Today, in the meat direction, the Hereford breed of cows occupies one of the leading positions not only in Russia, but throughout the world. They are valued for very tasty and high-quality meat in terms of nutrient balance. The fashion for proper nutrition led to the fact that they began to be bred even in such problematic livestock regions as Siberia, the Far East and Yakutia. Next, we consider in detail the characteristics, as well as features of breeding and breed of the Hereford breed.
Initially, as early as the 18th century, Hereford breed cows were bred in the English county of Herefordshire. The first general description dates back to the year 1700. Already in 1742, a certain researcher Benjamin Tomkins began the systematic deducing of this direction.
Then, at selection, physical strength and muscle mass were put in the forefront. Needed a cow and beef breed in one "bottle". The scientist sought to get docile, early cows, so the recalcitrant calves in the development were not taken. Herefords and to this day are among the most peaceful.
After 1817, this cattle goes to America, where it spreads quickly throughout the continent. The professional association of breeders of the Hereford breed of cattle began its work in 1881.
In Russia, the herefords of the English selection were brought in 1927. From that time they are bred in the Volga region, in the Urals and in Siberia. Soviet scientists from this breed brought another meat branch - Kazakh white-headed.
Inside the meat direction, representatives of this breed are much larger than the average cows. Fattening bulls are allowed under the knife when their weight reaches a ton. But if you continue to feed the animal further, then the bull can grow up to 1250 kg. Cases were fixed when breeding producers gathered up to one and a half tons. The weight of cows fluctuates around 650-850 kg.
Growth of animals is average - in bulls 135 cm, in cows 125 cm. The constitution is powerful, the middle head with a broad forehead sits firmly on a short and thick neck. Hereford cow's length from nose to tail is just over one and a half meters. The legs are straight, set wide apart, all individuals have a wide basement. Chest girth in cows is 193 cm, in bulls it reaches 216 cm.
The classic color is red with a white head, white chest, belly and legs. When crossed with other breeds, the color may change to black and white. But the white head is considered the dominant trait and is present in all branches of this breed. Cows are overgrown with wool, so do not be afraid of harsh conditions.
Fashion corrected cow diet
As scientists have fought, and such a characteristic as the early maturity of cattle at the Hereford leaves much to be desired. Heifers reach the conception period only by two years. For the breed of meat, the calf is small - bull-calves up to 37 kg, heifers up to 33 kg. But calving is quite easy, often do not even need to call the vet. Plus the survival rate in calves is 98%.
Cows have a heightened instinct of motherhood, the Hereford burenka will not feed other calves and will not allow them to reach the udder. Therefore, they are kept together with their own offspring the entire period of feeding
By two years, the bulls already weigh more than 800 kg, heifers gain about 650 kg. The pride of the breed is the quick weight gain of calves. With intensive feeding in bulls, the increase can reach up to 1500 g, in calves 1250 g per day. If so feed, the meat yield will be 70%.
There is a nuance here - the fashion for lean meat has led to the fact that so intensively the cows of Hereford are not fattening, the feed is less calorie, and the fattening period is longer.
The best for this breed is considered to be a pasture method of keeping in natural conditions. But for the proper formation of the skeleton and a set of good muscle mass, they must be constantly transferred to different pastures. Animals must move.
The presence of a thick undercoat allows you to keep cows under sheds until late autumn. With a poor diet, the animals will also add about 0.5 kg per day, but you should not keep a herd half-starving, otherwise the cows will start to hurt.
Exceptionally stalling cows is undesirable; movement is necessary. Usually in the barn are made pens with thick and soft bedding, where at the same time there are several individuals. But uneven-aged groups of cows cannot be kept in the same pen and in the same herd. This can lead to hierarchical disputes and conflicts.
On pastures, animals eat away almost everything that grows, they do not have any particular preferences. Cows adapt quickly to the cold climate, but they are afraid of drafts in the barn. Plus they are demanding for clean and dry pens.
Features of feeding the herd
All the warm season, the herd is grazing on natural or artificially sown pastures. The appetite of cows is good and in regions with modest possibilities you need to feed the animals. On average, one head takes 3 kg of complementary foods per day.
The same goes for cows with calves. The fact is that the milk performance of the Hereford is extremely low and barely reaches 1200 liters per year. Therefore, the calf after two weeks is accustomed to grass. Large calves can be additionally fed from the nipples.
During pregnancy, cows need to be fed particularly well. Poor nutrition or poor nutrition in this breed can lead to miscarriage. But even if in such conditions a cow and makes a calf, then the risk of giving birth to an underdeveloped offspring is high.
Cows during deadwood can be fed either hay or hay. The diet with hay looks like this:
- grass and legume hay - up to 30%;
- straw, mostly spring - up to 15%;
- silage, mainly corn - up to 39%;
- concentrated supplements - up to 19%.
With senazhom alignment a bit different:
- haylage - up to 41%;
- silage - up to 20%;
- hay - up to 16%;
- straw - up to 12%;
- concentrated supplements - up to 15%;
- molasses - up to 2%.
The profitability of the meat industry is most affected by the fertility level of the cows. In the recent past, the stock of livestock was inseminated naturally through the arrangement of individual cages with a bull. Now from this practice for the most part refuse and go on an artificial method of insemination.
Artificial insemination is convenient for breeders from a planning point of view. For Hereford cows is important time of birth. Ideally, they should give birth either at the end of winter or in early spring. In this case, the natural milk feeding, so necessary for the normal growth of the calf, falls on the grazing period. Plus provides a natural lure with green fresh grass.
Every year, at the expense of young cows, the herd should be updated by a quarter. At the same time, that quarter of the herd, which is planned for slaughter, should be transferred to intensive feeding.
Focusing on prices
Since the Hereford breed of cows has been bred for a long time and the herd is solid, the prices for these cattle are quite acceptable. Practically throughout Russia, the cost of fattened bulls for slaughter varies in the region of 95-120 rubles. per kg live weight.
Calves that are still in the nursing age will cost about 130 rubles. per kg Young bulls and heifers, transferred to pasture and combined feed, will cost about 300 rubles. per kg live weight. Younger cows that give birth a couple of times are valued most of all, here the price reaches 600 rubles. per kg
Unpretentious in food and disease-resistant cows of Hereford breed in Russia to breed is profitable. For breeders interested in the meat direction is one of the best options.
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