed, frisky. If purulent discharge is noticeable from the eyes and nose, then it is better to refuse such an individual.
When buying an adult, you need to pay attention to the udder, its shape, appearance and condition.
Buying young animals of this breed and adults will cost 50,000-80,000 depending on the region.
In Russia, the steppe red cows are in second place. And also breeders continue to work with these representatives. Since cows give good yields even on meager feeds, they can be bred in areas suffering from drought. Animals are unpretentious to feeds, easily adapt to different climatic conditions, have high immunity, therefore they are suitable for keeping in farm yards.
We bring to your attention several reviews of real farmers about the red steppe breed:
Vitaliy, 53 years old, pastoralist from the Crimea.
“In Crimea, we always had red steppe cows in the courtyards. Only they help us out during the period of drought, when the steppe turns into a yellow-gray space. Along the shores of man-made lakes, even the grass dries out. Only sheep and our red cows find food at this time. There is nothing to complain about, the milk yield is good, unpretentious, care - like for other cattle. In breeding there are no problems with them, calves are born healthy, strong. "
Vladimir, 45 years old, a farmer from the Gomel region.
“I have only this breed on the farm, specially selected for our steppes. Every summer I drive them into the steppe. The neighbors get thin horses, it’s scary to watch, and mine add only in bulk. True, I feed the calves with grain so that by the fall they become thicker. But in general, there are no problems, I am satisfied with the breed. ”
Pavel, 60 years old, Belgorod region.
“Red cows really do not require much care, they do not have any particular predilections for food. They have good immunity, mastitis, however, my cows have recently been ill. And milk is tasty, good sour cream is obtained and cottage cheese. I recommend this breed to all those involved in cow breeding, there are practically no problems with it. ”
So, the red steppe breed of cows gives good yields even on meager feeds in the steppe regions, they can be bred in arid regions. And due to its unpretentiousness to feed, as well as resistance to climatic conditions, the breed is excellent for keeping on private courtyards.