Red steppe breed of cows: description, care and feeding

There are a large number of breeds of cows, which are divided among themselves in the direction of productivity. One of the best breeds of the dairy direction is considered to be a red steppe breed, which was bred in the south of Ukraine. This article will discuss the features of the maintenance and care of the red steppe breed, the principles of its feeding, as well as the advantages and disadvantages over animals of other breeds.

Breed description

These animals got their name due to the characteristic red-red color, which is occasionally diluted with white spots on the stomach and extremities. The breed was bred in a natural way from the beginning of the 18th century in the steppe regions of Ukraine.

Systematic breeding began in the 40s of the last century in the same territory, and another 10 years later the breed was officially recognized.

Description of external features:

Hornselongated (up to 30 cm), sharp, curved
Headsmall, elongated, light
Neckthin, curved
Chestdeep wide
Bodylong, high set
Musclethin, unexpressed, muscular, weak, gentle type of constitution
Skeletonlight and thin
Limbscorrectly set, low
Woolshort, thick, smooth
Suitfrom light red to brown red with sparse white spots
Height at the withers125-130 cm.

Important! Grazing of red steppe cows in areas with legumes should be carried out in the evening: morning dew moistens such feeds and leads to an overgrowth of nodule bacteria cultures that cause tympanum in cows .

Advantages and disadvantages

This breed developed in vivo and underwent natural selection. Its individual characteristics provide a high survival rate for both young and adult individuals.

  • Pros:
  • A sufficiently high level of milk yield with proper feeding.
  • Fast weight gain to slaughter condition.
  • Strong immunity, as a result - a high percentage of young growth in the herd of repair and the quick recovery of cows after calving.
  • Undemanding in feeding, high adaptability to the conditions of detention.
  • Accelerated acclimatization.

Did you know? The global number of cattle is so great that their total weight is three times the mass of all humanity combined. Gaseous decomposition products of fodder, which is emitted by the global cow herd, account for more than 18% of all greenhouse gases. As a result, cattle does more damage to the environment than all the existing automobile and air transport.

The disadvantages of the red steppe breed are mainly associated with unsystematic interbreeding and the absence of selection during the first two centuries of its existence.

  • Minuses:
  • Excessively thin and fragile skeleton, thin sensitive skin.
  • Narrow sagging croup affecting the female’s ability to bear.
  • Incorrect staging of limbs, weak muscle corset.
  • Defects of the udder - asymmetric lobes, underdevelopment.
  • Low meat yield during slaughter.

Maintenance and care

Depending on the time of year and the possibilities of farming, the principles of keeping animals and caring for them vary.

Summer walking area

Designed for grazing at a small distance from the farm. It is a fenced area with good grass cover. The calculated walking area for one animal should be at least 25 square meters. m

The site should be equipped with feeders, drinking bowls and have a canopy, under which the herd can hide from the weather and daytime heat.

Arrangement of a barn

In sheds animals are kept in the cold season. Here they are most often fixed by a leash, less often kept loose. The barn should be divided into stalls 120-150 cm wide, arranged individually for each animal.

In the stall there must be a feeder (distribution of feed by the feeder or manually) and a drinking bowl (preferably automatic).

Maintenance is carried out on a deep or shallow litter. The deep litter is gradually sprinkled, trampled down and increases in thickness, which is 35–40 cm. Peat or sawdust is used for such a litter, as straw has low absorbent properties.

Thin litter is most often straw (thickness up to 5 cm) and should be removed as it gets wet, but at least once every two days.

Important! In order for the deep litter to be safe for livestock and have a warming effect in the cold season, it is necessary to add a special bacterial preparation to it. It inhibits pathogenic microflora in the litter and supports beneficial fermentation processes.

Conditions of detention

Despite the unpretentiousness, red steppe cows are sensitive to high humidity, poor air composition, low light and lack of walking. Normal temperature for cows ranges from + 4–20 ° С. They can tolerate a decrease to –20 ° С, but in this case productivity is significantly worsened.

