Good health and high productivity are the hallmarks of the Ayrshire breed of cows. She is the undisputed leader in the quantity and quality of milk. These cows are popular in many parts of the world because of high yields and are known for their unpretentious care and feeding. Ayrshires are bred in individual farmsteads and have become widespread on large farms.
The origin of the breed
The historical homeland of Ayrshire bulls and heifers is Ayrshire County in Scotland. Natural pastures, cold climatic conditions with high humidity gave the breed endurance and rapid adaptation to the environment.
In the second half of the 19th century, breeders used Tisvateur, Alderney and Dutch cows to breed these representatives. Since 1845, the Ayrshire herd began to be imported into Finland, and in 1901 the first tribal compound was established there.
The officially recognized breed became by 1862. Ayrshire cows were brought to Russia only at the end of the XIX century.
They have also become popular in Sweden, the United Kingdom and North America. Equatorial countries breed this breed less often due to the hot climate, which is not very suitable for aishiram.
Characteristics of external data
Animals of this breed are relatively small, have a strong and proportional body structure. They are characterized by good muscles and strong legs, have a wide chest and a thin neck. Bulls and cows are approximately the same in height. They are easily recognizable by the red or brown color with a large predominance of light shades on the body. The bulls are distinguished by an intense dark color, the cows have lighter or brown tones.
A distinctive characteristic of the Ayrshire breed of cows can be called their lyre-like horns, which have a direction in opposite directions that are outwardly very voluminous with a soft color. Udder cows have a fairly voluminous cup shape with the correct proportions. Animal hair is endowed with thickness and softness, the skin - elasticity and density.
The average measurements of bulls and heifers are as follows:
- height - 125 cm;
- female weight - 450-480 kg, male - 700-800 kg, calf - about 240 kg;
- body of an adult animal in length - 145-155 cm;
- chest in girth - 165-175 cm
The Ayrshire cow gives high yields of quality milk every year. With proper care and proper nutrition, a cow can produce up to 7,000 liters in a year with a fat content of up to 4.3% and a protein content of up to 3.5%. At the same time, there were recorded cases of record milk yield from one cow - 11,500 l.
Ayrshire cows milk contains an insignificant number of somatic cells (cells of tissues and organs present in the udder). Their presence affects the high quality of dairy products.
Due to the rapid maturation of cows, their readiness for fertilization begins relatively early. The first mating is made in 15 months, when the cow's body weight reaches 35 kg. The first calving is at 25 months.
Meat products, in contrast to the most delicious milk, in this breed are of satisfactory quality and do not have any particular taste characteristics.
Feeding and feeding characteristics
The ability of Ayrshires to acclimatize in the cooler regions of the country contributed to developing their good endurance. Therefore, super complex care procedures for these representatives of cattle are not required. But in winter, it is necessary to carefully monitor the microclimate in the barn: avoid drafts and ensure good ventilation of the room.
In the diet of the cows should be nutritious food containing salt and ground chalk (40-50 g), crushed wheat and bran. Stable food should include a variety of root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beets, cabbage, pumpkin), concentrates and animal feed, vitamin and mineral supplements. Cows should regularly get fresh hay.
Advantages and disadvantages
Ayrshire cow feels perfect on any pasture, because it has good health and quickly adapts to different weather conditions. At the hotel she does not need the help of a man, since the cows easily bear childbirth and recover quickly.
Ayrshires do not have genetic defects, so they are valued by breeders. They are often used to improve other breeds. Strong genes when crossed dominate other breeds.
Ayrshire cattle has a somewhat aggressive disposition and is famous for its stubbornness. They do not get along well with other types of farmsteads, are inconsistent and may absolutely disobey their owners. At the same time, cows and bulls are quite shy.
Breeding Ayrshire breed in Russia
In our country Ayrshire cattle bred over 130 years. Russia ranks second in the world in the number of airshirs (over 90 thousand heads). Over 160 farms of different categories are engaged in the maintenance of this breed. A quarter of the country's breeding stock is located in the Leningrad Region, the same number in the Krasnodar Territory. Ayrshirs are widely popular in Karelia, Vologda, Moscow and Yaroslavl regions.
In recent years, the most highly productive types of cattle of this breed have been bred. For example, in the Leningrad region, milk yield from one cow is 8150 l of milk per year with 4% fat (protein content - 3.43%), in Moscow region - 7313 l fat content 4.50% and protein content 3.47% - 7948 l of product with a fat content of 4% and a protein content of 3.30%.
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