Aberdeen-Angus cattle breed: description, care and feeding
Breeding cattle today is a lucrative occupation. Cattle breeders pay more attention to the meat production sector, looking for animal breeds with the highest productivity potential. Today we will talk about the Aberdeen-Angus cattle breed, its characteristics and conditions.
Description and breed standard
The breed was bred in the XIX century by Scottish breeders of the two counties Aberdeen and Angus. The ancestors of the Angus, as the abbreviated name for the cows, were British hornless cows.
Bred in a temperate climate, cows nevertheless feel great in the hot Australia and Argentina, and in the harsher climate of Canada, in the arid steppes of Kazakhstan and other regions of the CIS and Europe.
During lactation, the heifer produces an average of 1800 liters of milk, but all it goes to the calf, Angus is usually not milked.
Anguses are distinguished by a powerful physique and short limbs, due to the dense structure of the coat, animals easily adapt to a cold climate.
Consider a more detailed description:
|Head||Small with a short muzzle, convex forehead, narrow nape|
|Neck||Short, merges with the shoulders|
|Chest||Wide, outstanding, width up to 65 cm|
|Torso||Volumetric, wide, length up to 140 cm|
|Muscle||Well developed, with fatty layers|
|Skeleton||Thin, 18% of the total weight of the carcass|
|Limbs||Short, well set, muscular|
|Suit||Black, brown (red)|
|Height at the withers||120-150 cm|
Advantages and disadvantages
The main value of animals is marble meat with a delicate taste.
- In addition, the breed is famous for other advantages:
- early ripening;
- fast weight gain;
- ability to adapt in different conditions;
- unpretentiousness to feed;
- high percentage of meat yield;
- high quality meat;
- the ability to transmit to posterity all qualities when crossed;
- good immunity.
Angus is undoubtedly an ideal choice for cattle breeders, considering all the advantages.
- However, it is worth considering some of the disadvantages of the breed:
- heavy weight (creates an increased load on the limbs);
- tendency to obesity;
- the need for large pastures.
Important! If the calf is obtained from parents carrying one recessive gene, a number of genetic diseases are possible. Such offspring will have to be rejected, since the diseases are hereditary.
Maintenance and care
One of the main advantages of the breed is not demanding maintenance. Consider in detail the necessary conditions in the winter and summer.
It is advisable that the summer playground is surrounded by bushes and trees to create a natural shade. The presence of a nearby pond will not be superfluous.
Animals have thick, dark-colored wool, which is known to attract solar heat. To prevent the cows from overheating, you need to make a canopy, which will also serve as a shelter for precipitation.
Settlement of a barn
Neither winter animals are transferred to a barn or barn. The room needs to be spacious, dry and bright. A stall about two meters long so cows can lie down. To make the floor sloping, remove drains to remove excrement.
The litter layer is about fifteen centimeters, this is enough to protect the heifers from the development of mastitis. Usually straw or sawdust is used for bedding, if the room has a concrete floor, then it is advisable to purchase rubber mats.
The material for feeders and drinking bowls can be anything: wood, plastic, metal, the main thing is that it is not toxic. Animals should have a free approach to food and water.
Important! Provided that animals of different sexes of different ages are kept, they must be separated by a grill to avoid injuries.
Conditions of detention
There is no need to insulate cowsheds, as animals have a thick coat. The body heat is provided by a dense fat layer. Angus are accustomed to a cold and humid climate. Therefore, even very low temperatures are tolerated.
The light in the barn should be on around the clock.
Regular cleaning of the stall and equipment
The litter of animals is changed as they become contaminated in order to avoid infections. The feeders are cleaned of food residues and the water tanks are washed, otherwise pathogenic bacteria may be diluted in them.
Twice a day they clean the places of runoff and the floor from feces. Once a week, a general cleaning is carried out, disinfecting the room with slaked lime. Inspect the ventilation pipes and clean them from dust. In addition, thoroughly wash and disinfect all work equipment.
What to feed
Angus are not picky animals, the diet of their food almost all year, except winter, consists of fresh meadow herbs. Nevertheless, there are some nuances that a novice breeder needs to know.
Summer grazing in the pasture
The entire warm period of the year, while the meadows are full of grass, cows are kept on grazing. At the same time, they do not need any additional dressing. Only constant access to water is needed, briquettes with salt are also installed under the canopy.
You need to examine the pasture for poisonous herbs (bleached, dope, St. John's wort). In addition, grazing areas need to be given rest for about three weeks so that the land does not become depleted.
Winter Feeding Diet
In winter, animals are fed with hay, root crops and vegetables, mineral additives.
The diet includes:
- tart corn;
- hay grass meadow;
- compound feed;
- potatoes, beets, carrots.
Be sure to give up to eight grams of salt per day.
Anguses are prone to obesity. Excess weight creates a large load on the limbs, which can lead to injuries. Therefore, it is important to observe the diet:
- three to four feedings per day;
- 2/3 of the food falls in the first half of the day;
- compound feed is strictly dosed (calculation by weight and desired gain).
Did you know? In one minute, the cow makes about a hundred chewing movements.
Fresh water should always be available for animals, otherwise there will be problems with the digestive system. Water should be at room temperature, always clean. One individual needs about a hundred liters. Change the water twice a day.
The subtleties of breeding young animals
Sexual maturity in heifers occurs at the age of fourteen months. In meat production, artificial insemination of animals is more popular: it allows you to get the highest quality offspring. With natural insemination, mating is carried out ten hours before a meal.
After a nine-month pregnancy, the heifer produces one, sometimes two calves. Before calving, the animal turns its face to the abdomen, invitingly mooing, sorting through hooves. The genitals of the woman in childbirth need to be cleaned with a solution of potassium permanganate, also wipe the limbs and tail.
Since the breed is not large offspring, up to 23 kg, calving goes without complications and in most cases does not require human assistance. The breed has a low percentage of offspring mortality; calf yield is 95-99%.
A born baby needs to wipe his respiratory organs and eyes with a clean towel, rub it, massaging his back along the spine. From the very first day, the calves graze with their mother, also feeding on their milk until they are eight months old. Thanks to mother's milk, the baby gains good immunity.
Did you know? In the natural environment, calves feed on breast milk until they are three years old.
Feeding on meat of individuals that will not be used to replenish the herd. At the age of eight months, calves are weaned from their mother. Combined feed, various premixes and crushed grain are introduced into the diet. Calculation of the amount of food: per kilogram of growth you need 7 kg of grain or 33 kg of fresh grass, or 15 kg of hay.
To summarize: Angus is one of the best breeds in meat production. Animals have good health and immunity. They are not whimsical in keeping and feeding, and the quality of the products received will bring a good income to the breeder.