The Bushuev cattle originated in the Golodnaya Steppe, Syr Darya and Gulistan districts of Syr Darya region of the Uzbek SSR. They spread to many districts of the Tashkent region, as well as to farms of Samarkand, Fergana, Surkhandarya and other regions. The history of Bushuev cattle is associated with the development of the Golodnaya Steppe which started with its settlement early in this century. Many settlers bred imported European cattle. But the severe conditions of this area with the harsh continental climate, intense solar radiation, eccentric atmospheric pressure, and piroplasmosis in most of the intensively cultivated areas, required the creation of a breed adapted to the local conditions.
The founder herd was formed at the farms of the Vedenski and Golodnaya Steppe experimental station, set up during 1906-18 by M.M. Bushuev. The local zebu cattle were crossed with Dutch and Swiss Brown bulls and some Simmentals and the best crosses were bred inter se. The young stock produced at the farm were distributed among the peasant farms. During 1932-48 to increase milk production most of the cows at the breeding farms were crossed with purebred and crossbred East Friesian sires under conditions of reduced feeding. It had a bad effect on the development and improvement of Bushuev cattle. The number of pedigree cattle was dramatically reduced, milk production and live weight did not increase and the fat content decreased considerably. In 1948 the crossing was stopped and since then the cattle have been bred inter se. Since 1953 the improvement of the cattle has been done under the auspices of the Uzbek Animal Breeding Research Institute.
At present, in accordance with the plan, Bushuev cattle are bred on the farms of Syr Darya, Gulistan, and Voroshilov districts in Syr Darya, Tashkent, Samarkand and Khorezm regions of the Kara-Kalpak ASSR and the Uzbek Republic. The majority of these cattle (86%) are concentrated in Syr Darya region. The total number was 21 000 head in 1980.
The best animals of the breed (over 6000 head, including more than 2000 cows) are kept at Krasni Vodopad experimental farm of the Uzbek Animal Breeding Research Institute, at Pervomaets-2 breeding centre in Gulistan district, at the breeding farms of Ilyich, Akhunbabaev, Pravda and Lenin collective farms of Syr Darya district, and of Gulistan and 50 Let SSSR state farms in Voroshilov district of Syr Darya region.
The most important feature of Bushuev cattle is their adaptation to the specific natural and climatic conditions of the habitat. The climate of the breeding zone of Bushuev cattle is markedly continental. The vegetation period is 210-220 days (from the end of March till the end of October). Ephemerals, including sagebrush, prevail in the vegetation cover of the Golodnaya Steppe area. They are noted for their short vegetation period and for the uncertainty of fodder crops with high nutritional value of the major species, namely desert sedge and meadow grass. Russian thistle varieties (Bolykhkuz and Azherek) are common on saline plots. Rush, tamarisk, willow and Elaeagnus grow on solonchaks (saline soils) in the Syr Darya river valley. Fodder crops on the arid spring pastures do not yield more than 500 kg per hectare.
The modern Bushuev cattle, like their zebu ancestor, are resistant to blood parasites. When grazed in tick-infested areas Bushuev cows remain healthy, produce a normal amount of milk and calve regularly. Occasional mild cases of piroplasmosis affect mainly the crossbreds.
This breed is ermine-coloured, i.e. white with black spots on the skin, black ears and rims around eyes, and a black band around the muzzle. The colour remains stable even when the animals are crossed with other breeds. Study has shown that a white hair cover in combination with pigmented skin considerably increases adaptation to the hot climate: the white hair cover reflects the solar radiation and the pigmented skin promotes heat emission. Even at the hottest time of the day, when air temperature is 40-46o C and relative humidity 15-20%, the animals do not need shelter and feel well. Cows with an annual milk yield of 3000 kg or more have 52% more sweat glands per square centimetre and these are 18-31% larger.
The constitution of Bushuev cattle is strong; the exterior is harmonious. They have a medium live weight, deep chest, strong skeleton and well-developed muscles. The udder is well developed; the udder girth of pedigree cows is 90-115 cm, its length 30-35 cm, and its width 22-26 cm or more. The basic measurements of mature cows (in cm) are: withers height 122.8, chest depth 65.1, oblique body length 147.3, heart girth 177.5, cannon bone girth 17.0 (National Herdbook, vol. 2, 1982).
The exterior defects of Bushuev cows are as follows: sloping, narrow hindquarters, underdeveloped chest, poorly developed musculature, small udder (Mustafayev 1982). Newborn heifers weigh 22-30 kg, at 6 months 115-162 kg, at 18 months 280-300 kg; male calves weigh 25-30 kg, 127-180 kg, 300-350 kg at the same ages. The average live weight of mature cows is 380-450 kg; pedigree cows weigh 450-500 kg and mature bulls 750-850 kg.
The young steers are noted for their rapid growth rate and good veal. According to test slaughter, the average weight of the fresh carcass of a 1.5-year steer was 200 kg. The dressing percentage averaged 61.7.
The milk production of all cows evaluated in 1981 averaged 2493 kg and the fat content was 3.91%; the pedigree stock produced 2693 kg of milk per head with 4.06% fat. At the best farms of the Syr Darya state breeding station in 1980 the milk yields reached 3000 kg and over. The high potential of Bushuev cattle has been proved at some farms of Syr Darya district where the milk yields are 4100-4354 kg per cow.
Bushuev cows are the top record-holders for fat content among the approved breeds of the Uzbek Republic. The breeding stock is noted for its high fat content averaging 4% over all lactations.
The structure of the breed comprises 5 major lines. Most breeding stock are in the lines of Gusar TE-10 (46.1%) and Record TE-10 (30.2%).
The cows of the Gusar line have the highest milk yield averaging 3516 kg or 17-24% more than that of other lines.
Over 30 female families, including 20 promising ones, have been formed and improved along with the basic lines.
The further progress of the breed is impeded by its small numbers and by the absence of highly productive breeding herds. To preserve this germ plasm it is necessary to increase numbers by pure breeding and by setting up a semen bank of the best sires of all existing lines. To increase the efficiency of breeding a study of the natural resistance of the cattle to leucosis, tuberculosis, mastitis and other diseases is being conducted. To increase milk production and to breed highly productive lines a single mating to sires of the Holstein-Friesian or the Dutch Black Pied breeds is admissible. The possibility of breeding new lines by crossing zebu-type cows with Dutch bulls should also be considered.
This is a native breed but as a result of efficient selection it has reached a production level characteristic of improved breeds. Organized improvement of the local cattle in Estonia began in 1909. At that time the aim was to breed dairy cattle of medium size, rugged constitution, hardy, with high milk production and fat content, economical, polled, and of yellowish or red colour. Since 1914 the best animals have been entered in the herdbook.
After the Second World War the population of the Estonian Native cattle decreased considerably and the breed was on the verge of dying out as a result of inbreeding. To stop this, crossing with Jersey and Finnish bulls was undertaken during 1955-67.
At present, the breed numbers 2000 head (1980). Most of the breed are kept at three farms of the Estonian SSR, namely Pyarivere state farm and Vakhenurme collective farm in Pyarnu district and Lekhtse collective farm in Paides district.
The breed is mainly polled. The colour varies from yellow-brown to red; the bulls have darker back and body. The head is light, small, of medium length, with a narrow forehead. The neck is thin and of medium length. The chest is medium wide and sufficiently deep. The back is level. The hindquarters are long and often roof-shaped. The hind legs are often cow-hocked. The udder is capacious, with equally developed quarters, frequently of roundish or tub-like shape. The constitution is delicate and the conformation compact. The muscles are often not well developed. The measurements of the cows (in cm) are: withers height 124.9, chest depth 66.2, chest girth 186.4; live weight is 519 kg.
The milk yield of Estonian Native cows is little less that of the principal improved breeds of Estonia and the fat content is higher. In Pyarnu district in 1976 10 530 Estonian Red cows produced 3276 kg of milk with 3.78% fat; 12 404 Black Pied cows produced 3616 kg of milk with 3.83% fat; 680 Estonian Native cows produced 3444 kg of milk with 4.45% fat. In 1977 the average milk yield of 519 Estonian Native cows was 3799 kg with 4.45% fat. The highest milk yield of cow Medi EK 1031-E was 6209 kg with 4.75% fat; cow Ekha EK 1201-E over a lifetime of 15.5 years produced 67 931 kg of milk and 3043 kg of fat; cow Miya produced during a 305-day lactation (the 5th) 5621 kg of milk with 5.87% fat; cow Neazi produced in the 3rd lactation 6951 kg of milk with 4.40% fat; cow Nyapi produced in the 1st lactation 5718 kg of milk with 4.14% fat.
At present the breed consists of 10 lines or related groups.
The plan for these cattle envisages pure breeding at the state farm Pyarivere of the Estonian SSR to preserve the breed. The importance of this breed is based on such valuable characteristics as high milk production, high butterfat content, resistance to tuberculosis and leucosis, hardiness and adaptation to the local environment and low food consumption per unit of production.
