Dairy Holstein breed of cows
The Holstein breed of cows, or Holstein-Friesian, was bred in the USA in the 19th century on the basis of Dutch black-motley heifers and bulls. It is considered the most productive dairy breed of cattle in the world, it is used to improve the milk production of other cows. It is widespread in many countries, its productivity may vary depending on the conditions of detention, and milk is highly affected by diet.
Holstein breed of cows
Breeding Directions and Productivity
Dairy cows of the modern Holstein breed began to be bred in the second half of the 19th century in the USA. The basis was taken by the Dutch black-motley heifers and bulls, which were actively imported to America during this period. At the first stage of selection, the main task was to increase milk yield, and this was achieved, but the fat content of milk was not too high, because the next stage was aimed at increasing this indicator, it began in the 70s of the last century.
Starting from the 80s, they began to pay attention to the protein content in milk and the increase in cow weight. Another important indicator is the rate of milk output during machine milking. It should not be less than 2.5 kg / min., In some individuals it reaches 3 kg / min. The largest milk production record among representatives of this breed is 25, 000 kg per year. But average productivity indicators are slightly less, they may vary, depending on the country:
- Israel - 10, 000 kg per year, fat content - 3-3.1%, animal milk protein - 3%.
- USA and Canada - 8, 000-9, 000 kg, fat content 3.6%, protein content - 3.2%.
- Russia - 7, 500 kg, fat content - 3.8%, protein content - 3.4-3.6%.
In addition to cows of a black-motley color, in the Holstein breed there are red-motley individuals due to the recessive gene of the individual. Holstein red-motley breed of cows and the characteristic of its productivity differs from black-motley. The fat content of its milk is higher, reaches 3.8-4%, but the amount of milk yield is on average 4000 kg less. Previously, these animals were rejected, now they are drawing a separate line, using heifers and bulls to improve Simmental and red cows.
Modern breeding of the Holstein breed provides for an extremely accurate selection of genetic material. Artificial insemination, embryo freezing and other methods are used, because the Holstein breed of bulls is constantly being improved. Balanced livestock feeds are selected using computer technology. In the world there is still a Holstein breed of horses. It has nothing to do with cows; it was bred in Germany in the XIV century, and is used in sports.
Cattle of Holstein dairy breed has an appearance typical of this direction. The cows have a well-developed udder, wide chest and lower back. Here's what a Holstein cow looks like and a description of its appearance:
- The height of the cow is 145-150 cm, the bull is 160 cm.
- The weight of the heifer is 650-750 kg, the bull is up to 1200 kg, the one-year-old calf weighs about 400-600 kg.
- The depth of the breast is 80 cm, the width is 55-60 cm.
- Wedge-shaped case, deep.
- The shoulders are elongated and extended.
- Loin extended.
- The udder is enlarged and tightened, in 95% of the cows in the shape of a bowl, with well-defined milking and vein pattern, the index is 48-50%.
- The muscles are poorly developed compared to other breeds.
- The color is black-piebald, the ratio of colors can be different, from black with separate white spots to almost white with black spots.
Previously, the breed was called Holstein-Frisian, now it has an abbreviated name. Due to the large body weight of the Holstein bulls used to get meat. The output is not the best, it is only 50-55%. But this direction is far from the main one. Sent for meat, mainly bulls, which are not suitable for breeding, heifers with low milk production. How the holstins look can be seen in more detail in the photo.
The description of the Holstein breed of cows allows us to conclude that its breeding is very profitable, because such indicators of milk yield cannot be obtained from any other variety.
Both purebred breeding and crossbreeding with other lines are practiced, because milk is transmitted to the heifers on the paternal side, therefore Holstein bulls are often used as valuable genetic material. For example, with their help, we have improved the characteristics of black-motley cattle.
