Kalmyk breed of cows
The Kalmyk breed of cows is on the list of domestic cattle, known for a long time. She has established herself as a good meat producer.
Kalmyk breed of cows
About Kalmyk breed
Bred once by the nomadic tribes of Kalmykia, the Kalmyk breed of cows was formed under the influence of adverse climatic conditions of habitat during year-round feeding on natural pastures. Thus, Kalmyk cows and bulls differ in endurance from artificially bred European representatives of cattle. They grew up in the steppes and mountains of the Central Asian regions in conditions of strict natural selection. They were bred in Mongolia and China.
In Russia, the popularity of the described breed of cows began about 3 - 3.5 centuries ago. At that time, she was bred in Siberian regions, in the Volga region and on the banks of the Don. Today, similar cattle up to 90% of their livestock are kept on Russian territory in arid steppe regions and semi-deserts.
Kalmyk animals that survived in harsh continental conditions lay a thick fat layer before the onset of the cold period, allowing them to endure frosts. At the same time, the quality and quantity of feed do not particularly affect the formation of the subcutaneous fat layer.
In the Kalmyk line today, 4 zonal types differing in live weight are distinguished: the Lower Volga, from Siberia, from Kazakhstan and the North Caucasus.
For the Kalmyk breed of cows, a seasonal change in weight indicators is characteristic. Even with poor nutrition, animals are able to stock up on body fat, sometimes losing up to 30-50 kg of weight during the winter season, while maintaining their fatness and tight constitution. Weight loss is quickly compensated by grazing when spring heat sets in, when the animals completely restore the lost mass.
The breeding work of modern domestic animal husbandry is aimed at improving the qualitative characteristics of Kalmyks, including increasing early maturity indicators, increasing the figures for gaining live weight and slaughter yield, improving the external data of animals.
The appearance of Kalmyks
Today, the breed owes its exterior to its past nomadic way of life and year-round stay in open pastures with sharp changes in temperature conditions.
In appearance, the breed from Kalmykia is quite squat, with well-developed muscular-muscle mass. The height of the animals at the withers does not exceed 1.3-1.4 m with an oblique body length ranging from 1.45 to 1.6 m. The back of the animals is especially developed.
Animals are easy to recognize in the photo. The characteristic of the Kalmyk breed includes a description of the main differences:
- a harmoniously folded body with a fairly developed deep (0.7 m) and wide (0.45-0.5 m) chest, short neck, immediately passing into the shoulder girdle,
- strong constitution with straight stable limbs straight set,
- occipital crest on a small head, giving the impression of the presence of a hump,
- animal horns fold into a crescent shape,
- undeveloped udder, characteristic for animals of meat, but not milk direction.
The color of cows and gobies of the Kalmyk breed is mainly red or red, diluted with white spots. The head of animals is most often covered with white marks, sometimes spots can be seen on the trunk and limbs.
In the cold season, animals are covered with a thick woolen layer with an underfill, which plays the main role in thermoregulation. Thanks to such wool, Kalmyk cows are not afraid of frosts up to 35-40 ° С. When the summer season begins, their hair becomes smooth and shiny, reflecting the exhausting sun's rays, because cows easily tolerate the sultry heat, staying around the clock on mountain elevations and in the steppe regions.
Breeders began to distinguish two types of Kalmyk breed of cows:
- The first, precocious, which is characterized by fast growth with the smallest final mass, their skeleton is slightly lighter, the skin is thin, the lethal yield is less by 2-4%.
- The second, late ripe, which does not differ in the intensity of development, but at the output gives more live weight.
By the mature age, calves of the Kalmyk breed by the time of growing up gain weight up to 0.9-1.1 tons, cows weigh a little less, reaching a maximum weight of 0.5 tons. Calves are born with a weight of 22-25 or more kg.
In ancient times, representatives of the Kalmyk breed of cattle were used mainly as draft animals. Currently, these gobies and cows of Kalmykia have become a source of valuable meat product, known for its quality and taste.
Tribal gobies of the Kalmyk breed in live weight reach 0.8-0.9 tons, while they differ in intensive growth and weight gain. By six months of age, they weigh in the range from 400 to 450 kg. Subject to favorable living and food conditions, the slaughter yield reaches 67%, significantly exceeding the performance of the Shorthorn and Angus cattle representatives.
Calves from Kalmyk breed cows gain 0.8-0.9 kg in weight per day.
From the carcass of the Kalmyk bull breed, up to 57-58% of meat and up to 10-11% of the fat component, which is formed in the form of marble layers, are obtained.
The Kalmyk breed of cows belonging to the meat direction does not differ in milk production. Its characteristic as a source of milk is satisfactory: annual milk yield is up to 1.2-1.5 thousand kg with a fat content of 4.5-6%. The protein component in milk is in the range of 4.3-4.8%.
Bulls from Kalmykia act as genetic material in cross-breeding production with high quality characteristics.
Advantages and disadvantages of breeding
Domestic animal husbandry in Kalmyk breed of cows has several advantages that make this cattle attractive for breeding:
- animals are characterized by natural endurance and independence from climatic conditions of detention,
- unpretentious cows and bulls gain weight on pasture walks, which in warm time reduces the costs of farmers to maintain them,
- the digestive system, well adapted to pasture vegetation, easily digests roughage,
- in winter, cattle do not lose their slaughter indicators even with a decrease in feed quality,
- Kalmyk young animals have good survival rates,
- meat products have high quality characteristics; therefore, milk obtained in small quantities from Kalmyk cows has good figures for fat content,
- cows remain capable of reproduction for up to 15 years, calving is characterized by the absence of complications, the offspring born are distinguished by their health and vitality,
- Kalmyks are characterized by high reproduction rates: on average, about 90-95 calves per 100 heifers.
Hardy by nature Kalmyk cows and bulls do not require special care, and caring for them comes down to feeding and providing rest for at least 5-6 hours a day. They show regular gains, even under conditions of long haul, overcoming distances of 15-50 km per day in search of suitable food.
When choosing the Kalmyk breed of cows as livestock, it is necessary to take into account that cattle of this direction require large pasture areas for walking, keeping them in a limited space does not justify the invested finances.
Among the features of keeping Kalmyk animals is the obligatory provision of livestock for water. In artificial living conditions, it is recommended to drink Kalmyks at least 4 times a day, while at high temperatures in the hot summer period, the amount of water consumed, which is on average up to 5-6 buckets per person, increases by 20-30%.
Among the shortcomings that complicate the maintenance of Kalmyks, livestock breeders note the manifestation of an aggressive nature in heifers after calving, when due to a highly developed maternal instinct, the cow does not allow a calf to the newborn, which should be known and taken into account for beginners who have Kalmyks on the farm.