Estonian Native cattle are indispensable for crossing because they can transfer their distinctive characters to other breeds.
Formation of this breed started late in the 18th century, when cattle breeder S.P. Bestuzhev began to cross the local cattle with the Durham (Shorthorn) breed from England. With the aim of improving milk and beef qualities, the offspring were later crossed with the animals of the Dutch, Shorthorn, Simmental and some other breeds. The formation of this beef-and-dairy breed was completed in the middle of the 19th century. Planned breeding of Bestuzhev cattle started in 1918 when breeding farms were set up in the Tatar ASSR, in Bashkiria, and in Ulyanovsk and Kuibyshev regions. The first volume of the National Herdbook was published in 1928.
A characteristic feature of Bestuzhev cattle is their adaptation to the continental climate of the Volga area. The colour is red, varying from light red to deep cherry red. Some animals have white spots, mainly on the belly, udder and head.
Bestuzhev cattle are not homogeneous in conformation. In most herds dairy-beef animals predominate. In some cows dairy or beef-dairy features prevail. Overall, Bestuzhev cattle have the following features. The head is medium in size, light and clean-cut with a long face; the forehead is narrow; the jaw is wide; the horns are large, white in colour. The neck is medium in length with wrinkled skin; the chest is deep, with well-developed dewlap; the back is straight with wide loin; sloping rump is infrequent. The legs are not long, widely set. The udder is medium in volume; the quarters are clearly defined. Body parts are developed proportionally; the skeleton is strong; the muscles are well developed. The basic measurements of mature cows are (in cm): withers height 131.6, chest depth 71.8, oblique body length 158.3, heart girth 193.8, cannon bone girth 19.9.
According to volume 10 of the National Herdbook (1982), mature cows weigh 480-560 kg, occasionally up to 710 kg. The bulls weigh 790-950 kg, maximum 1000 kg or more. Bestuzhev cattle are noted for their good beef qualities. The daily live-weight gain of feeder steers is 700-850 g. With lavish feeding yearling steers can reach a weight of 500 kg. The dressing percentage of fattened animals is 58-60.
The milk production of mature cows recorded in volume 10 of the National Herdbook (1982) is 4288 kg, with 3.99% fat. At the breeding farms cows average over 4000 kg of milk. In 1982 the best production records were reached in the herd of the experimental farm Krasnogorskoye in the Kuibyshev region, where the average milk yield per cow was 4015 kg. The record holders of this breed with milk production over 10 000 kg per lactation are as follows: Liya - 4th lacation, 10 046 kg milk, 3.7% fat; Basnya - 4th lactation, 10 386 kg milk, 3.77%.
The average fat content of Bestuzhev cows is 3.8-4.0%, occasionally up to 5.0-5.4%; the protein content is 3.3-3.5%. The most productive herds belong to the breeding stations Kanash in Kuibyshev region and KIM in the Tatar ASSR as well as to the Ulyanovsk stock breeding station.
There are 13 lines in the breed. Milk production of the nearest female ancestors is 5000-7500 kg, and the fat content 4.01-5.21%.
Most Bestuzhev cattle are found in the Kuibyshev and Ulyanovsk regions of the Tatar ASSR and in the Bashkir ASSR. According to the census there were 1 890 000 head of this breed in 1980.
The breed was formed early in the 19th century by crossing the local Priokski cattle (an improved variety of the Great Russian) with the Tyrolean breed in the former Gorbatov district of Nizhegorod province. Later this breed spread to the floodplain of the Oka river in Vladimir and Ivanov regions and the Chuvash ASSR.
Among the cattle breeds created by peasant selection, the Gorbatov Red is one of the best. The cattle are well adapted to the local conditions and have a distinct physiological adaptivity. High lysozyme activity of the blood points to an increased non-specific immunity. The Gorbatov Red breed is also noted for its resistance to leucosis, tuberculosis and brucellosis.
The current proportion of the Gorbatov Red breed in Gorki region is 11.4% as compared with 31.1% in 1964. This reduction is because, since 1976, the breed has not been included in the breed zoning plan in Gorki and Vladimir regions. Pure breeding of Gorbatov Red cattle is still carried on at two breeding centres: Bogorodski in Gorki region and Zimenki in Vladimir region.
Gorbatov Red cattle have a strong constitution and a harmonious conformation. They have a long body but are not tall. The head is rather short and the neck is medium long and wide. The chest is deep and wide. The top line is level; the loin is wide; the rump is slightly raised, wide, and not wedge-shaped. The tail is set high and is long. The udder is medium in size; its quarters are developed proportionally. The skeleton is light and firm. The hooves are firm. The colour is red of various shades; some animals have white markings on the udder and abdomen. The muzzle is usually light pink and the horns are white with black tips.
The characteristics of 1633 animals recorded in Volume 7 of the National Herd-book indicate that Gorbatov Red animals have a satisfactory development. The average live weight of mature cows is 476 kg. The heaviest cows are kept at the Bogorodski breeding station. They weigh 492 kg on the average, up to 600 kg maximum. The bulls kept at the breeding stations are noted for their high live weight at any age: 3-4-year-olds weigh 752 kg; older animals weigh 830 kg; the heaviest weigh 970 kg.
The measurements of mature cows (in cm) are as follows: withers height 122, chest depth 68.0, oblique body length 152.5, heart girth 182, cannon bone girth 17.7.
The milk yield of 470 first-calvers was 3009 kg with 4.28% fat; that of 746 cows at the 3rd calving and older was 4003 kg with 4.22% fat. The record holder for milk and fat yield entered in Volume 7 of the National Herdbook, is cow Kama GP-7649 from the breeding centre Bogorodski. In her 4th lactation she produced 7211 kg of milk with 4.20% fat, or 303 kg of fat.
The champion of the Red Gorbatov breed in 1979 was cow Charodeika 191, who belongs to the same farm. During the 4th lactation she produced 7899 kg of milk with 4.0% fat, or 316 kg of milk fat.
Productivity indices of the cows recorded in Volume 8 of the National Herdbook (1983) that belong to the farms of Vladimir region and the Chuvash ASSR point to the high productive potential of this breed. The most productive cows yield over 5000 kg of milk per lactation. The fat content varies from 4.0 to 5.20%.
There are several cows of this breed with a record production. Cow Lenta 8822 produced 10 218 kg of milk with 4.2% fat in 305 days of the 4th lactation. Cow Balerina in 16 lactations produced 68 546 kg of milk with 3.83% fat.
In fat content (4-4.2%) this breed is among the best of the national breeds. The protein content is also high; it varies from 3.30 to 3.77%. These cattle have a high total solids content in their milk (12.91%).
This breed is noted for its good beef qualities. The cattle gain weight rapidly when fattening. The dressing percentage of normally fattened cows is 55% or more and that of steers is 62.7%.
This breed is conserved by long-term pure breeding in several conservation herds. The best pedigree herd is at Bogorodski breeding station in the Gorki region where Gorbatov Red cattle originated. Out of 2965 animals purebreds account for 98%. Over 60% are in the highest evaluation classes. The conservation herd of the Gorbatov Red breed in Vladimir region is a small part (200 head) of the Zimenki breeding centre herd; it is closely related to the Bogorodski herd.
A bank of over 120 000 semen doses of bulls, representing the major lines of the Gorbatov Red, is stored at various breeding establishments and genetic depositories.
Urgent measures are required to halt the decrease in the total population (to 294 000 head by 1980) and the lower proportion of purebreds. It is necessary to create a specialized dairy type that can be used at industrial dairy complexes, as well as to carry out intensive selection to increase live weight and milk yield and to improve conformation, udder quality and milkability. It will be expedient to introduce the blood of the Danish Red and Angeln breeds to increase the adaptability of the cows to industrial methods of cattle management.
Gorbatov Red cattle are characterized by a comparatively high heterogeneity of the allele pool. The common allele U2U' points to a remote phylogenetic connection of Gorbatov Red cattle with the Latvian Brown breed. The formation of the latter, as is known, involved the participation of Danish Red and Angeln cattle.
The breed was formed in the middle of the 19th century by crossing the local improved cattle in Tambov province with the Tyrol breed. Some Devon and Simmental blood was also introduced. Following the recommendations of Prof. M.M. Pridorogin, after 1911 the crossbreds were bred inter se. He was against complete upgrading with the total disappearance of the blood of the local cattle; this might have resulted in the loss of their most valuable properties. His well-grounded ideas as regards crossing and its handling promoted the success of the Tambov Red breed.
The directed breeding of Tambov Red cattle started after 1924. Of great importance was Kirsanov state breeding station. Lenin collective farm in Kirsanov district which bred the founders of the lines and families also made a considerable contribution to its improvement.
The breed was recognized in 1948. At present, its principal breeding zone is Kirsanov district in Tambov region, where the population of these cattle is 9500. The total number of the Tambov Red breed in 1980 was 45 000.
