Cattle breeding has been feeding humanity for the last century, giving us meat, milk and skins. Of course, in recent years, dairy varieties of livestock in many countries play a particularly important role, but still beef cattle form the basis of the welfare of many countries (Canada, Brazil, Argentina).
The latter is due to the fact that in recent years have been marked by a constant increase in the cost of meat and meat products. Accordingly, the breeding of such animals is becoming increasingly profitable. Oddly enough, but the meat breeds of cattle in Russia are still very rare, which is a pity.
Features of such cattle
It should be noted that in the world there are more than a thousand very different breeds of cattle. But the meat is not more than a hundred of them. These breeds are very unpretentious to climatic and natural conditions, have good resistance to various diseases. With proper organization of the process, breeding beef varieties of livestock is extremely beneficial, since it requires minimal participation in the process of man. The fact is that such cows are not milked. Calves are with mothers up to eight months, and they do not require any special care.
Production quality of beef cattle
If you compare them with dairy breeds, they have much more impressive productive qualities: on 100 cows out of the order of 95 calves, bullheads add just a day for 1050-1200 grams of pure meat. And this is despite the fact that only 6,5-7 fodder units are consumed per kilogram of weight gain.
The importance of locating
It is important to note that the high results of beef cattle breed show only if you choose the right natural-climatic zone correctly. If the breed is not adapted to your climate zone, then the animals sharply decrease their resistance to disease, there are problems with the reproductive function, and there is also a long weight gain.
Simply put, the genetic basis of an animal will give the highest possible productivity only if it is kept in the same conditions as the breeding conditions occurred. For example: if you bring an Aberdeen-Angus bull from the same Brazil and decide to get offspring from it in Central Russia, it is unlikely that you will get something worthwhile.
Are there breeds favorable for beef cattle in Russia?
Especially favorable for beef cattle breeds are many areas of the North Caucasus. And also, oddly enough, some areas of Western and Eastern Siberia. What breeds of cattle give the best yield of meat? The best results are given by the Kalmyk, Kazakh white-headed and also Hereford breed.
Perhaps we will dwell on the last species. In just a year and a half, the Herefords have already reached their maximum weight, and the bulls add 1500 grams per day. On average, no less than 5,5 kilograms of meat pulp is released per kilogram of bones. Animals of this breed are extremely effective in using all types of feed that are used in their cultivation. Thus, from birth to slaughter, no more than 11,3 feed units are consumed per kilogram of weight gain. This is a very flattering characteristic of cattle meat breeds (almost all, not just the Herefords).
It is worth mentioning about the Aberdeen-Angus breed, which we have already written above. Strangely enough, but for Russia, these animals are suitable well, but it is required to acquire only those of its representatives who have already been acclimatized in our country. A total of 21 day you can get a calf weighing up to 200 kilograms, and the average daily gain is at least 800 grams.
In principle, the list of cattle meat breeds can be continued. We can’t name the full voiced by us, but we have brought in it only those varieties of cattle that can really be bred in our climatic conditions.
If you want to grow beef cattle, then you should remember about two main production stages:
It is necessary to organize the correct reproduction of the herd and the maintenance of the received calves with mothers for at least six to eight months.
Intensive subsequent fattening of young stock, including super repair.
Recipe for success
As you might guess, it is impossible to receive income from the breeding of meat animals without having a household with a strong forage base. Let's give a simple example. Suppose that from one hectare of your land you can get at least 20-30 centners of oats (a kilogram of oats corresponds to one feed unit). In this case, you can count on keeping the order of animals 110-120. If from a hectare you get about 40-45 centners of production, then you can keep about one and a half hundred cows.
And this is not all the features of breeding cattle meat breeds. Let's talk about other nuances.
On what basis to create a meat farm?
There are several ways here. First, you can buy purebred animals or purebred youngsters. Today, there is also the technology of transplantation of embryos of meat breeds of animals, as a result of which a variety of beef cattle adapted to local conditions is created. Finally, you can buy sperm from beef breeds and inseminate with it the most developed black-and-white cows (local cattle).
Consider that all beef cattle breeds are large animals. Pick up cattle for crossbreeding so that cows do not have injuries during childbirth.
Herd Reproduction Organization
The essence of the event is the annual receipt of a healthy calf from every cow that has reached the physiological age. This is extremely important, since it is the calves that are the source of the sole production of beef cattle as an industry. In general, breeding meat breeds depends on some factors. It:
The state of food supply, the number of young stock in your household.
Timing insemination heifers. It should be noted that in this area you need to act as carefully as possible: small animals are covered in approximately 15-16 months, and large animals are covered in 17-18. They are brought to the general herd not earlier than in 24-25 and 26-27 months. These terms should vary, taking into account the general physical condition of the animals.
Insemination method. Comparatively recently, it was believed that direct stocking of bulls is permissible in commercial herds (especially if breeding of cattle meat breeds is practiced). Now, this method is practically abandoned. Firstly, its use significantly increases the risk of herd leukemia. Secondly, it is very difficult to control the percentage of inseminated animals and make a calving schedule.
It should be noted that in any case it is necessary to strive for winter-spring calving. The fact is that in this case, in the most important period of pregnancy, cows feed on fresh green fodder, and calves, after a period of dairy feeding, immediately switch to full-fledged green fodder. All this contributes to obtaining the most healthy and productive animals, and breeding meat breeds becomes really profitable.
