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Originally Russian, obtained by the method of folk selection, the Kholmogory breed of cows was bred in the 16th century in the region of the Northern Dvina River. Bred in the north of Russia, the breed is ideally adapted to the climatic conditions of the Russian north. Since the 18th century, attempts were made to add the blood of East Frisian cattle to the Kholmogory breed, but Holsteinization was not crowned with success. Due to the effeminacy of the Dutch cattle, they could not have a significant impact on the Kholmogory breed. Even the black and piebald color of the Kholmogorki had even before the arrival of the Holsteins. The original Kholmogory cows had three color options: black. White, and black and piebald.
The last attempt to add the blood of Holstein cattle was made in the late 1930s. The goal was to increase the yield and exterior of the Kholmogory cow. The result was a sharp drop in milk fat. And the experiment was terminated. But since 1980, they again began to use Holstein bulls on Kholmogory uterus. As a result of crossing and breeding hybrids in different regions of Russia, three intra-breed types were singled out and approved in the breed:
- "Central": the central part of the Russian Federation;
- "Severny": Arkhangelsk region;
- "Pechorsky": the Komi Republic.
The Kholmogory breed of cows is one of the most widespread in Russia. It is bred in 24 regions of the country. The number of Kholmogory cows is almost 9% of the total number of dairy cattle raised in Russia.
Description of the breed
Height at the withers 130 cm. The constitution is strong. The head is medium in size with a narrow muzzle. The neck is long and thin. The body is long, the chest is narrow, shallow. Chest circumference is about 196 cm. The dewlap is poorly developed. The sacrum is wide. The legs are correctly positioned. The udder is bowl-shaped, medium-sized. All lobes are evenly developed.
The color is mainly black and piebald, but there are black and red piebald. Red is very rare. Given that the gene for red color is present in the breed, but is recessive, the birth of red calves is quite reasonable.
Vices include the "goat" udder and the third pair of teats.
The advantages of the breed are their resistance to diseases characteristic of cold climates, as well as their higher resistance to leukemia.
Kholmogorki are distinguished by their early maturity. Their first calving usually takes place at 30 months.
Important! A good cow only brings one calf.
Cows bearing twins are discarded from further breeding.
With good care and proper feeding, the average Kholmogory cow is capable of producing 3.5 - 4 tons of milk with a fat content of 3.6 - 3.7% during the lactation period. The elite breeding stock from farms that continue to work to improve the productivity of Kholmogory cows has a higher milk yield. The table shows an increase in milk yield in terms of the average livestock and in breeding farms. five
Breeders aim to increase the fat content of milk in this breed of cattle in the first place.
Work is underway on the meat productivity of the Kholmogory cattle. In general, Kholmogory has a good slaughter yield of meat, so it is beneficial to leave the Kholmogory bulls for fattening and slaughter.
The photo shows an adult Kholmogory bull.
The weight of an adult hillock is 450 - 500 kg, a bull is 820 - 950 kg. In an elite breeding herd, the average weight of individuals may be higher. Adult bulls of the Kholmogory breed are well muscled, and bulls quickly gain weight. Kholmogory heifers are born weighing 32 - 35 kg, bull calves weigh 37 - 39 kg at birth. With a well-designed diet, calves at 6 months can already gain weight from 160 to 200 kg. Heifers usually weigh up to 180 kg, bulls from 180 kg. By one year, calves gain 280-300 kg. Slaughter meat yield is 50 - 54%.
Important! After a year and a half, the weight gain drops sharply and it makes no sense to keep the bull longer than this age.
In the villages, the slaughter of half-year-old calves is practiced, fed on free summer grass. From the point of view of a private trader, this is the most profitable way to get meat. Keeping a bull in the winter on purchased feed is less profitable. On farms, gobies are usually sent to slaughter at 1 - 1.5 years. Castrating a bull over one and a half years old is unprofitable and very dangerous for a veterinarian. Usually bulls intended for slaughter are castrated at 6 months. Therefore, the information about the fattening of Kholmogory bulls after one and a half years and the daily weight gain of 1 kg is hardly true. The only exception is the fattening of a discarded sire before slaughter.
Most likely, the Kholmogory cattle suffer from the heat. Another disadvantage, from the point of view of the southern regions, is the "habit" of Kholmogory cows to the abundance of grass in the summer. Contrary to the cliches, in the summer, the north is very rich in herbs, which often grow to the height of a person. There it is bad with cultivated grains, so the peculiarity of the hills is the ability to fatten the body and give good milk yield on poor in terms of nutritional value feed, that is, grass and hay. At the same time, the daily requirement of a cow for grass is 100 kg.
Reviews of the owners of Kholmogory cows
Sergey Krylov, village of Mane Island
We live in the Arkhangelsk region, we have kept a knoll from time immemorial. I think this is the ideal breed for our area. Even in Soviet times, the dairy herd on the collective farm was staffed with Kholmogory cows. Then they tried to import more productive Holstein cattle, but they quickly refused. After all, Kholmogorka is good because it released it in the summer in the morning, launched it into the yard in the evening. There is no need to feed in the summer, the hill on the grass eats well. And give the Holstein cows grain even in summer. Where can I get it in our area? So it turns out that Kholmogorka may give a little less milk, but it is much cheaper.
Andrey Sirotinin, Vyderka village
We moved to the village from the city a few years ago. The village is practically abandoned, even for groceries you have to go to the neighboring one. But there is more than enough space for animal husbandry. The question immediately arose of what breed of cows to buy, so that it would be unpretentious, and gave milk, and meat could be obtained. I was looking for a cow for myself, proceeding from considerations: so as not to get sick; milk would be sufficient for cheeses and other dairy products; the calf grew rapidly and fattened easily on the summer free grass. Stopped at the Kholmogory breed of cows. She was also bred in a climate similar to ours. Since then I have no regrets. We switched to almost subsistence farming. We only buy products that cannot be grown by ourselves, so we rarely go to the neighboring village. Milk from our Kholmogory cow, meat from all livestock. Eggs from chickens. Vegetables-fruits from the garden. Thanks to the cow, we also indulge in homemade cheeses.
The Kholmogorsk breed of cattle, with all its unpretentiousness and resistance to diseases, is not very suitable for breeding in such southern regions of Russia as Stavropol, Krasnodar Territory or Crimea. But Kholmogory cattle are very common and loved in the northern and central regions, where they show maximum productivity.