Tambov Red cattle have a strong constitution and a compact conformation. Characteristic features are the short head and deep and wide body. Frequent defects are as follows: sway back, hollowness behind the shoulders, sloping rump. The colour is red of various shades, with occasional white markings on the abdomen, udder, chest and legs. The basic measurements of cows are (in cm): withers height 127, chest depth 67, oblique body length 155, heart girth 183, cannon bone girth 19.
Milk yield of cows on conservation farms in 1983 was 2337 kg with 3.63% fat. Before the Second World War the milk production of Tambov Red cattle was much higher; at Lenin collective farm in Kirsanov district of Tambov region 195 cows averaged 4059 kg of milk. There were a number of record holders of this breed: Krasavka - 6650 kg of milk, 4.81% fat; Boginya - 6069 kg, 4.0%; Angela - 6734 kg, 3.70%; Vakhtanka -7820 kg, 3.71%. At present, this collective farm has 125 head of purebred Tambov Red cattle. The remaining cattle in Kirsanov district (13 600 head) which are considered to be Tambov Red, include recent first crosses with the Danish Red breed, and cattle of Tambov Red type. The latter closely resemble Danish Red cattle in 20% of cases in a number of blood antigens. The most frequent ( 0.4) are the following in the B blood group system: B2, O2, Y2, Q'.
The beef and fattening qualities of Tambov Red cattle are good. The live weight of fattened bullocks goes up to 1100-1250 kg.
The valuable characters of this breed are its adaptation to the ecological and economic conditions of Tambov region, strong constitution and resistance to infectious diseases. Experience at Degtyanski state farm in Sosnovski district has shown that under similar conditions of feeding and management Tambov Red cattle have higher milk yield and fat content than the Simmental which is the planned breed for this region.
The aim to preserve Tambov Red cattle and to improve them further is being realized by setting-up a conservation herd at Lenin collective farm in Kirsanov district, and by the establishment of a frozen semen bank for sires of the two original lines.
The breed was formed under the influence for almost a century of the Tyrolean and later of the Swiss Brown on the local Chuvash-Mari cattle in Gorno-Mari district of the Mari ASSR. The Tyrolean blood has remained dominant in the type of the Yurino cattle as indicated by the solid red-brown colour. The Tyrolean x Great Russian cattle later named Gorbatov Red also had their influence in the formation of the Yurino breed. The crossing was probably carried on for one generation only with subsequent interbreeding of the first crosses. The result was an increase in size, improved fleshiness and higher milk fat content. Since the 1880s-90s the Swiss Brown, Allgau, Simmental, Dutch, Kholmogory and other breeds have been imported into the area and have had an influence in the further improvement of the Yurino cattle. The Swiss Brown and the Allgau considerably increased milk yield but to some extent lowered the butterfat content. The influence of the Dutch and Kholmogory cattle was slight. After 1908 the Yurino cattle were bred inter se.
The planned breeding work of improving the Yurino cattle started only after the 1917 Revolution: breeding state farms were set up, shows were organized, recording associations began work, competitions for young stock raising and cow milk production were organized, the Gorno-Mari state breeding station was founded. In 1934 the better animals of the Yurino breed began to be registered in the regional and national herdbooks. In Gorki region the first volume of the National Herdbook was published in 1937, and in the Mari ASSR it was published in 1940.
In that period the best farms displayed outstanding Yurino cows at the shows: Sinichka GU-329 (3rd lactation - 5151 kg of milk with 3.84% fat), Lezgina GU-80 (6th, 6396kg, 3.64%), Valka GU-81 (6th, 6684 kg, 4.47%), Diana MU-41 (4th, 6482 kg, 4.18%). The live weight of these cows ranged from 525 to 712 kg.
In 1941 the breed group of the Yurino cattle was recognized as a breed of dual-purpose type.
Yurino cattle were used in Gorno-Mari district of the Mari ASSR till recently. But grading up with the sires of other breeds has resulted in a dramatic decrease in their numbers, from 46 000 in 1974 to 3500 in 1983.
In conformation and colour the animals of this breed are not homogeneous. They are brown or red of various shades; white markings on the lower barrel and on the legs are occasionally observed. The head is light but compact; due to the short facial bones it seems wider and deeper than it is. The poll is protruding. The horns are small, fairly thin, mostly light in colour with dark tips. The neck is wide and level. The dewlap is large. The withers are narrow and emerge beyond the topline. The back is level and straight. The loin is wide, level but frequently roof-shaped. The rump is raised; the hindquarters are wide; the tail is set high. The udder is medium in size with equally developed quarters and well-developed widely-spread teats. The mammary veins and milk wells are clearly defined. The skeleton is thin. The skin is loose, elastic with soft hair cover.
The basic measurements of Yurino cows are (in cm): withers height 120-123, oblique body length 146-149, chest depth 62-64, chest width 34-35, cannon bone girth 17-17.5. The defects are hollowness behind the shoulders, sagging and roof-shaped hindquarters, and incorrect leg setting.
The live weight of calves at birth is 23-28 kg. Heifers have a live weight of 415-430 kg. Cows at third calving or older weigh 480-500 kg. The live weight of some cows reaches 700 kg. Bulls are of medium weight: 650-700 kg; some bulls can weigh 900 kg or more.
The milk yield of cows, according to the National Herdbook, is 2500-3000 kg; the best cows produce 5000-6000 kg or more. In butterfat content Yurino cows are one of the first among the national breeds (3.80-4.20%). They are able to maintain high milk production up to the eighth lactation or later. Some cows of that age produced 6000 kg.
Yurino cattle are resistant to diseases: at the pedigree state farm Yurinski in the Mari ASSR no cases of leucosis, tuberculosis or brucellosis were reported in the last decade.
To preserve the Yurino breed the breeding state farm Yurinski has been approved as a conservation farm. The Ail-Union Research Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics has evolved a scheme of selection and rotation of sires. The milk production of the female ancestors of the bulls of the first rotation is as follows: 4082-4607 kg with butterfat content of 4.04-4.11% and 168-186 kg of milk fat; that of the bulls of the second rotation is 4353-5107 kg with butterfat content of 4.15-4.17% and 181-213 kg of milk fat.
At the end of 1984 the dairy herd of the conservation farm at Smena collective farm in the Mari ASSR consisted of 110 cows. The sires of the first rotation in this herd are characterized by a fairly high milk production of their female ancestors: milk yield ranged from 4026 kg to 5134 kg and the butterfat content varied from 4.13 to 4.38%. The sires of the second rotation in the herd have somewhat higher indices of milk production: 5107 kg of milk with 4.17% butterfat.
According to their blood groups the Yurino breed is similar to the Gorbatov Red and Swiss Brown. The genetic distance between the Yurino and Gorbatov Red breeds is 0.2.
The importation of Simmental cattle from Switzerland and Germany began in the second half of the last century. The cattle populated several regions of the Central Zone and Ukraine. To freshen the blood, in the last decades of the 19th century a small number of Simmentals were imported from Austria.
Due to their all-round productivity and good acclimatization Simmental cattle have become very popular in many parts of the USSR. They are currently bred from Byelorussia in the west to Primorski territory in the far east, and from the Yakut ASSR to the Tuva ASSR. In accordance with the breed regionalization plan, the Simmental breed has been approved as an improver in 45 regions of the USSR.
Breeding activities to improve and distribute Simmental cattle began on a wide scale after 1917. Breeding state farms and state breeding stations were set up; and in 1925 the National Herdbook was established. In the period after the Second World War the work to increase the productivity of Simmentals continued more intensively, and it is now being reorganized. The problem of increasing the milk production and improvement of beef qualities of the Simmental cattle has been recently considered at 211 breeding stations and pedigree state farms. This work is being done at the best breeding farms of the collective and state farms, as well as at the farms of experimental and educational institutions.
The special breeding conditions of most of the dairy animals in the USSR resulted in a lighter type compared with the Simmentals of Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The formation of the Simmental breed in the USSR was influenced by the local natural and economic conditions; as a result 7 regional Simmental types are recognized. They are as follows:
In 1950, the "Simmentalized" cattle in Smolensk and Kalinin regions were distinguished as the Sychevka breed. The animals of this breed have the conformation and constitution typical for milk-beef cattle. Nevertheless, among the Sychevka cattle the dairy animals are observed in greater number than among the Simmentalized cattle of other areas. The animals of this breed differ little from typical Simmental cattle in their colour, which is straw and white.
The conformation of mature Sychevka cows is characterized by the following measurements (in cm): withers height 135, chest depth 70, oblique body length 162, cannon bone girth 20.
Sychevka animals are noted for a high live weight: mature bulls weigh 900-1200 kg; first-calf heifers weigh 520 kg, after the second calving 590 kg, after the third calving and older 630 kg. Live weight of heifer calves at birth is 32 kg; bull calves weigh 34 kg. Steers at the age of 1.5 years weigh 575 kg; daily gain is 1184 g and dressing percentage is 60.