Humidity in the barn must be maintained at 65–70%. Normal air velocity is not more than 0.3 m / s. The carbon dioxide content in the air should not exceed 0.5%. Exceeding this indicator values ​​lead to lethargy, apathy of animals, impaired immunity of young animals.

The optimal intensity of artificial lighting for them ranges from 70 lux, and the area of ​​windows for natural lighting should occupy at least 15% of the total wall area.


Manure can be removed using mobile aggregates, trough conveyors, scraper plants, hydraulic washing or manually. Manure and shallow bedding in large livestock complexes are cleaned daily to prevent outbreaks of epidemics. On small farms, cleaning is done once every two days.

Feeding troughs and drinking bowls are washed and disinfected daily, the remains of the polluted water and stale food are removed from them. Disinfection is usually automatic in nature - a weak antiseptic solution enters the tank with water, which then drains.

A shallow litter is poured as it becomes contaminated. Do not allow animals to stand idle on a hard concrete surface.

Milking preparation

This is a mandatory procedure that stimulates the reflex of milk production, prevents the ingress of extraneous microflora into the milk raw materials. Preparation begins with a gentle massage of the udder, which is done by stroking and squeezing the milk shares.

Then the udder is washed with warm water and must be wiped dry with a clean soft cloth. The last step is tying up the tail and sewing off the first trickles of milk, which can be infected with pathogenic microorganisms.

What to feed

Depending on the time of the year, the diet of animals changes, as in the winter juicy green feeds become inaccessible.

Did you know? The largest cow in the world is officially considered an individual belonging to the Holstein breed. A cow named Mount Catadine lived in the early 1900s. Her weight exceeded 2200 kg, and her height at the withers reached 190 cm. This record was entered into the Guinness Book of Records, and no one has yet been able to surpass it.

Livestock pasture and feeding in the summer

At about 4 o’clock in the morning it is necessary to take animals for grazing and keep them until 9: 00–9: 30. Then it is necessary to drive them back into the barn, give a portion of concentrated feed and at 16:00 to display in the evening grazing.

A cow eats 35–40 kg of green mass per day, so the pasture should be vast, with a dense grass cover. Make sure that the grass is above 20 cm and below 35 cm - then it is at the optimum stage of maturity.

Include concentrated (barley, wheat, corn) and oilseed (Makuku, pulp) feeds in the diet for the optimal ratio of nutrients in the animal's diet. Feed them during the daytime with plentiful watering.

In the first two weeks, allow cattle to graze for no longer than two hours and feed them with hay for the gradual adaptation of the digestive tract.

Differences in winter feeding

In the cold season, the total caloric content of feed and the mass fraction of concentrates in them should increase. During this period, the milk yield of milk increases, the load on the animal’s body increases due to the need to tolerate low temperatures.

Cattle is transferred to the hay-silo-hay-type diet. The digestion process is normalized, milk production increases due to the intake of various types of nutrients in the body.

Organize a cottage silo, feed it along with root crops, molasses and concentrated cereal feed. Feeding three times a day, in the daytime, add fortified feed to the diet.

The winter period requires the presence of meat and bone meal and fish products in the cow's diet to strengthen immunity and the normal course of pregnancy.


This is an indispensable element of feeding, on the quality of which the state of digestion of the animal depends. Calculate the rate of drinking based on the milkness of the cow. The secretion of each liter of milk requires at least four liters of water.

In hot weather, the cow's need for water increases to six to seven liters of water per liter of milk. Water temperature should be at the level of 25–27 ° С.

Important! It is forbidden to drink cows with cold water, especially after an active exercise and load - this leads to stress in the animal, a decrease in its productivity and premature calving.

The red steppe breed of cows is characterized by unpretentiousness in maintenance and good immunity. Such animals have a normal milk production compared to other breeds of cows and a relatively low meat yield. Proper maintenance of these cows and giving them benign feed will ensure their good health and high productivity.

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