It is believed that large animals with strong bones are bred only for meat, but the Kostroma breed of cows disproves this stereotype. These animals are the pride of the Soviet breeding school and belong to the milk and meat direction. For the central regions of Russia and similar climatic zones, these are almost ideal cows. We invite you to understand the characteristics of the Kostroma cows, learn the subtleties of the breed, as well as its pros and cons.
The first experiments to create a new breed began in 1919. The maximalism of the young Soviet state went off scale and the scientists were given the task of bringing out a large cow that would produce a lot of milk. For these purposes, a special state farm was created in the vicinity of Kostroma, which, by the way, is still a stronghold of the Kostroma breed.
Initially, breeding work was carried out only with the local Babayev and Miskan branches. But such efforts did not bring tangible results. And then, in the late 1920s, Kostroma cows were crossed with Schwyz, and later the Alguz breed was also added.
The largest, productive animals were selected and kept them mainly in cold rooms. The result exceeded expectations, in 1940 strong, hardened and, most importantly, productive cows were obtained. Then the first record was recorded 6310 l, which was unheard of for that time. The breed received the description and official registration in 1944. Now there are 14 lines in development, three of them are the most successful:
- KTSK 83 salad;
- Karo KTC 101;
- strong man KTSK 84.
The appearance of the Kostroma cows is more similar to the representatives of cattle meat. Cows are distinguished by a wide bony skeleton with powerful, well-developed musculature. Legs are even, medium size, stand and walk confident. The body is slightly elongated, but this does not spoil the animal.
The wide back with a straight silhouette has practically no differences. In the area of the withers there is a small smooth knoll. The wide and deep bosom of a cow with a developed dewlap give out belonging to meat counterparts.
The head is small and slightly elongated with a narrow frontal part, on the crown there is a playful bang. The horns are also small. Loin and ass wide. On such a powerful silhouette, a volumetric udder of a regular, cup-shaped form is clearly distinguished, which is already characteristic of thrush.
The color varies from gray to brown and dark brown, but the cows are mostly monochrome, with the exception of the yellowish strip along the ridge.
Burenko Kostroma breed were bred in Soviet times and love the team. After all, what else to explain the fact that in large farms cows are gaining 700-800 kg, and at a private farmstead their weight barely falls to 600 kg. The bulls have a similar picture, here at home the maximum is 900 kg, and on the farm the average bull weight is 1000-1200 kg. If we take the breeding bulls of producers, they grow to a half tons.
In the Kostroma breed, dairy characteristics are transmitted along the paternal line, so if you need a high-milking cow, you need to be interested in the father's pedigree, and not in the mother's milk.
In the breed of 14 lines and each has its own characteristics of milk and meat. If we talk about average indicators, the total mass of milk yield ranges from 4,000 l to 5,000 l per year with a fat content of 3.9%. In breeding farms, with adequate nutrition and care, it was possible to achieve an average result of 7,000–8,000 liters per year. The average profitability of meat - 65%, but bulls for fattening can give up to 80%.
Subtleties of content
The maintenance and nutrition of the Kostroma breed has its own characteristics. In the warm season, in order to get good results, it is advisable to drive the cattle to pasture with juicy grass. Hot steppe lands with short, moist herbs are not suitable for these cows.
In the dry period, the daily ration of animals consists of 20 kg of hay (clover or forbs) and about 6 kg of concentrates. Moreover, concentrates must be given without fanaticism. With an increase in portions milk yield, and worse, problems begin with the intestines. To obtain high yields ration must be painted individually.
To get a healthy bull with a good weight gain and high reproductive qualities, the animal is also transferred to a cold calf with a calf. It is kept there until it reaches a weight of at least 500 kg.
Cold Kostroma cows are transferred normally. But in a cold shed milk falls, but the fat content of milk increases, and in a warm room, on the contrary
What could be the problem
Lowered indicators of milk yields at private farms are largely the result of non-compliance with the schedule. The Kostroma cows are pedantic and love to be fed, taken out and served strictly by the clock, at the same time.
The second factor that strongly influences the productivity of cows and bulls is peace and quiet. If the farm is located near a busy highway or other noisy object, you should not even hope for any serious results. Here, no matter how you feed the cattle, you will not achieve great weight gain and serious milk yield.
Being together, Kostroma cows tend to build hierarchical relationships. Therefore, the herds need to be formed from individuals of the same age group and preferably not very large. Also, do not drive a lot of animals in different pastures, they love to come to one place and graze there all the time. This trait was transmitted from thrush.
With poor content and not enough rich diet there is a delay in puberty of young animals. Normally, heifers should ripen at 7 months, bullheads at 8.
The first calving should be planned not earlier than the age of two, otherwise you will never achieve high yields from this cow.
Main pros and cons
Absolutely in all branches of this breed of cattle, experts note a high level of adaptation in the new place. True, in order for the burenka to quickly “join” the new team, she needs to be well fed.
Kostroma cows until the first frost and the first snow can be kept under open canopies. They do not experience discomfort in cold climates. Moreover, the cold is good for them. If you systematically conduct hardening, the young grows strong and productive.
This breed belongs to long-livers, the period of active exploitation of it can last from 18 to 22 years. The youngsters quickly gain weight, the norm for a one-year-old bull - about 500 kg, for slaughter, they are usually castrated.
There are only two noticeable defects in these cows. The first is a low level of milk separation, an average of 1.2 l / min. Although the line "Karavayevskaya KK 1" managed to achieve 1.6 l / min. The second disadvantage is poor heat tolerance. The road to the endless steppes and hot countries ordered by these animals.
Population of Kostroma breed
Now Kostroma cow is one of the dominant breeds in central Russia. The main breeding nursery is still in the Kostroma region.
Good results in breeding the Kostroma breed were achieved in the Vladimir and Ivanovo regions, as well as in the Republic of Mari-El. Kostroma cows came to neighboring Belarus right after the war, and now the livestock there is approaching the Russian one.
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