The milk yield of the cows recorded in the National Herdbook is 3500-4300 kg, depending on their age, and the butterfat content is 3.7-3.95%. In breeding herds, the cows produce an average of 900-1000 kg of milk per 100 kg live weight; the record holders produce 1200-1500 kg. The milk yield of mature cows in selection herds varies from 5015 to 5342 kg with 3.76-3.85% fat, and 3.40-3.47% protein. The best cows of Sychevka breeding farm in Smolensk region produce 8-10 000 kg of milk: Pereleska 3982 in the 4th lactation produced 10 801 kg of milk with 3.85% fat; Depesha 2948: 5th, 8302 kg, 3.82%; Nasedka 4088: 4th, 8382 kg, 3.81%; Severnaya 4479: 4th, 8224 kg, 3.84%.
The breed comprises 6 lines and 2 related groups.
From Smolensk region Sychevka cattle have been exported to various parts of the country: the total number of young pedigree stock exported is 186 000 head. According to the census, the total population of Sychevka animals was 739 000 on 1 January 1980.
In numbers Simmental (straw-and-white) cattle head the list of the USSR cattle breeds - they account for 25.6% of all cattle. According to the census, the total population of the Simmental cattle at 1 January 1980 was 17 708 000 (excluding the Sychevka).
The breeding of Simmental cattle is under way at state breeding stations (15 500 cows), at breeding stations of collective farms (8500 cows) and at the breeding state farms (41 800 cows). The breeding farms in various areas have, as a rule, high grade animals.
The colour is usually straw or straw-and-white. Simmental cows are usually large (withers height 130-135 cm); they are proportionally built (oblique body length 158-162 cm), with a strong skeleton (cannon bone girth 18-20 cm) and the chest is deep (67-70 cm).
The weight of calves at birth is 36-45 kg; at the age of 6 months they weigh 190-220 kg. Mature cows weigh 550-620 kg; bulls weigh 850-1000 kg. Simmental cattle fatten well: when grazing and fattening, the daily weight gain of steers is 800-1100 g; the dressing percentage for the fat young stock is 56-58 and that of fattened animals is up to 64%.
The milk yield of cows varies between breeding zones. The average milk yield of the cows recorded in the National Herdbooks is 3500-4000 kg per lactation. In the leading breeding stations the milk yields exceed 4000 kg. At 10 Let Oktyabrya breeding centre in Chernigov region the milk yield averaged 5562 kg with 3.8% fat; at Chervony Veleten farm in Kharkov region it was 4889 kg with 3.79% butterfat; at Ukrainka farm in the same region it was 4851 kg with 3.87% butterfat; at Yelanski farm in Voronezh region it was 4631 kg with 3.87% butterfat; at Terezino in Kiev region it was 4598 kg with 3.95% butterfat.
Simmental cattle are divided into three types, according to their conformation and milk production: 1. Dairy, 2. Dairy-beef, 3. Beef-dairy. At Yelanski breeding centre the milk yield of the cows of these types per lactation was as follows: 1 -5007 kg, 2 - 4645 kg, 3 - 3852 kg.
The farms of the Ukraine have two-thirds (over 2380 head) of all cows entered in the Book of Highly Productive Simmental and Sychevka Cattle (1976). All cows with milk yields of 9000 kg or more were raised in the Ukraine. The champions of the breed were also bred there, namely cow Ryabushka 1413 KS-1854 - 4th lactation, 14 584 kg of milk with 3.82% fat; cow Meduza 417-4SM-1934 (a champion for fat content): 4th lactation, 5039 kg of milk, 6.08% fat.
At the sugar-beet state farm of the Matusov sugar factory in Cherkassy region, cow Mavra 5212 produced in 14 lactations over 85 000 kg of milk with 3.83% fat. The yield of butterfat was 3261 kg.
There are 6 promising lines in the Simmental and Sychevka breeds.
The breeding programme envisages improvement of the animals in order to combine high milk production with good beef qualities. To create highly productive herds that will meet the requirements of the industrial technology of milk production, in addition to pure breeding, these cattle are being crossed with the best dairy breeds, namely the Red-and-White Holstein-Friesian and Ayrshire. It is also planned to introduce the blood of the Montbeliard breed.
Swiss Brown (Schwyz) cattle have been imported into Russia from Switzerland and Germany for over 100 years. At present the Swiss Brown breed populates many parts of the Soviet Union including Central Asia, Transcaucasia, Byelorussia and the Russian Federal Republic.
Swiss Brown cattle account for 5.5% of all of approved cattle breeds 2 999 000 in all. Swiss Brown cattle are concentrated in Tula, Smolensk, Gorki, Bryansk and Kaluga regions, in Stavropol and Krasnodar territories and the Tatar, Kabardino-Balkar, Udmurt, North Ossetian and Checheno-Ingush ASSRs.
Swiss Brown cattle are noted for their ability to acclimatize in various areas. Thus in the Karachaevo-Cherkess Autonomous Region, in the summer, they thrive on a transhumant system at altitudes of 1500-2000 m. Swiss Brown cattle are resistant to infectious diseases due to their strong constitution.
Eighty percent of the Swiss Brown cows have well-defined dairy features: they produce 800-1200 kg of milk per 100 kg of live weight. Swiss Brown animals are also noted for their good beef qualities. The young stock have a rapid growth rate. The daily gain of steers and fattening animals is 1000-1200 g. At mating age heifers have a live weight of 380-450 kg. The dressing percentage is 55-60. The carcass yield is 80%.
Coat colour is brown of various shades. The light hair cover around the muzzle of pink and grey colour is a characteristic feature of this breed. The hair along the top-line is also lighter.
The basic measurements of the mature cows in the pedigree herds are (in cm): withers height 131.4, oblique body length 157.7, chest depth 70.7, heart girth 189.5, cannon bone girth 21.1.
Calves weigh 33-40 kg at birth and 260-300 kg as yearlings. The live weight of mature cows is 480-550 kg, that of the bulls 800-950 kg; some cows weight 800 kg and some bulls up to 1100 kg.
The milk yield of the cows registered in the herdbook is in the region of 3100-4200 kg with 3.7-3.9% fat and 3.2-3.6% protein. The cows are well adapted to the industrial methods of milk production: the udder index is 43-45% and the milking rate is 1.6-2.0 kg per minute. The milk production of mature cows at the leading breeding stations reaches 4500-5000 kg with a butterfat content of 3.75-3.90%.
In the selection herds in Smolensk region 55 cows have averaged 7791 kg of milk with 3.76% fat; 14 cows averaged 8000 kg of milk. The best cows of the breed are as follows: Azbuka 8692 (4th lactation, 9551 kg milk, 4.00% fat), Seryozhka 2000 (3rd, 9415 kg, 4.03%), Gavan 2917 (4th, 9220 kg, 3.79%).
The Swiss Brown breed has a clearly defined genealogical structure, most breeding stock belong to 9 major lines.
At the breeding centres of Smolensk, Tula and Gorki regions which breed Swiss Brown cattle 267 families have been formed. The better families had a considerable effect on the breed as a whole: they produce the founders of new lines.
The long-term improvement programme for the Swiss Brown and the other Brown breeds envisages: the creation within each breed of an active nucleus totalling 130 thousand cows in all with a milk yield at the breeding stations of 4.5-6.0 thousand kg and butterfat content of 3.8-4.0%; the formation of selection herds of dairy type cows at the leading breeding stations to produce the young bulls; introduction of the blood of the American Brown Swiss to form new types. It is also planned to breed a purebred beef type in the Central Asian Republics.
The crossing of the Swiss Brown with the local cattle in different parts of the country has resulted in the formation of local Brown cattle types that differ from each other in production and conformation. Among those types, five breeds have been recognized: Kostroma (1944), Ala-Tau (1950), Lebedin (1950), Caucasian Brown (1960) and Carpathian Brown (1973). The breeding work with all the breeds of Brown cattle is conducted in accordance with a single plan, taking into account the local ecological and economic conditions. The total head of Brown cattle breeds is 6 562 000.
Ala-Tau cattle were created on farms of the Kirgiz and Kazakh Republics by crossing local Kirgiz (Kazakh) cattle with the Swiss Brown and selection of the crosses. The breed was formed in the piedmont areas of the Zaili Ala-Tau. Kirgiz (Kazakh) cattle are noted for their adaptation to the local environment and for their fast rate of fattening. At the same time Ala-Tau cattle are small, late maturing, and produce little milk: mature cows have a live weight of 280-380 kg and produce 500-600 kg of milk with a high fat content.
The first crossbreeding was undertaken in 1904. Later, during 1929-40, over 4500 Swiss Brown animals were imported to the Kirgiz Republic and 4300 to the Kazakh Republic. Swiss Brown cattle acclimatized well in the hot climate and mountain conditions.
Of great importance for the improvement of Kirgiz cattle was the use of animals of the Kostroma breed from the Karavaevo breeding centre in Kostroma region. Mating of the Swiss Brown Kirgiz crosses to the bulls of the Kostroma breed resulted in descendants with higher milk yields, fat content and live weight which accelerated the formation of the new breed. This breed was recognized in 1950. By 1 January 1980 the number of Ala-Tau cattle had reached 930 000 head.
