Limousine cows: description, care and feeding
This article is about limousine cows. You will learn about the features of this variety of cows, their productivity, as well as what rules must be observed in order for your cattle to be healthy, well-groomed, well fed and subsequently pleased you with good productivity - delicious meat.
This breed of cattle was bred by breeders in the second half of the 13th century, and the main goal was to create cows that could withstand the cold climate and with a poor diet were hardy and productive. From XIX to XX century, active work was carried out on the breed to improve the quality of meat products.
Did you know? The name of the breed "limousine" with the automotive industry has no connection. The cows were named after the place of their breeding - the Limousin region, which is located in France.
At the moment, limousine meat is highly rated and served in the best French restaurants.
The following table provides an overview of the external characteristics of Limousine cows.
|Horns||Short, have a light color.|
|Head||Shortened form, with a characteristic breed of large forehead.|
|Neck||Short, with skin folds, passes into the chest.|
|Chest||Wide, its girth is up to 2.5 m.|
|Body||Massive, there is small body fat.|
|Limbs||Medium in length, powerful and strong.|
|Wool||Red, black color is possible when crossing a cow with another breed.|
|Suit||Golden-red, red, red-brown. The abdomen has a lighter color, the back is more saturated.|
|Height at the withers||from 130 to 140 cm.|
Advantages and disadvantages
Before you get cattle, it is important to learn about the advantages of the breed, its productivity, and its shortcomings. Limousines are no exception and have both positive qualities and some negative ones.
- So, the advantages of Limousine cows include:
- unpretentiousness of cows in the maintenance;
- strong immunity;
- resistance to both high and low temperatures;
- unpretentiousness in nutrition;
- fast weight gain;
- calm, flexible nature of animals;
- quite a long time of life - up to 15 years;
- high productivity;
- quality low-fat, diet marble meat;
- calf meat of 1 year of life is already edible and has high palatability;
- good ability to reproduce;
- developed maternal instinct in cows.
Did you know? One more advantage of limousines is an easy and safe calving. Since newborn calves have a small head, during childbirth you can do without the help of a veterinarian.
Limousines have few drawbacks, but it’s still worth learning about them if you plan to breed this breed of cows.
- Among the negative points, the following can be distinguished:
- the need to get a manufacturing bull, because in cows at the age of 1-2 years it is necessary to cause sexual hunting by artificial means;
- the highly developed instinct of motherhood can lead to an aggressive reaction of cattle to people who approach a calf.
There are many advantages to this breed of cows, however, we advise you to pay attention to cattle flaws - will they become a problem for you and it is better to consider other cattle breeds or will you be able to cope with the limitations of limousines, it is up to you to decide.
Maintenance and care
It’s easy to understand that they get limousines to get quality marbled meat. But in order for the product to live up to expectations, it is necessary to treat the conditions of cows with all responsibility, even though this breed is unpretentious.
Improper care can lead to a negative impact on the animal organism, and therefore - affect the taste of meat.
Read on what conditions are needed for cattle of this breed.
Summer walking area
The need for equipping a summer playground is due to the fact that, thanks to walks in the fresh air, you can get more milk from animals. Also, the site becomes a substitute for a good pasture, if not far from the farm, and is suitable for farmers engaged in seasonal cattle breeding.
In order for limousines to be comfortable, it is necessary to organize a space where animals usually walk. The presence of stalls is mandatory, and it is important that each cow from the herd has its own. It is also better to protect the summer area from several sides and equip a canopy to protect cattle from rain and other unpleasant weather conditions.
Mandatory is the presence of feeders and drinking bowls on the site, so that limousines can satisfy their needs at any time.
Arrangement of a barn
The views of experienced farmers on how best to equip a room for limousines vary, but they all agree that animals need a lot of space. One cow should have about 7 square meters of area.
As for the organization of space, there are two options.
