Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
The domestication of cows from wild rounds took place in the early Neolithic period, around the 7th century BC, in Syria and Turkey. Since then and until today, cattle have been an integral part of livestock farming and play an important role in the economy of most countries in the world. Cows are raised on both large farms and small households. Thanks to the selection that lasted for decades, a wide variety of breeds were bred: dairy, meat and combined. Also, these animals are bred for the purpose of obtaining skin. Each of the breeds of cows has its own characteristics, but today we will look at those breeds that amaze the imagination with their huge size.
Overview of the largest breeds of cows in the world
|Rating of the largest breeds of cows in the world||1||Angler||550 KG.|
|9||Belgian blue||900 KG.|
|10||Chianina||more than 1000 kg.|
The Angler breed was bred on the German Peninsula of Angeln by a selection method, thanks to the crossing of Shorthorns and Angelns. It has existed since the 17th century. The cows have a dark cherry or reddish color, the weight of adults reaches 550 kilograms, a characteristic feature is a large bowl-shaped udder with protruding veins. It is considered the best among German dairy breeds – the annual milk yield exceeds 4500 kilograms, while its fat content is about 4.5%, and the protein content is 3.7%. As a result of careful selection, the Angler breed is distinguished not only by its high milk yield, but also by good indicators of the slaughter yield of meat, up to 55%. Cows are hardy, easily adapt to the climate, but have a wayward temperament. They are popular in European countries; on the territory of Russia, the Angler breed is bred mainly in the southern regions.
The Tagil breed belongs to the dairy direction, it was formed in the Urals in the 18th-19th centuries by crossing the Yaroslavl, Kholmogory and Dutch breeds with local Tagil cows. The main goal of breeding was to increase milk yield and increase the fat content of milk. The average annual milk yield for Tagil cows is about 3500 kilograms, but the fat content can reach a record 5% for Russian breeds. Such results were not least contributed to by the Ural vegetation rich in nutrients on pastures. Another feature of cows is the preservation of high reproductive abilities throughout almost their entire life. The Tagil breed has an elongated, squat body, weighing 550-600 kilograms. Cows do not need special care, they have a calm, docile nature.
This versatile breed of meat and dairy origin comes from Switzerland, from where the ancestors of the Montbeliard were brought to France. Breeding began in the 18th century, and in 1889 the breed was recognized as one of the best at the Paris World Exhibition. The cows have a variegated color, a distinctive feature is the white coloration of the lower body. The weight of mature individuals usually reaches 600-650 kilograms. The Montbeliard breed is known for its productivity, the annual milk yield often reaches 8000 kilograms of milk with a fat content of about 4% and a protein content of 3.45%. Lactation lasts for 305 days. Milk is used to make the finest types of cheese, yoghurt and cottage cheese. Cows have no less impressive performance in terms of meat characteristics – the slaughter yield is up to 68%, the meat is low-fat, with excellent taste. On the territory of France, the Montbeliard breed is bred for the most part in the mountainous and foothill areas. In many other countries of the world, they are also popular, being considered an elite type of cattle. Montbéliard is known as the advertising “face” of dairy products, which is not surprising, given the pleasant color and proportionality of the body inherent in this breed.
The Charolais breed was bred in the 18th century in Burgundy (France) by crossing the Simmental breed with selected local cows. Later she underwent further improvement after crossing with Shot Horns. The breed belongs to the beef type of cattle, animals have a tendency to rapid growth and build muscle mass with a minimum content of fatty tissue. This makes it possible to obtain at slaughter from 60% to 70% of the yield of high quality meat with a protein content of up to 20%. In addition, cows give a good amount of milk for beef breeds – about 2500 kilograms annually, 4% fat. Outwardly, the Charolais are distinguished by their massive physique with clearly pronounced tuberous muscles. The color ranges from white to cream shades. The weight of the cows is 600-700 kilograms. The breed is quite demanding on the diet and conditions of detention, does not tolerate winter frosts. Charolais cows are common in Europe and North America; they have appeared in Russia since 1998.
The most widespread breed in North America was imported from Europe, originally it was bred in the territory of Holland and Germany. By the end of the 19th century, Holstein cows began to be selected for the purpose of increasing milk yield and indicators of milk fat, a little later, much attention was also paid to the protein content in milk. A number of modern techniques have been used, such as artificial insemination, embryo transfer, special feed creation and feeding programs. Thus, with the help of purebred breeding, it was possible to create a breed leading in the dairy direction. Holstein cows are predominantly black-and-white, with a large udder, bowl-shaped. The weight of an adult animal reaches 750 kilograms. Performance indicators fluctuate, depending on the conditions of detention. So farms in Israel managed to achieve up to 10,000 kilograms of milk per year. However, its fat content usually does not exceed 3%. American representatives of the breed give about 9000 kilograms of milk with a fat content of 3.6%. The annual milk yield of Holstein cows in Russia is 7,500 kilograms, with a 3.8% fat content. keeping the breed requires serious investments, since Holsteins do not tolerate cold, drafts, and stress, they need a spacious room and clean, fresh air.