Ala-Tau cattle are characterized by a strong constitution, solid and fine skeleton. The body is rounded. The head is large, with long face. The chest is deep and wide; the ribs are widely spread; the dewlap is well developed. The withers are wide, long and straight. The hindquarters are wide and level. The belly is roundish; the legs are of medium length. The musculature is well developed. The skin is thick and elastic. The udder is of medium size and cup-shaped; the teats are cylindrical and mammary veins are well developed. Among defects are sloping and wedge-shaped rump and splayed front legs. The colour is mainly (60%) brown of various shades.
Ala-Tau cattle are noted for their good beef qualities. During fattening the daily gain of steers is 800-900 g; dressing percentage is 53-55 and up to 60 for prepared bulls.
The milk yield of Ala-Tau cattle on the breeding farms of the Kirgiz Republic is 4013 kg; at the breeding stations it is 4575 kg and the fat content is 3.89%; at the Sokuluk breeding station 968 Ala-Tau cows averaged 5001 kg of milk (Kvitko 1982). Some cows produce 8200-10 300 kg. The average fat content in the herds with the highest milk fat percentage is 3.9-4.06%.
The Ala-Tau breed comprises 9 major lines. The milk yield of the cows of these lines ranges from 4500 to 5488 kg, with 3.80-3.92% fat; their live weight is 580-600 kg.
The breeding of Ala-Tau cattle is aimed at increasing milk production by purebreeding and by crossing with other breeds. A new line has been formed containing Jersey blood. The milk yield of mature cows in this line averages over 5000 kg with 4.10% fat. Some cows lived for 15-17 years, produced 13-14 healthy calves and averaged 7000-9000 kg of milk with over 4% fat.
Ala-Tau cattle are kept in Frunze, Tien Shan and Issyk Kul regions of the Kirgiz Republic and in Taldy Kurgan and Alma Ata regions of the Kazakh Republic. They have been exported to Mongolia where a new type - the Mongol-Ala-Tau beef-dairy cattle - is being bred in the mountain and steppe areas.
The breed was established in Trans-Carpathia region of the Ukrainian SSR late in the last century by crossing the local cattle with the Swiss Brown and its derivatives, namely, Brown Hornoin (a strain of Swiss Brown), Montafon and Allgau. The breed was formed in the highland area on high mountain grazing lands with alpine vegetation. The crosses were bred with the aim of obtaining a dairy-beef animal. The Carpathian Brown breed was recognized in 1973. In 1980 the total population was 203 000.
The cattle have a strong constitution and they are well adapted to the Trans-Carpathian region. In colour this breed resembles the other Russian Brown breeds but it differs in conformation - it is less tall and more compact, with narrower body and deeper chest. These cattle are not homogeneous in size and conformation. In mountain areas they are smaller than on the plains; this is a result of environmental conditions and of the different impact of the various breeds that participated in the formation of the breed in different districts. The basic measurements of mature cows are (in cm): withers height 128, chest depth 67.2, oblique body length 155.3, heart girth 181.0, cannon bone girth 19.4 (Herdbook, vol. 5). The average live weight of cows is 489 kg and that of bulls 816 kg (maximum 1000 kg).
The milk production of the cows at the breeding farms points to the high genetic potential of the breed. The cows of the leading groups at the breeding farm of the Trans-Carpathian experiment station averaged 3955 kg of milk, including 30 cows that averaged 4808 kg. On the breeding station of the 22 Partsyezd collective farm in Mukachevo district cows noted for their milk production include Kvitka 6382 -7th lactation, 8246 kg of milk and Malvina 7026 - 5th lactation, 8126 kg of milk. At the dairy farm of the V.I. Lenin collective farm Sinitsa 6954 produced in the 6th lactation 8247 kg of milk with 3.96% fat. The fat content in the milk of the cows registered in Volume 5 of the Herdbook was 3.72%. Proportionality index of udder development is sufficiently high (45.7%).
Carpathian Brown cattle are noted for their good beef production. Under intensive fattening in the lowland area of Trans-Carpathia region the 12-month-old steers reach 323-355 kg live weight and their dressing percentage is 58.2%. The ability to put on weight is exploited in the mountain area, rich with meadows and grazing lands.
There are 7 major lines in the breed.
The major breeding aim is a cow that can be used in dairy complexes. To achieve this, the descendants of American Brown Swiss bulls are being used. A new high-fat line is being formed by using bulls carrying Jersey blood.
This breed was created by crossing the local Caucasian cattle with bulls of the Swiss Brown, Kostroma and Lebedin breeds and the long-term breeding work with the crossbreds. The breed is found in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Dagestan. On 1 January 1980, it numbered 993 000 head.
The Caucasian Brown cattle are not homogeneous in their conformation and productivity. This is due to differences between the local cattle in various districts, to the extent of crossing with the Swiss Brown and to different natural, climatic and feeding conditions.
In colour they are homogeneous and resemble Swiss Brown cattle but they are smaller with narrower body. The basic measurements are (in cm): withers height 123-129, chest width 37-41. The live weight of the cows entered in the herdbook is 430-480 kg; that of bulls is 700-800 kg.
The animals have a harmonious conformation but the short body is their specific feature. Medium-size cows have shorter neck and body than Swiss Brown but longer than the local cattle. The chest is deep, of medium width. The rump is wide and somewhat sloping. The mid-part of the body is well developed. The legs are strong. The udder is satisfactorily developed; it has a sufficient excess of skin and well-developed teats; the mammary veins are clearly defined; the milk wells are large. The skin is elastic.
The Caucasian Brown breed includes three conformational and performance types: dairy, dairy-beef, and beef-dairy. In most herds the dairy-beef animals , predominate. This basic type was inherited from the Swiss Brown. Nevertheless, in some herds in the vicinity of Yerevan, most cows are of the dairy type. For example, in the herd that belongs to Kuibyshev collective farm in Abovyan district they account for 74.2% of all stock; at Shaumyan collective farm in Shaumyan district they account for 76.0%. At these farms the cows produce 23.5% more milk than the dairy-beef cows and 61.1% more than the beef-dairy cows. In some breeding farms the mature cows produce . over 4000 kg of milk. The milk yield of 792 mature cows of the dairy type was 4160 kg with 3.78% fat, and of 898 dairy-beef cows 3367 kg with 3.84% fat. The live weight of dairy-type cows is 453-514 kg, that of the dairy-beef cows 470-529 kg and of the beef-dairy cows 514-541 kg. The dairy-type cows are superior to the other types in food conversion.
The programme for the improvement of Caucasian Brown cattle requires a considerable increase in the numbers of the dairy type by pure breeding and by using American Brown Swiss bulls. Mature dairy-type cows should meet the following specifications: milk production in a 305-day lactation of 4000-4500 kg with ,a fat content of 3.80-3.90%, a protein content of 3.35-3.40% and a live weight of 500-550 kg. The dairy animals should preferably be bred on the farms of the lowland areas with the use of year-round housing, as well as on the large mechanized farms and industrial complexes of the mountain areas with the use of cultivated pastures. It is planned to increase the number of the dairy-type cattle at the farms in the lowland area up to 70% of the total number.
There are 3 popular lines in the breed.
Study of the blood antigen alleles in Caucasian Brown cattle of Nagorny Karabakh shows that genes characteristic of the Swiss Brown and Kostroma breeds predominate. The similarity index between Caucasian Brown and Swiss Brown and Kostroma cattle according to the frequency of the common B-alleles is 0.59 and 0.50 respectively.
The development of the Brown cattle in Kostroma region started late in the last century. Two groups of local improved cattle, Miskov and Babaev, in rural settlements in the vicinity of Kostroma, formed the foundation of Kostroma cattle. The flood lands along the banks of the Volga, Kostromka and other rivers provided good feed for growing and milking animals. The Yaroslavl, Kholmogory and Ayrshire breeds were used to improve the Miskov. The Babaev group was formed by crossing the local cattle with the Allgau breed. Since 1912 Swiss Brown bulls have been widely used on Babaev cows. In 1920 a large number of Babaev and Swiss Brown cattle were concentrated in the state farm Karavaevo in Kostroma region where the crossbreds have been bred inter se since 1932. The Kostroma state breeding station was set up in 1934.
The study of the allele pool of the Kostroma breed in the pedigree herds in the major breeding areas (7194 head) and among the populations of the founder breeds (1538 cows) has shown that in the process of improving, the Kostroma breed got a specific gene pool. At present it differs in the frequency of milk protein alleles from the Yaroslavl, Kholmogory, Swiss Brown and Ayrshire breeds which were founders of the initial Kostroma stock.
In 1940 the average milk yield in the herd of the Karavaevo state farm reached 6310 kg. Poslushnitsa II was the record holder in that herd. In 300 days of the 6th lactation she produced 14 115 kg of milk, with 3.92% fat. The Kostroma breed was recognized in 1944. Since 1950 these cattle have been bred in Ivanov, Vladimir, Vitebsk and Mogilyov regions and in the Tatar and Mari ASSRs. In 1974 the number of Kostroma cattle reached 865 000 head; on 1 January 1980 it was 838 100.