The heifers are ready for fertilization as early as 15 months with a weight of 350-380 kg. On industrial farms, mainly artificial methods are used. In private households they can fertilize heifers in a natural way. At the same time, it is necessary to monitor the correct selection of bulls so that small calves can be included in the pedigree book, otherwise their value in the market will fall, and they will not be allowed to further breeding. The Holstein breed of cows and its price largely depends on the purity of the line, because with low-quality genetic material of animals, their productivity drops sharply.
Gobies of the Holstein breed are born with a mass of 35-42 kg, heifers - 32-38 kg. The calves are strong, quickly get to their feet. From the first days, they are transferred to milk or milk rehydration, quickly accustomed to standard feeds. A selection of bull-calves is made, the rest are sent for fattening and meat. Heifers are evaluated a little later on indicators of milk production, but frankly weak, with obvious defects of female calves, too, are not left for further breeding.
Calves of the Holstein-Friesian breed are susceptible to infections, therefore the calving area should be absolutely clean. You can only touch young animals with disinfected hands. In the first 2 weeks, calves are kept in special quarantine rooms where the temperature is regulated, the air is disinfected with bactericidal lamps. Personnel access to such facilities is limited. The period between two calving in Holstein cows is 13-14 months, which is slightly longer than in other breeds.
The product characteristics of the Holstein breed largely depend on the conditions of keeping and feeding. These cows are quite moody and demanding. At the slightest stress, improper feeding, milk yield decreases. They are grown mainly on industrial farms. Only there it is possible to ensure the highest requirements, while receiving a positive balance between costs and profits. The box method of keeping in a barn without a leash is practiced.
The farm must be equipped with:
- milking parlor;
- a room for rest;
- veterinary area;
- comfortable stalls;
- mechanical manure removal system.
Feeding cows is also very important, feed should be only first class. A year for a heifer, which produces about 6, 000 kg of milk, 72 centners of feed with an energy value of 72, 000 kJ are needed. Milk productivity of thoroughbred Holstein cows with an unbalanced or insufficient feeding greatly decreases.
Particular importance should be given to food quality in winter. During this period, cows are given:
- bean hay (pea tops, alfalfa, clover, lupine);
- corn grain;
- oilseed meal;
- high protein feed.
In summer, the diet consists mainly of fresh herbs and animal feed. As you can see, this breed of cows cannot be economical. In order to fully realize its genetic potential, it is necessary to provide good conditions for keeping and feeding. In ordinary private households, the Friesian breed rarely shows record and even average milk yield rates. It is truly profitable to breed cattle only on industrial farms with medium or large livestock.
Advantages, disadvantages and cost of the breed
Holstein cattle have advantages and disadvantages. The positive qualities include:
- high milk yield;
- the possibility of increasing the amount and fat content of milk depending on the feed;
- good climatic adaptability;
- disease resistance, if you provide good care;
- cleanliness and calm character.
The reviews of farmers say that the Holstein cow is a rather profitable option, but it also has a number of disadvantages, which include:
- exactingness to feed and keeping conditions;
- the need for large investments to fully realize the hereditary potential for dairy indicators;
- propensity for mastitis;
- sensitivity of calves to infections (animals require special conditions in the first days of life);
- short life span of cows.
Farms in the Leningrad region, Naberezhnye Chelny, Krasnodar Territory are engaged in the breeding of the Holstein-Friesian breed in Russia. Livestock is also sold there. How much does the Holstein thoroughbred cow cost? Tribal heifers can be bought at 250-280 rudders per 1 kilogram of live weight. Gobies for meat are cheaper, 180-200 rubles. The Holstein breed and its price in Europe are higher, on average an individual costs 1, 500-1, 800 euros. Red-mottled breed options can cost a little cheaper.
The Holstein breed of cows and the productivity of this cattle are valued throughout the world. It has great genetic potential, which can be fully realized with proper feeding and maintenance. Modern technology allows you to constantly increase milk yield.
Thoroughbred bulls and heifers of Holstein are more suitable for industrial farms. For private households this is not the most profitable option.