Breeding of Kostroma cows began in the first half of the 20th century, but the greatest success was achieved already in 1945 by the zootechnicians of the “Karavaevo” farm. They crossed the local animals with the Swiss and Algauz breeds. The cows of the Kostroma breed are distinguished by their massive and strong constitution, characteristic of a universal orientation. The body is slightly elongated in length, the color is gray, it can be of different shades: from milky to brown. With good nutrition, the weight of an adult cow reaches 800 kilograms. Since the selection was carried out in a harsh wartime, the breed is distinguished by its unpretentiousness to feed, housing conditions and climate. Moreover, with roughage, cows gain weight faster and provide better milk yield. Another positive feature is high immunity. On average, representatives of the Kostroma breed are capable of producing from 6,000 to 7,000 kilograms of milk per year, and its fat content is more than 4%. The lethal yield is about 65%. Cows are bred in the Central Federal District of Russia, as well as in Ukraine and Belarus.
The history of the Bestuzhev breed began in the 18th century, when Dutch, Simmental cows and Shotgorns were brought to the cattle-breeding farm of the landowner Bestuzhev in the Simbirsk province. Crossbreeding and further selection led to the formation of large, disease-resistant animals that provide high productivity in both the meat and dairy sectors. Cows grow quickly, adults often gain 800 kilograms. They have a cherry-red, sometimes brownish color. The body is strong, harmoniously built, with a wide chest and a small head. The animals are perfectly adapted to the weather conditions of the Volga region, are undemanding in matters of maintenance and feeding, they do not have a genetic predisposition to leukemia. Slaughter yield of high-quality meat can reach 60%, the annual milk yield is from 5000 to 8000 kilograms in some cases. In addition to the Volga region, the breed is bred in Bashkiria and Tatarstan.
Hereford is one of the favorite meat breeds of farmers. It combines high productivity, unpretentiousness and high weight. Perfect for fattening in the wild. Herefords originated from local cattle in the English county of Herefordshire, where peasants have been crossing for several centuries. Since the 19th century, cows have undergone further improvement – this time in Canada and the United States, from where they spread to almost the entire world. The animals weigh about 850 kilograms, the build is stocky, stocky. The color of the body is dark red and the head is white. They are hardy, have a calm temperament and a long life span. Slaughter yield can be up to 70%, marbled meat is considered one of the best in the world for cooking steaks. The hide is also of high value due to its strength and elasticity. Cows give little milk – no more than 1200 kilograms per year, moreover, they are usually not milked, leaving milk for feeding the offspring. Herefords are bred in 50 countries of the world; they were brought to Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.
The breed has existed in Belgium since the 18th century, it was bred by crossing Shorthorn and Friesian cows. Then, in the 19th century, in order to increase the meat focus, cows were crossed with Charolais bulls. But it acquired its modern appearance a little later, due to the appearance of a genetic mutation that led to increased muscle growth. Through selection, cows with this mutation have become widespread. The blue breed, as the name implies, is dominated by white and blue color, although there are other types of color. The hair is almost completely absent, large rounded muscles are clearly visible under the thin skin. The latter trait gives the animals a unique appearance that does not allow them to be confused with another breed. Adults weigh approximately 900 kilograms. Despite its impressive size and frightening appearance, the Belgian blue is known for its calm, docile disposition. The breed is most popular in Western Europe, while in Russia it is still considered exotic. Cows are demanding to care, but this is more than offset by productivity indicators: the slaughter yield reaches 80%, in addition, they produce up to 4500 liters of milk per year with a fat content of 3.5% -4.5%.
The Chianina or Kian breed is one of the oldest in the world, according to historical evidence, it was bred by the Etruscans in Italy, starting from the VIII century BC. Until the end of the 20th century, animals were most often used in agriculture because of their strength and endurance, but with the development of labor mechanization, selection was directed towards improving meat characteristics. The Qian cows are by far the largest and tallest type of domestic cattle. An adult reaches one and a half meters at the withers, and weighs a ton or even more. The color is most often beige or cream shade, the body is rounded, with high legs. The slaughter yield of meat is 65%, cows give milk only in an amount sufficient to feed the calf, then lactation stops. The famous Florentine steak is made from Chianin meat. The breed is demanding in its care, in order to obtain high quality meat, experts carefully monitor the condition of the animals. In addition to the Italian province of Umbria, the Kian breed is bred in Canada and Latin America.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.