Kostroma cattle resemble Swiss Brown in colour, live weight and productivity. In Karavaevo the animals are heavier and wide-bodied, with short legs; they are light grey in colour with yellow or pale yellow top-line. While resembling Swiss Brown and Allgau cattle, Kostroma animals have several distinctive features: longer body and head, narrower forehead, raised withers, straighter and wider back and loin.
Kostroma cattle are characterized by a strong constitution, hardiness and high milk production over a long lifetime. Some cows at the Karavaevo breeding station were used till 19-22 years of age and their lifetime milk yield was 102-120 000 kg. Cow Krasa produced 120 247 kg of milk, or 5050 kg of butterfat in her lifetime. The milk yield of the animals recorded in the National Herdbook is 3900-5000 kg with the fat content of 3.7-3.9%; the protein content is 3.30-3.60%; udder index is 43-44%. The intensive management adopted at Karavaevo breeding centre produces high milk yields: in 1979, for 305 days lactation, 173 cows averaged 6000-8000 kg of milk, and 23 cows averaged 8000-10 000 kg or more; the average production of 221 first calvers was 4690 kg of milk, and the fat content was 3.84%. The best cows, with twice-a-day milking, produce 9300-10 750 kg of milk with 3.97-4.55% fat.
Besides its high milk production, the Kostroma breed is noted for its good beef qualities. The steers have a high rate of gain; they reach 450-500 kg as yearlings or 2-year-olds; the dressing percentage is 58-60.
Kostroma cattle are being improved at 7 breeding centres.
In recent years 7 breeding lines have been tested. The breed includes over 300 families. All the founders and descendants of the Kostroma cattle lines derived from record holders.
The breeding programme for the Kostroma breed specifies the formation of animals of a new intra-breed type by introducing the blood of the American Brown Swiss.
The Lebedin breed was formed by crossing Ukrainian Grey cows with Swiss Brown bulls and the subsequent inter se breeding of the best of the 1st and 2nd backcross generations under optimal conditions of feeding and management for many generations. The breed was formed and distributed mainly in Lebedin, Akhtyr, Trostyanets and other districts of Sumy region. It was recognized in 1950. At present it is regarded as an improver in 40 districts of Sumy, Chernigov, and Kharkov regions. The total population of Lebedin cattle on 1 January 1980 was 599 000.
In colour Lebedin cattle are similar to the Swiss Brown. The basic colour is grey-brown, with a darker shade on the forequarters and on the sides. Individuals vary from almost grey to dark brown. The muzzle is dark.
The measurements of the cows (in cm) are: withers height 130-136, chest depth 65-72, chest width 42-49, oblique body length 156-160, cannon bone girth 19-20. The constitution is strong.
The average live weight of mature bulls is 850-950 kg (maximum 1000-1200 kg); the live weight of cows at breeding farms is 500-650 kg; that of calves at birth is 37-45 kg.
In the main regions where they are kept milk production is 3100-3400 kg with 3.76% fat. Eight volumes of the National Herdbook hold data on over 9000 cows and 2000 bulls. Most of them were raised at the breeding stations of Sumy region. In 1979 in that region 1299 cows produced 5000-6000 kg of milk and 154 cows produced 6001-7000 kg of milk. The milk production in the herds of the breeding farms is much higher: in Chupakhovski it is 4616 kg, in Ukrainka it is 4830 kg. At the breeding farms and the leading breeding centres 90 cows produced 7000-12 000 kg of milk per 305-day lactation. One of the record holders is cow Ledi 5372 from Chupakhovski breeding farm in Sumy region; her 7th-lactation yield was 12 838 kg milk with 4.19% fat. Cow Nyrka 213 from Imeni Lenina collective farm in Lebedin district produced 11 115 kg of milk with 4.3% fat; cow Merezhka 410 from the same farm produced 12 349 kg of milk with 3.93% fat. Lebedin cows are noted for the high butterfat content of their milk. At the breeding farm Mikhailovka a large group of record holders for butterfat content was formed: Mudraya - 3rd lactation, 5000 kg of milk, 5.48% fat content; Molluska - 3rd, 4725 kg, 5.24%; Mirnaya - 9th, 6880 kg, 4.86%; Molekula -3rd, 6040 kg, 4.79%. The lifetime milk yields of some cows of the Lebedin breed reach 92 000 kg. The udder index is 43-45%.
When fattening, the animals have high live-weight gains: the daily gain of steers is 900-1000 g.
The modern structure of the breed comprises 10 lines.
Further improvement of Lebedin cattle is aimed at increasing milk yield and butterfat content and at breeding animals that can fully meet the requirements of industrial methods. To achieve this, both pure breeding and crossbreeding with bulls of related breeds, namely American Brown Swiss, are being used. The American Brown Swiss bulls have a high breeding value for milk production with twice-daily milking. The programme envisages an increase in the milk yields of mature cows in the stud herds up to 5000-5200 kg with 3.9-4.0% fat and 3.35-3.40% protein. It is planned to stabilize the live weight of cows at 550-600 kg.
In the 19th century local cattle in west Siberia (Kurgan and Tyumen regions) were improved by crossing with Tagil, Simmental, Yaroslavl and some other breeds. From 1901 these improved cattle and the local Siberian cattle were crossed with the Shorthorn breed. The planned breeding that involved further crossing of these improved Siberian cattle with the Shorthorn and the selection of the crosses started in 1922 when a breeding State farm was set up; in 1935 a State breeding station was established. During the initial period, replacement crossing was used; then the crosses were interbred. As a result by 1949 there were a large number of early-maturing animals with a higher beef and milk production than the improved local cattle. They differed from the Shorthorn in conformation and productivity and were therefore recognized as a separate breed - the Kurgan. In 1949 the National Herdbook of the Kurgan breed was opened.
Kurgan cattle are currently bred in Kurgan, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Tyumen and Orenburg regions and in the Bashkir ASSR. The total population of the breed in 1980 was 322 000.
The dominant colours of the Kurgan animals are red, red-and-white, and roan. The cattle are noted for their harmonious conformation. The head is of medium size; the neck has well-developed muscles. The dewlap is well developed and clearly pronounced. The chest is deep and wide. The back and loin are level and wide. The hindquarters are deep and full. The measurements of the mature cows and bulls recorded in Volumes 1 and 2 of the National Herdbook indicate that Kurgan cattle have a good conformation, balanced and symmetrical with the parts of the body proportionally developed. The basic measurements of the cows are (in cm): withers height 130.1, chest depth 70.3, chest width 44.1, oblique body length 155.3, heart girth 189.7, cannon bone girth 19.2.
The average live weight of mature cows is 520-550 kg, that of the bulls 800-900 kg, up to 1100 kg. The Kurgan cattle have good beef qualities. When grazing and fattening the steers gain 800-900 g daily. The dressing percentage of fat animals is 62-65.
The milk yield of the cows recorded in the herdbooks is 3200-3700 kg. The record holder of the breed is cow Zenitsa 71; in 300 days of the first lactation she produced 7265 kg of milk. Kurgan cows are noted for the high butterfat content in their milk - 3.8-3.9%. In the pedigree herds the majority of cows have over 4%. Cow Zmeika had the highest butterfat content, namely 5.3%. The milk yield of cows with a cup-shaped udder is higher than that of cows with a spherical udder. At older ages the udder becomes spherical. The udder index is 41-44%.
The best herds of the Kurgan cattle belong to the breeding centres of Kurgan region, namely: Kurganski, Taktashinski and Vargashinski. Breeding is directed to the development of dairy and beef production and to the improvement of constitution. To realize the programme it is planned to use intensively the internal breed resources and to introduce blood of the American Milking Shorthorn.
There is no single view of the origin of Kalmyk cattle. P.N. Kuleshov claimed that Kalmyk cattle differ considerably from the European breeds and originate from Indian cattle. Most experts assume that this breed derives from the Asian Bos primigenius which seems likely.
The breed was formed more than 300 years ago on the mountain and steppe grazing lands in the northwest of China (Jungaria), west Mongolia, and southern Altai. In the southeast of Russia the Kalmyk cattle appeared in the first quarter of the 17th century, when the Kalmyk tribes moved from Jungaria to the Lower Volga area. The Kalmyk breed was formed under conditions of migratory husbandry, with year-round grazing. Iced pastures and snowstorms, frequent in the steppe area, as well as epizootics, resulted in the death of a great number of animals. Only the most strong, hardy and healthy animals were able to survive the hard winters. As a result of this selection Kalmyk cattle acquired the distinctive features that differentiate them from other breeds.
Late in the last and early in this century on some farms of Rostov region and the lower Volga area Kalmyk cattle were crossed with the Simmental to obtain larger animals and with the Shorthorn to improve their beef qualities. Nevertheless the infusion of blood of these breeds did not much affect the basic population of Kalmyk cattle.