The first is dividing the barn into stalls so that each animal has its own personal place. The second does not provide for the presence of stalls, and livestock can move freely inside the barn. Regardless of which option you stick to, remember about cleaning the room.
The barn should always be dry and clean enough. From time to time it is necessary to replace the litter with fresh ones, and straw or sawdust should be laid on a concrete floor with a layer of 30 cm - they will make up the so-called flooring.
Did you know? The best choice for the barn will be a place located next to the walking area. Ideally, the doors of the barn can lead directly to the summer ground, where cattle can breathe fresh air.
The installation of drinking bowls and feeders depends on which version of the organization of space you have chosen. In the case when a place is assigned to each animal, it is possible to arrange feeders and drinking bowls separately for each cow or to arrange them along the stalls. You can also choose containers that are hung next to the stall.
This is done in order to maintain the cleanliness of the room and to avoid overturning tanks.
Conditions of detention
As mentioned earlier, cattle of this breed are undemanding to living conditions and can easily adapt to both low and high air temperatures. But this does not eliminate the need to equip the premises according to the needs of livestock, if your goal is tasty, high-quality meat.
There are a number of rules that still need to be followed. Thanks to this, you will preserve the health of the animals and get an excellent product after slaughter.
It is necessary that the room in which the limousines are heated in the cold season. A temperature below 0 ° C is a sure sign to turn on the heating. Cows feel great at an air temperature of +7 ° C, try to adhere to this indicator.
There must be ventilation in the room. Air circulation is one of the necessary conditions to avoid diseases. Periodically it is worth ventilating the barn. You also need to monitor the air humidity - the most comfortable cattle feels at a humidity of 50%.
A large percentage of humidity is not recommended, as the room should be dry.
Important! Limousines can be taken for a walk even at –35 ° C, but long-term exposure to cold weakens the immunity of animals.
In the summer, when the air temperature is quite high, cattle cannot get sick. However, at the pasture site, it is highly desirable to establish a canopy under which the limousines could hide from ultraviolet radiation. It is also necessary to place drinking bowls there and make sure that cows always have access to water.
Going into a clean, well-groomed barn is always more pleasant, but cleaning is necessary not only for this reason. First of all, this is a way to disinfect the room, get rid of all possible harmful bacteria and protect against the possible development of fungi.
The level of contamination of the barn depends on the season. Since in the summer period limousines spend most of their time on walking grounds or pastures, their home at this time does not require daily cleaning.
But in the winter months, when animals can’t be outdoors for a long time, they need to clean the premises every day.
Important! In the warmer months, you can disinfect the barn and all the necessary equipment for cattle care once every 7 days. In the colder months, disinfection is more common.
Water tanks must be cleaned daily, as they serve as a favorable environment for the development of pathogenic microbes. In addition, if you do not monitor the condition of the drinkers, the water can bloom and become unfit for drinking cows.
The so-called general cleaning of the barn can be carried out no more than once a year. The event includes the disinfection of floors, walls and everything that is indoors. This action is especially relevant for farmers containing more than a dozen limousines and engaged in their breeding.
Cattle of this breed has a meat direction. This means that the dairy product produced by the cow will be enough solely for feeding calves.
Important! Before crossing livestock, consult a specialist. Crossbreeding of some breeds can worsen the performance of both meat and dairy. In some cases, it also gives livestock a bad character.
It is possible to improve milk performance of limousines if you cross this breed with one whose main direction is milk.
Feeding and drinking
Another factor that affects the health and growth activity of Limousine cows is their diet. The productivity of these animals reaches high levels, however, it must be remembered that this is achieved by proper care and properly composed nutrition.
Cattle also need to receive beneficial trace elements in order to develop normally. We will talk further about how to properly feed limousines and what must be included in their menu.
Let's start by examining the diet of limo calves. Often it is with them that the subsequent breeding of the breed begins, so it is important to understand how to feed the young, so that it grows strong and healthy.
