Role, Importance and Peculiarities of Record Cows in the Formation of High-Production Herds


Throughout the history of the development of dairy cattle breeding, particular importance has always been attached to the identification and rational use of record cows. The significance of this category of breeding is determined not only by individual indicators, but also by the effect they have on the improvement of the breed and individual herds, primarily through their sons and, to a certain extent, as the ancestors of breeding families. It should be noted that the appearance of a record cow is hardly ever spontaneous or random; as a rule, valuable ancestors are found in their pedigrees, the potential of which can be manifested in descendants when creating appropriate feeding and milking conditions. In this regard, the human factor is very important. This analysis shows that in recent years, the age of the highest productivity has grown significantly in almost all breeds. It seems that this phenomenon is the result of the widespread use of Holstein cattle. If one looks at the origin of Holstein stud bulls, the sperm of which are offered for reproduction, then almost all of them are obtained from first-calf heifers, and only a few from adult cows. It is hard to escape a conclusion that we replicate animals in advance, and then wonder why cows do not have time to recoup themselves and do not reach the classical age of milk productivity – 3-5th lactation. Long-term studies show that the highest yield in the purebred Holstein herds is marked for the 2nd lactation, and then, if the animals survive, the yield decreases. The widespread opinion among Russian livestock breeders, including scientists, is that feeding is to blame for everything. Of course, the level and type of feeding is the foundation of animal health, but many farms provide 7-10 thousand kg per cow per year, and the duration of productive use is reduced, so there must be other factors.

Keywords: dairy cattle breeding, selection, stud bulls, record cows

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