The specific biological features of Kalmyk cattle are as follows: high viability, adaptation to the harsh continental climate, ability to graze on poor vegetation. The body temperature of Kalmyk cattle is stable (with only minor fluctuations) under the icy north wind or in the hot burning sun. In winter the epidermis thickens at the expense of the dermis. As compared with other breeds, the skin has more sebaceous and sweat glands. At present, over 90% of the total number of Kalmyk cattle populate the area of dry steppe, semi-arid and arid areas of the country. No other breed can compete with the Kalmyk in that area.
Kalmyk cattle are adapted to exploiting dry sagebrush pastures, where the major vegetation is Artemisia, feather grass, and sheep's fescue. The breed is distributed in the Lower Volga (Kalmyk ASSR, Volgograd, Astrakhan and Rostov regions), the Stavropol territory, the Chita region, the Tuva ASSR, the Buryat ASSR, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenia. The number of the breed in 1980 was 381 000 head.
Kalmyk animals are of medium size and with a compact conformation. The breed includes two types: early-maturing beef, and late-maturing beef. The animals of the first type are somewhat smaller in size and with lower live weight; they mature faster, have a lighter skeleton, thinner skin and a higher dressing percentage (by 2-4%) than the late maturing animals. They also differ in the B-system blood antigens.
The colour of the animals is red, of various shades, with white markings on the head, abdomen and legs; the muzzle is pale. The conformation is characteristic of a beef and draught type. The head is small, forehead short, horns short, face long. The withers, back and loin are usually straight and wide; the chest is deep, wide enough with well-developed dewlap. The rump is occasionally raised. The legs are strong, correctly set. The musculature is well developed. The skin is medium thick. In winter the animals have long thick hair cover. The udder is small. The skeleton is light and strong. The measurements (in cm) are as follows: withers height 126-128, chest depth 68-70, oblique body length 155-160, heart girth 186-188, cannon bone girth 17-18.
Newborn calves weigh 22-25 kg. The live weight of the cows is 420-500 kg; some animals weigh 675 kg. Bulls weigh 750-850 kg; some bulls reach 1020 kg. Kalmyk cattle have good fattening properties. With intensive fattening the young stock reach 400-450 kg by 16-18 months of age. During fattening, the 1.5-year-old steers gain 800-900 g daily. The dressing percentage varies from 55 to 60; that of the fattened bullocks is 68.
The display of beef breeds at the USSR Exhibition of Economic Achievements in 1984 showed that 5-year-old Kalmyk bulls reach a live weight of 860 kg. Fattened steers at 20 months old weigh 505 kg, their daily gain averaging 876 g. Obilny state farm in Priozerny district of the Kalmyk ASSR displayed 6 steers at the age of 17.5 months. Their average live weight was 527 kg; average daily gain was 918 g.
The milk production of the cows is low. The lactation is very short - 180-240 days. Average milk yields are 1000-1200 kg with 4.1-4.5% fat. Some cows produce milk with 5.9-6.5% fat and with the high protein content of 4.2-4.8%. The record milk yield for the Kalmyk breed was achieved by cow Ulan-Alyk on State Farm No. 383 of the Kalmyk ASSR; she produced 4926 kg of milk with 4.7% fat. The low milk yield of Kalmyk cows is compensated for by a high dry matter content. Few other beef breeds can boast that rich and high-protein milk. The highly nutritious milk of Kalmyk cows ensures the normal growth and development of suckling calves.
The breed includes 4 regional types - in North Caucasus, Lower Volga, Kazakhstan and Siberia - which differ in weight.
Study of the blood group antigens showed a high degree of heterogeneity. These cattle differ considerably from other breeds in the frequency of the antigen factors in the A, B and C systems.
The breed consists of 15 lines and more than 40 families.
The breeding Kalmyk animals are concentrated in 3 pedigree stock farms and 20 breeding farms. The best herds of this breed belong to Sukhotinski breeding centre, Chkalov and Kalinin breeding state farms in the Kalmyk ASSR, and to Dubovski state farm and Zimovnikov stud farm No. 163 in Rostov region.
Breeding of these cattle is currently directed to raising of large early-maturing animals with good beef qualities, while at the same time preserving the special characters of the breed, namely: strong constitution, good walking ability, adaptability to the arid continental climate, resistance to diseases, long breeding life, good taste and nourishing quality of the meat, high dry matter content of the milk.
The milk production of the cows can be increased to 1200-1500 kg by means of selection and by better feeding and management. This will allow maintenance of the optimum balance between beef and milk production by getting calves to a live weight of 250 kg or more prior to weaning.
The evaluation of Kalmyk steers by their productivity revealed their ability to maintain a high daily gain (1200-1500 g) after weaning with the low feed consumption of 5-6 feed units per kg weight gain. Such animals reached the weight of 400 kg or more as yearlings.
To preserve this breed, the habitat is being extended and the number of head is being increased by pure breeding.
The breed was formed in the territory of the Kazakh Republic and the southeast of the RSFSR in a harsh continental climate. Since 1930 on the state farms of the Kazakh republic and the Lower Volga area Kazakh and Kalmyk cattle were crossed with Herefords in order to establish a basis for the beef industry. The crosses, mainly 1st and 2nd backcrosses, which combined the good beef qualities of Hereford cattle with the undemanding feed requirements and adaptability of the local cattle, were bred inter se. The aim was the formation of a beef breed and the work was completed in 1950.
Valuable features of the Kazakh Whiteheaded are their ability to tolerate both hot and cold weather, to fatten rapidly and to have high weight gains.
In its colour and conformation this breed resembles the Hereford. The cattle are small, of compact conformation, with a deep and wide chest, a light strong skeleton, wide rounded body, and well-developed muscles. In winter they develop thick, long hair cover. The colour is red of various shades; the head, dewlap, lower abdomen, lower legs, and the switch are white.
The live weight of calves at birth is 27-30 kg; when suckling they reach 220-240 kg by 8 months of age. The cows weigh 500-560 kg, some up to 700 kg; the bulls weigh 800-850, 1000 kg maximum.
Kazakh Whiteheaded cattle are noted for their good beef qualities. When fattening on grazing without additional feeding, 1.5-year-old steers gained 800-900 g of live weight daily. The dressing percentage of well-fed steers is 63-67%. With intensive grazing and fattening the live weight of steers at the age of 18 months was 540 kg. The basic measurements of cows are (in cm): withers height 123-145, chest depth 68-70, chest width 42-45, oblique body length 152-156, heart girth 187-190, cannon bone girth 18-20.
The average milk yield of Kazakh Whiteheaded cows is 1200-1500 kg, and the fat content is 3.8-4.0%; with selection for milk production at some farms, e.g. Kara-gandinsky state farm of the Kazakh SSR, some cows produced up to 6000 kg of milk per lactation.
These cattle are bred in the Kazakh SSR, Orenburg, Volgograd, Chita and some other regions as well as in the Buryat ASSR and the Mongolian People's Republic. The most valuable animals belong to the breeding centres Chapaevski in Ural region and Balkashinski of Tselinograd region, as well as to the breeding state farms Bagrationovski of East Kazakh region and Alabotinski of Kokchetav region (National Herdbook, vol. 10, 1981). Further improvement of beef productivity will be effected by use of animals of the six leading related groups of sires.
Kazakh Whiteheaded bulls are used to improve the local cattle in some areas of Siberia and the Far East, as well as for crossing with other breeds.
At 1 January 1980, the total population stood at 1 570 000 head.
These are a variety of the ancient high mountain Georgian cattle but their exact origin is not known. In 1980 they numbered 80 000 head and they are distributed in 15 districts in the west and east of the Republic.
The climatic conditions of the habitat are severe: the minimum air temperature is -25 to -30 C. The average annual precipitation amounts to 900-1500 mm. The heaviest falls are in May-June, the lowest in January. Snow lies for 5-7 months. The slope of grazing lands reaches 45 The grazing period starts in the second half of May and lasts till October. The pastures with difficult access in the alpine and subalpine zones have highly nourishing grass and good drinking water. They are the basis for the maximum productivity of animals. The calves are raised by suckling. During a two-month suckling period they get 120-200 kg of milk.
Georgian Mountain cattle are very small: the live weight of mature cows is 220-280 kg and that of bulls is 270-370 kg; the beef qualities are unsatisfactory. The constitution is delicate and conformation compact. Coat colour is black, black-and-white or red-and-white. The head is light, the neck thin and short, the back narrow, the chest deep, the udder small and glandular, and the skin thin and elastic. Conformational defects are as follows: humped or sway back, narrow or wedge-shaped rump, knock knees. The basic measurements of mature cows (in cm) are: withers height 100-108, chest depth 53-56, diagonal body length 120-126, chest girth 139-142, cannon bone girth 13-14.
The average lactation period is 230 days, and calving interval is 380 days. Naturally, under extensive management conditions Georgian Mountain cattle have a low milk yield: it varies from 650 to 800 kg. The important property of these cattle is high fat percentage. The average fat content is 4-5%; the best cows produce milk with 6.2% fat.
Georgian Mountain cattle are noted for their high response to better feeding: the daily milk yield of individual cows increases up to 12-16 kg. Adequate feeding increases average herd production to 1700-1900 kg of milk.