Did you know? To reduce feed costs, you can add oat straw to your food. This breed loves this product, but it costs several times cheaper than regular hay.
At the age of one month, calves eat exclusively colostrum. In two months, cereals (no more than 100 grams per day), hay and vegetables (0.5 kg per day) can be gradually added to the diet.
The calf at this age continues to be fed breast milk. Three-month limousines consume more grain and vegetables - their daily portion is now 300 g of grain and 1.5-2 kg of vegetable crops. Animal consumption of mother's milk is halved.
At the age of 4-6 months, calves feed almost the same way as adult cows: now in their daily menu hay is 3 kg, vegetables - 4 kg, grain mixture - 1 kg. Limousines, whose age is more than seven months, may not limit themselves in the use of hay.
According to the performance of the calf for 10 months, the next changes in the diet are carried out - the limousine should eat more food. For the next months of his life, the cow will consume at least 12-15 kg of vegetables and root crops, 5 kg of grain per day. In the summer months, livestock will also feed on fresh grass, in winter, silage or hay.
In addition, the calf growth is influenced by the feeding method you choose. In total there are two of them - intensive and extensive.
With intensive feeding of limousines, they are castrated and this cattle is kept in a specially designated pen. The animal feeds on concentrates, due to which muscle mass grows more actively. It is also important that the physical activity of the limousine is minimized.
Extensive fattening is characterized by the need to spend less money on the purchase of feed. A limousine develops naturally, but at the same time grows longer than if it ate a concentrate.
Livestock pasture and feeding in the summer
In the warm season, animals spend a considerable part of their time on pastures. For this reason, most of the diet of limousines in these months is fresh grass and it is additionally necessary to feed livestock with fewer foods.
Important! Keep an eye on the cleanliness of the area where your cows graze - garbage in the form of bags made of polyethylene, plastic and other foreign objects can cause cattle growth to stop. Trash literally gets stuck in the digestive tract, after which the cow begins to hurt.
Limousines consume about 60 kg of feed per day, which contributes to such rapid growth and development. In the summer, cattle feed themselves, but we recommend adding concentrates in the amount of 2 kg and hay in the amount of 3 kg per animal to the cattle menu.
Before giving vegetables to the cows, they must be washed and peeled. Root crops for better absorption by the body of limousines can be thermally processed - for example, boil.
Differences in winter feeding
In winter, the ration of limousines is based on hay, because animals do not have access to fresh grass. Cows should be given no more than 10 kg of hay per individual per day.
Did you know? Castrated cattle can grow faster than their peers, but the fat content of the meat product will turn out to be higher.
The above method of feeding livestock is suitable if you are not going to lead the cows for slaughter. In the opposite case, the diet of animals looks somewhat different.
Before sending a cow for slaughter, its rhythm of life changes: livestock activity is minimized, not including walking - it is necessary to bring limousines to fresh air. The diet of animals at this time consists of concentrated feed, hay and gourds. The daily portion of feed will be about 5-6 kg per limousine, vegetables - about two buckets.
Such a menu is more expensive than usual, but thanks to it the gobies grow much faster, which means they are gaining mass and as a result you will get more meat from one carcass.
The presence of clean water in drinking bowls is equally important both in winter and in summer.
Did you know? If the outside temperature is below zero, you can add a few tablespoons of sugar to the water - 5-6 tablespoons. This amount of sugar is enough for one bucket. Water at this time must be warm or at least room temperature.
Cows preparing to calve can be provided with water three times a day. Their need for fluid during this period is increased.
In the winter months, one limousine is able to drink about 50 liters of fluid per day.
As you can see, this breed of cattle is quite simple to maintain, but breeding limousines still requires considerable financial expenses - keeping cows on an intensive or on an extensive form of feeding will be expensive.
However, do not forget that the quality of their meat is one of the best in the world, which means its cost is also quite high and the money spent on caring for limousines will be beaten off.