In various literature, it is often possible to find the statement that the heifers should be checked for pregnancy without fail in two months after insemination or natural mating. I would like to note that two months is too short a period.
In principle, an experienced veterinarian or livestock specialist will be able to determine pregnancy with a high degree of probability, but there is a considerable likelihood of early abortion: the fetus is especially tender during this period, so the slightest negligence during rectal examination may lead to a miscarriage of an early term . So experts advise to conduct studies on the presence of pregnancy in three months.
The number of animals rejected
It should be noted that this moment is also very important when the reproduction process is properly organized. It is believed that on 100 heads of adult animals annually need to enter at least 20 per heifers. Thus, in the same period, it is necessary to remove from the herd the same number of adult cows, sending them for additional fattening before slaughter.
In principle, this is characterized by all animal husbandry (cattle). Meat breeds of cattle must be cleaned of unsatisfactory animals especially carefully.
This is where the duality of the use of natural mating manifests itself once again. On the one hand, the constant presence of a bull in the herd will almost completely eliminate the possibility that the heifer in a state of hunting will not be inseminated. On the other hand, in the case of abortions in the early stages, free keeping and insemination can lead to large monetary losses due to lost profits.
In general, we recommend using artificial turf in any case. But here you should not relax. Here are the main activities that will help get rid of cows barley:
All new batches of sperm are checked on a mandatory basis. If there are any violations, it is better not to use this batch of seed in principle.
Create a log to monitor hunting detection cases, a separate log for the registration of insemination.
Constantly carry out visual inspection of the herd. In case of detection of animals with injuries of the external genital organs, it is important to inform the veterinary specialist in a timely manner.
If you are interested in completely eradicating rawness as a phenomenon, all uncovered heifers (after three months no pregnancy has been identified) need to be rejected, regardless of their breeding value.
In order to synchronize the cycles of hunting and insemination, it is recommended to use hormonal stimulation. It is especially useful in cases where it is necessary to cover animals that walk physiological maturity.
Features of reproduction in meat breeds
As we have said, the breed of meat direction (cattle) are characterized by a long stay of the calf with the mother. This approach contributes to the high growth of the animal. But also fraught with some problems.
The fact is that due to the constant mechanical stimulation of the udder, the hormonal system of the cow is somewhat rearranged, resulting in an increase in the incidence of “quiet” hunting, which is not detected by general visual methods. In this case, you need to use more detailed methods of inspection. In addition, you should focus on the log identified hunts.
In addition, beef cattle breeds have other bright features. For example, they have a very pronounced seasonality of sexual cycles. In principle, there is no problem in this: it is more convenient to focus on the very winter-spring calving, which we wrote about above.
How to keep the maximum number of calves?
As we have said, calves are the only products of beef cattle, and therefore special attention should be paid to their safety. We advise you to read the following:
It is necessary to draw up a plan of regularly performed veterinary and zootechnical activities. This includes vaccinations, medical examination of animals, quality control of feed and the constant fixation of dates and the results of their insemination.
Farms that contain livestock must be subject to mandatory disinfection, disinsection and disinfestation.
It is important to note that the farm should not be accessible not only to unauthorized persons, but also to wild and wild animals, which are natural reservoirs of infectious and invasive diseases.
Here's how to organize the breeding of cattle meat breeds.
The organization of loose housing content
In recent years, this method has again begun to occupy a dominant position in all countries where there is a more or less developed animal husbandry. Its advantages are obvious. Animals are less stressed, they are much more time in motion. In addition, the procedure for feeding and cleaning manure is simplified, which makes it possible to reduce the cost of production by reducing the number of personnel and the time of their work.
There are two ways of free-standing: in fully open areas and in spacious rooms. Often these methods are combined, which allows to achieve optimal results. How to deal with calves? After all, if you keep them in the same room with adult animals, they will be difficult to feed !?
Proceed as follows. Corral is done in such a way that calves can pass freely between the bars of the barrier. In the center there will be a platform where the calves will be additionally fed by workers. Along the perimeter of the barn, it would be advisable to organize “dens” for cows in which there will be sufficiently dry straw. Here the animals will rest.
In the south of our country, most often arrange completely open walking areas. In the middle of the site is an indoor pen, in which lay at least half a meter of dry straw. Even in conditions of a southern winter (which can be quite cold), animals will still be warm. The fact is that their urine and excrement, with which the straw will quickly be moistened, contribute to biochemical reactions, during which a rather significant amount of heat is released.
Of course, for the calving of animals it is necessary to drive them away in separate, adapted for this room. This will prevent the death of animals from dyspepsia, and cows will significantly reduce the likelihood of mastitis.
During the entire cold period, litter is gradually added, but they do not completely clean the paddock. In the spring, when animals are transferred to pasture-walking mode of maintenance, a bulldozer is simply driven there and all the accumulated manure is removed.
About free mating
And further. If you do decide to use a bull for insemination, then you should remember about the optimal load on it. It is considered that no more than 35-40 cows should fall on a single producer. In principle, the load can be increased, but the bull should be in good physical shape. In addition, it is highly desirable to organize its feeding with protein feeds (including those of animal origin).
That's what you need to pay attention if you are going to breed cattle meat breed.