The herd of the Khevsurian group of Georgian Mountain cattle at Magoros Kary collective farm in Dushetsk district maintains relatively stable numbers; at present it has 553 cows, 10 bulls and 727 head of young stock.
The valuable and useful features of the cattle are their unique adaptation to the high mountain grazing lands, their resistance to infectious diseases and adaptation to the temperature fluctuations of the southern climate. Further improvement of Georgian Mountain cattle is retarded by the poor selection programme and a strong tendency to cross with highly productive breeds in order to raise the fat content in the milk of the latter.
It would be desirable to preserve a certain number of animals as a genetic reserve for selection; to study the genealogical structure of the active part of the population with the aim of identifying the most valuable genotypes; to characterize the immunogenetic properties of the pedigree stock; and to set up a bank of frozen semen of the best sires.
Like the Georgian Mountain these cattle are an ancient local variety of the Caucasian cattle, representing the Lesser Caucasus group. In 1980 the population was 11 000. It is distributed in the west of Georgia in the foothills and valleys of the Lesser Caucasus. As an approved breed these cattle are bred in 11 districts of the Republic.
Mingrelian Red cattle have a strong constitution and a compact conformation; they are larger than the Georgian Mountain. The live weight of mature cows is 280-320 kg; bulls weigh 450-480 kg. The beef qualities are not satisfactory. The colour is red of various shades: rust, brown and grey. The basic measurements of mature pedigree cows are (in cm): withers height 110-115, chest depth 58-60, oblique body length 133-135, chest girth 165-167, cannon bone girth 17-18.
The milk yield on breeding farms is 1800-2000 kg with 4.4% fat and 3,7% protein. The best cows produce milk with 6% or more fat. In 1984 the breeding farm of Zemo Aketi collective farm in Lanchkhut district of Georgia had 459 head of purebred Mingrelian Red cattle, including 198 cows. Conservation of Mingrelian Red cattle is assured by the comprehensive breeding plan at this farm.
The most valuable features of Mingrelian Red cattle are as follows: adaptation to outdoor management, ability to withstand long-distance travel, ability to exploit water-logged meadows in winter and poor alpine pastures in summer, adaptation to the hot climate and resistance to disease.
To increase the efficiency of breeding it is planned to obtain a greater number of purebred animals, to study the genealogical structure of the herds, to identify the animals with a high genetic potential, especially for high fat percentage, and to set up a bank of frozen semen from outstanding sires.
These cattle are very ancient; they were formed as a result of selection over many centuries and are related to many Grey Steppe breeds of southern Europe. In the last and early in this century they were widely distributed over most of the Ukraine. Due to its hardiness, good working abilities, modest nutritional requirements, and grazing ability, this breed fully met the requirements of small peasant farms. Twenty-five years ago pure breeding of the Grey Ukrainian cattle was terminated (except for two conservation herds). Since the local breed could not compete in productivity with the improved breeds, replacement crossing with bulls of the Red Steppe, Simmental, Swiss Brown and other breeds was practised on a large scale. At the same time these cattle were highly appraised by many investigators for such characters as complete adaptation to the lcoal environment, strong constitution, hardiness, high viability, resistance to various diseases, high butterfat content of milk, good beef qualities, first-grade quality of hide.
In recent years the population of the Ukrainian Grey has fallen to a minimum: in 1980 the total head was about 1000. Small groups of these cattle are preserved at Polivanovka experimental farm in Dnepropetrovsk region and in Askania Nova natural reserve in Kherson region of Ukraine. Most important is the Polivanovka herd, where 372 head are kept, including 13 sires, 159 cows, 88 steers of all ages and 112 heifers.
The animals in the herd have a strong constitution and specific hide and hair characteristics. The colour is grey or light-grey and bulls have a darker neck, chest and legs. The horn tips are black. The skin is dense. The animals are tall, rather leggy and long-bodied. The withers are prominent. The muscles are well developed.
The animals in the present-day population are large. The record cow live weight is 750 kg; that of bulls is 1100 kg. The cattle are noted for the small size of the newborn calves: birth weight is 27-29 kg. The highest daily gain in weight is observed at the age of 9-12 months, namely 766-822 g. The milk yield with hand milking is 2457-2921 kg, with 4.23-4.26% fat. The record milk yield was obtained in 1971; cow Iriska 5180 produced 5365 kg of milk with 5.02% fat. When calves are suckled their live weight at weaning varies from 198 to 215 kg. By the age of 16 months the steers reach 439 kg live weight with a food consumption of 7.8 feed units per kg of gain. The dressing percentage is 58.7%.
The immunogenetic status of the breed has been studied by using blood groups and other polymorphic systems as markers. The studies have shown that the genetic structure of the Ukrainian Grey breed is characterized by the presence of a considerable number of antigenic factors, which result in a great number of complex alleles. There is a high frequency of the V antigen in the FV-system, and of the B, G, 0, Q and T antigens in the B-system. The Ukrainian Grey cattle have fairly high variability. Nevertheless, a number of alleles are specific for these cattle, e.g. QA'D'G' and BGQY2B'D'E'G'J'O'). The blood groups BJ1TJ' are characteristic of animals related to the intensively used sire Tabun. The use of only a small number of bulls is reducing the variability seen in blood group antigens.
The herd comprises 5 related groups that vary in productivity and polymorphic systems. To preserve genetic variability, intra-group selection is practised for 2-3 generations followed by an inter-group cross, i.e. rotation of bull among groups. The inbreeding coefficient is increasing by 0.12% per year. A large bank of frozen semen (22 sires, representing all 5 related groups) is available.
At a number of leading institutes in this country adequate frozen semen from diverse bulls is now stored.
The local Yakut cattle are a branch of the Siberian. These cattle are irreplaceable in the severe climatic conditions where the air temperature in winter is -50 to -60# C and the feeding is poor; during the short summer they suffer from midges. They were bred pure till 1929 when they were crossed with the Simmental and Kholmogor breeds on a large scale. At present the local cattle account for only 0.3% of all cattle in Yakutia. In the vast territory of the Yakut ASSR they have been preserved pure only at Leninski state farm in Verkhoyansk district. On 1 January 1980 there were 653 head including 329 cows and 11 bulls. This population originated in 1820. It was isolated and not crossed with other breeds. In the near future it will be turned into a conservation herd.
Yakut cattle are characterized by small size, deep barrel, and short firm legs. They have a relatively wide forehead. The shape and direction of the horns vary; there are no polled animals. The head is short, wide, not heavy; the neck is short and thick; the withers are low and wide; the chest is deep, rather narrow, with a well-developed dewlap. The back, loin and rump are level; the hindquarters are slightly sagging and roof-shaped, somewhat narrow in the hips; the leg stand is correct, occasionally knock-kneed or bowed. The abdomen is capacious. The udder is small and firm; udder and teats are covered with thick hair which protects them from frost and from midges. The hair cover is thick with a great number of guard hairs that help to withstand the cold climate. The colour varies from black or red to leopard-like with white markings on the head and lower barrel; the backline of most animals is white. The constitution is strong, characteristic of dual-purpose animals. The live weight of cows ranges from 350 to 400 kg; that of bulls is 500-550 kg.
In 1980 the average milk yield in the herd was 1 015 kg with 5.13% fat.
The beef and fattening qualities of Yakut cattle are good enough; they are no worse than those of the best national breeds (Kalmyk and Kazakh Whiteheaded).
When properly fed and managed Yakut cows are noted for their long productive life: among the cows studied by Romanov in 1963 the 12-year-olds accounted for 25.9%. The better cows in the conservation herd have a milk yield of 2100-2350 kg with 6.1-7.3% fat.
Immunogenetic studies of the Yakut cattle have shown the elimination of rare blood groups in the three subpopulations of this isolated cattle group. The spectrum of the erythrocyte antigens of 458 Yakut animals at Leninski state farm was as follows: in the A-system the blood group A~ was found to have a frequency of over 0.5 as had 02, 0, and Y., in the B-system, C, , X2, 1/ and E in the C-System and U2 and H in the S-system. The Yakut cattle have the smallest allele fund (about 2S alleles in the B-locus).
Blood type analysis showed the common origin of the subpopulations in the areas of Sakkyryr and Kustur in Verkhoyansk district. The assessment of the genetic distance of these subpopulations confirmed the stability of the indicators by the 9 simple loci for two consecutive generations. Based on the B-system the genetic distance decreased from 0.13 to 0.09 over generations as a result of increased migration of animals between subpopulations.
Because the local Yakut cattle exhibit resistance to tuberculosis, leucosis, brucellosis and to the cold northern climate and poor feeding, local bulls should be used for back crossing in the crossbred herds in order to increase the number of pure Yakut cattle. It may be expedient to use Yakut bulls for commercial crossing with imported breeds (Kholmogory and Simmental) to obtain animals with good adaptive abilities.
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Ernst L.K., Beguchev A.P. and Levantin D.L. Cattle breeding. Kolos, Moscow. 1984.
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