Kholmogorsk breed of cows: description, care and feeding

Cattle breeds are divided by productive orientation. There are dairy, meat and meat and dairy breeds, which differ from each other in external characteristics and the number of products produced. This article will consider the advantages and disadvantages of the Kholmogory breed of cows, the features of their maintenance and care for them, the principles of feeding and breeding of young animals.

Breed description

Kholmogorsk cows were bred in the homonymous district of the Arkhangelsk region. The period of formation of the breed took more than two hundred years - from the beginning of the 1700s to the middle of the 1900s. Kholmogorsky breed was formed as a result of crossing the local cattle with representatives of Holstein and Dutch breeds.

Important! In warm climatic conditions, animals of this breed feel uncomfortable. Their productivity decreases, diseases of the digestive tract occur and the reproductive properties deteriorate.


hornsrounded, 7–9 cm
headmedium-sized tapering to the nose mirror
neckthin, long
chestdeep, wide (up to 80 cm)
bodystrong, harmoniously developed
muscleswell-defined, with a hint of rudeness of the constitution
limbstall, straight, steady
woolshort, stiff
suitmost often found in black and white, less often - black or mottled with red spots
height at the withers135-140 cm

Advantages and disadvantages

Like any other breed, Kholmogorsky cattle has both advantages and disadvantages. Before you get an animal, you need to learn more about its characteristic features.

Did you know? The lines on the cow’s nasolabial mirror are as individual as the human papillary lines on the fingers. This feature allows farmers in some US states to search for and seize cows stolen and lost and found by other farmers. For this purpose, a special database of cow prints was created, with which reconciliation is carried out when examining animals that are "under suspicion".


  • Since this breed was bred in a rather harsh climate, it has a number of positive properties:
  • Unpretentiousness in feeding . Cows of this breed retain milk fat even with a low proportion of concentrated feed in the diet.
  • Unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention . Due to significant frost resistance, these animals calmly endure winters in cowsheds without heating.
  • Quick crushing after calving, short service period, relatively high milk yield.
  • High taste qualities of meat, the ability to raise animals to obtain valuable marbled beef.
  • Strong immunity, which ensures high safety of young animals and quick recovery of cows after childbirth.


  • Despite the large number of positive qualities, these animals have negative traits that you should be aware of if you plan to grow a livestock of this breed:
  • Breed development trends indicate a gradual decrease in milk fat and meatiness, especially in warm climates.
  • The narrow chest of these animals causes in some individuals congenital diseases of the respiratory system.
  • In some calves, improper staging of limbs and sagging croup are possible.

Maintenance and care

In order for the animals to feel comfortable and provide the farm with a large number of products, it is necessary to organize comfortable conditions for them and competent care.

Summer playground

It is used for walking and grazing herds at a distance of no more than 2 km from the farm. It is an open territory, which is enclosed by a temporary fence at the rate of at least 25 square meters. m on the head. The open area is supplied with drinking bowls, feeders with a small portion of concentrated feed and a canopy under which animals can hide from the weather and heat.

Important! To keep cows of the Kholmogorsk breed on summer grounds is allowed until the first frost. In the autumn period, when the quality of the grass cover deteriorates, it is necessary to provide them with proper nutrition from the feeders and not rely on independent grazing.

Settlement of a barn

The cowshed is a spacious insulated barn, divided into separate stalls. Each stall should be equipped with a drinking bowl and feeder. The attached keeping of animals provides for the automation of the processes of drinking and feeding.

The food is distributed by the feeders, and the water flows through the hydraulic system into the drinkers as necessary. The content of a small herd of animals (up to 10 animals) allows manual distribution of feed using a cart and manual spill of water.

Since the herd content on the concrete floor leads to diseases of the joints of the limbs, the floor must be covered with soft plant litter. Peat, sawdust, less often straw, can be used as bedding materials.

Straw is suitable for spreading a shallow litter with a thickness of up to 5 cm due to its low hygroscopicity and considerable weediness. Peat and sawdust have good absorbency and are therefore suitable for use as a deep litter. A deep litter (30–40 cm) is poured into the stall, and then trampled by animals.

Conditions of detention

Under natural conditions, hillocks calmly tolerate differences in temperatures from -25 to + 26 ° C. In the barn it is recommended to maintain the temperature at the level of 18–20 ° С, and in the cool season - to allow a gradual decrease to + 4 ° С.

Cows are sensitive to moisture levels, they do not tolerate any deviations from the norm and react to them with a decrease in productivity. Humidity in stalls should be between 65–70%.

Did you know? Cow dung is a valuable and affordable raw material that can be used as an environmentally friendly energy source. American scientists have estimated that manure emitted daily by a multimillion-dollar American herd can be converted into 1000 billion kW / h of energy, sufficient to provide uninterrupted electricity to a city like New York or Chicago.

The heat affects cattle adversely, so the stalls are often cooled by ventilation than the air is heated in cold periods. The normal speed of air movement in the stalls is not more than 0.3 m / s; in winter, this indicator should be 0.1 m / s.

