Belgian blue cows: description and characteristics of the breed
The world of animals does not cease to amaze humanity with its diverse and unconventional representatives. And they are sometimes found even among pets that are familiar to all.
Belgian blue cows
This breed belongs to the meat direction anddiffers from the usual for all Burenka very developed musculature. Particularly pronounced muscles in the shoulder, neck, on the rump and on the back. It is for this they are given the nickname of cow-bodybuilders. Due to their very unusual forms of representatives of this breed are also called "two-caliber". Animals simply amaze with their large size, muscular body, thin neck and a minimum amount of hair. The yield of Belgian blue cows is much lower than that of dairy cattle, so they are classified as meat.
The menu of adult animals includes straw, hay,chaff, silage and beet. A Belgian blue cow is grazed (photo attached) on the pastures. For fertilizing with mineral substances, tricalcium phosphate, bone meal, and also defluorinated phosphate are added to the feed.
History of deducing
Belgian blue beef cattle breed waswas obtained in the 19th century in Belgium by crossing the local red-motley and variegated dairy cattle with short-legged bulls imported from England. After long experiments, the local cows acquired a large size with a low torso, and as a result of the experiments on the artificial insemination of Professor Hanset in Liège, a mutation of the double-muscular gene occurred, which resulted in the appearance of a modern animal species. It was then that the breed was completely formed, which is now called blue (it is also called Belgian white-blue, Belgian blue or white flytrap, blue Belgian). Widely distributed in Belgium, as well as in Germany, France and the United States.
Belgian blue cows can have a white,white-blue, bluish-pie and black suit. Sometimes there may be a red color or a combination of colors. Animals differ significantly from ordinary bulls and cows. They have:
- muscular body;
- strong straight back;
- the body of impressive volumes;
- rounded muscles;
- strong short straight legs;
- thin skin.
It is interesting that calves of this breed are not born with "doubled" muscles. The appearance of muscles begins to appear around 4-6 weeks after birth.
Average weight and height of animals are:
- in 12 months bull calves weigh 475 kg, height - 120 cm; females have a mass of 370 kg, height - 115 cm.
- in 24 months the bulls have a weight of 775 kg, height - 135 cm; females - 500 kg and 122 cm.
The live weight of adult males is 1100-1250 kg, and inin some cases - more than 1300 kg. Cows, as a rule, reach body weight up to 850-900 kg. When slaughtering animals, the yield of meat is up to 70-80% of their total weight. Despite the rather large weight, cattle, thanks to strong legs, move fast enough.
Characteristics of character
Despite the very impressive sizeBelgian cows and bulls and their stern appearance, these animals have a very complaisant temper. The blue giants are friendly, go with joy to contact and have a kind, calm character.
Each type of cattle has its advantages and disadvantages. Belgian blue breed of cows, according to cattle breeders, belong the following positive qualities:
- good structure and mobility of the body;
- continuous growth of muscle mass throughout life;
- fast development;
- high daily gain;
- calm, friendly temperament;
- early and frequent calving;
- after slaughter a high percentage of meat yield;
- beef diet, juicy, very tender;
- no special care required;
- excellent eating of feed;
- short period of gestation;
- production of crossbred young animals;
- it is possible to receive milk.
Despite a considerable list of advantages, the Belgian white-blue cow, according to observations of some skeptics, has some negative aspects:
- Massiveness of animals often causes swelling of the legs;
- relatively short life expectancy;
- in the meat, the presence of GMOs (gene modifications) is possible.
Quality of meat and milk
As a result of experiments with genes,not just withdraw animals with a lot of meat, but also significantly improve it - make it more juicy, mild and dietary. With one carcass you can get about 80% of pure meat with excellent characteristics, minimum fat and cholesterol.
The Belgian blue cows have a threshold for milkingorder is lower than dairy animals. Large size and huge muscle mass affected the amount of milk. On average, for 180-250 days of lactation, milk productivity is about 2,000 to 4,500 liters of fat content of about 3.5%. Therefore, blue cows are enrolled in the meat category.
The main problem of breeding this breed of cowsis the generation of offspring. Due to the formation of large muscle mass in cows, females have such a physiological feature as a narrowed pelvis, which greatly worsens labor activity. And calves are born in large sizes, which causes additional difficulties. As a result, a normal physiological calving in the representatives of this breed became practically impossible. In purebred animals, almost 50% of all newborn calves are produced by cesarean section.
Offspring of Belgian blue
Cows bring their firstborns into the world, usually inage 28-35 months (3 years). In comparison with other breeds of cattle, the pregnancy of Belgian cows is slightly shorter - the calf is born on average in 281 days, the bullock - for 285 days. The weight of newborn bull-calves is 40-70 kg, the weight of the calves is 40-60 kg.
Each calf after birth receives a gene,responsible for accelerated growth. Therefore, starting from the 4th week of life, they begin to grow intensively, and they gain up to 2 kg per day, which contributes to their rapid growth up to the adult state. Daily weight gain of calves: bull calves - 1300-1800 g, calves - 800-1500 g.
Belgian blue cows are an amazing breed,which causes a lot of different emotions and the most contradictory opinions. Many livestock breeders singled out exclusively its merits - a huge volume of muscles, a large daily gain, the output of crossbred youngsters, receiving one of the two genes that are responsible for building muscle mass. Gourmets appreciated the unusual taste of meat. There are also skeptical farmers, who are frightened by the possible presence of GMO products and believe that much is hidden from the public. We can only guess which of the cattle breeders are right, as the Belgian blue cow is not grown in Russia.