Artificial lighting is supported by fluorescent lamps - 75 suites in each stall. In order for natural light to be acceptable for animals, the area of ​​the barn windows should be at least 15% of the total area of ​​its walls.

Regular cleaning of the stall and equipment

Depending on the area of ​​the barn and the total number of livestock, either automatic or manual cleaning of manure is chosen. Manure is raked from the floor together with a shallow litter manually (scrapers), scraper plants, and transported by a conveyor. It can also be cleaned by sewage into sewage or transported by mobile units.

Stalls are cleaned daily or every two days as the litter becomes dirty. Under the condition that livestock are kept on a deep litter, litter is not harvested: manure and urea are trampled by cattle into the litter treated with the bacterial preparation, and they are rewound there under the influence of beneficial microflora.

With proper care, a deep litter can serve for one and a half to two years. Feeders and drinking bowls are washed daily, the remains of stale food are cleaned from them to prevent fermentation and rotting.

What to feed

Depending on the time of the year, the livestock diet varies, as some types of feed become available, while others depart until the next warm season.

Summer grazing in the pasture

It is made in open areas with high-quality grass cover. The grass cover should be in the phase of milk ripeness and be a height of not more than 30 cm and not less than 15 cm.

In the summer, cows absorb up to 50 kg of green mass per day, so the areas reserved for grazing should change daily. Preference should be given to pastures with sowing vetch, alfalfa, clover.

Flood and mountain meadows allow grazing animals in groups of 120-150 goals. In wooded areas, they must be divided into herds of 45-50 heads, since grass cover in such areas is more rare. It is necessary to take livestock out for grazing at 04: 00–04: 30 in the morning, drive them to concentrates at 10:00 for daytime feeding, and release them for evening exercise from 16:00 to 20:00.

Winter Feeding Diet

In the cold season, the mass fraction of green feed in the diet decreases, but the number of concentrates and oilseeds increases. In order for the animals to have strong immunity and become resistant to cold, it is necessary to feed them with meat and bone meal, fish products, root crops, molasses, oilcake.

The basis of the diet in this period is hay, haylage and a small portion of straw . It is recommended that fortified concentrated feeds, which provide the body of the animal with useful substances, be included in the diet.

Important! Since the scar in young animals is not yet developed, it is forbidden to feed them a full-fledged diet of an adult. This is fraught with inversion of the intestines, upsets and tympanum of the stomach.

Water and salt

Watering is an important component of a cow’s diet, as 5 to 7 liters of water is spent on the secretion of each liter of milk. Water must be drunk clean, warm (no colder than 23 ° C) and give it plenty. Since plant foods do not contain enough sodium and chlorine, the lack of these minerals is compensated by the supply of table salt.

It is necessary to mix salt in the feed in an amount of 100 g for every 40 kg of daily feed or attach a lick salt in the form of a pressed briquette next to the drinker.

The subtleties of breeding young animals

After growing up and transferring to a repair herd, the young growth reaches puberty at the age of 6–9 months. However, during this period, the body of the bull does not yet produce high-quality sperm, and the heifers are not capable of bearing healthy offspring. Physiological maturity, sufficient for breeding, occurs at one and a half year old for heifers (weight should be at least 350 kg) and at one year old for bulls.

Since natural mating can lead to injury to the female, they are inseminated artificially - in addition, this allows you to use the sperm of the best bull-producer and get offspring with high productive characteristics.

A cow is inseminated when the first signs of estrus appear, such as swelling of the genital gap and mucus secretion. Re-insemination is carried out the next day in order to guarantee successful fertilization.

Pregnancy in these animals lasts an average of 9 months with deviations of up to two weeks in both directions. During calving, one calf is born, less often - two calves. A cow is prepared for calving within two to three days before its onset; during this period, it is necessary for it to ensure an impeccably clean individual stall and veterinary observation.

Immediately after calving, the calf must be wiped with a clean, dry rag so that it begins to breathe. The last, wet litter is removed from the stall, and the cow is kept in the same stall with the calf for the next one and a half to two months.

Did you know? The global herd of cattle is responsible for the release of more than 18% of all greenhouse gases. This indicator exceeds the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by all automobiles, airplanes and enterprises combined. If we calculate the amount of methane released into the atmosphere from the waste of cow's vital activity, its amount will be even greater - as much as 30% of the gas is released from untreated manure and directly by the cows themselves.

Top dressing is introduced into the diet of young animals, starting from the fourth week of life. They begin to be fed with crushed boiled root vegetables, diluted with powdered milk, an animal image. At two months of age, it is possible to enrich the diet with hay and cereals soaked in saline.

It is customary to wean young animals from a cow in an industrial complex at the age of one month, and at home the baby can be with her mother for up to three months. Until the age of six months, youngsters of different sexes are kept together, and only then they are separated to prevent accidental mating.

The Kholmogorsk breed of cows is a milk-oriented breed that is unpretentious in terms of keeping and feeding. It is well adapted to a cool climate, easily tolerates low temperature conditions. To ensure that your animals bring healthy young animals and have high productivity, provide them with proper care and good nutrition.

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