Studying the history of development of cattle, you can see that after the domestication of the first animals, people used them not only as a source of meat, but also as a draft force, through which cargo was transported and land was plowed. Therefore, the ancestors of modern cows and bulls were quite strong and hardy animals. Over time, in different parts of our planet, rocks were formed which were best adapted to the natural conditions of different countries and differed from each other in appearance and physiological characteristics.
History of breeding of the Lebedian breed
On the territory of Ukraine, the local breed was always gray Ukrainian cattle, which was distinguished by its large size and powerful physique. Local people from generation to generation bred this breed for its excellent working qualities and nutritional value of meat products. The only drawback of the gray Ukrainian breed was low milk yields.
Concerned with the elimination of this shortcoming, in the Lebedinsky district of the Kharkov province at the beginning of the 20th century, they began to cross cows of local breed with the Schwitz breed of bulls. Imported livestock belonged to a breed that was characterized by precocity and high milk yield. This was the beginning of the breeding of a new breed of cows, later called Lebedinskaya. Further selection was carried out by selecting the best animals among those crossed earlier. Particular attention was paid to the strength of the build, the milkiness of the cow and the fat content of the milk. The subsequent perfection of the qualities of the Lebedin breed was carried out by pairing the already existing best hybrids. The final approval of the breed occurred in 1950.
Exterior and live weight of the breed
Lebedinskaya breed belongs to the milky-meat species. By the type of constitution, this breed is very close to the gray Ukrainian cattle and has a fairly strong constitution with a well-developed skeleton and musculature. The trunk of the animals is somewhat elongated and has proportionately developed thirds covered with dense skin with long, medium-density hair. On the short head is a wide forehead and nose with a dark color. The udder of the breed is voluminous, the legs are strong, smooth. Coat color is brown with various shades of gray and dark brown color.
Lebedinskaya breed of cows is quite early. By the age of 19 months heifers can reach economic maturity. The live weight of cows is usually from 500 to 600 kg, full-fat bulls reach a weight of 850-900 kg. In some farms the weight of cows is sometimes 700-750 kg, bulls – 1000 kg and more. The weight of calves at birth is usually from 37 to 45 kg, but by the age of six months they are gaining up to 200 kg of weight. Good conditions of maintenance and high-quality fodder contribute to the development of meat forms of animals, in such farms a 2-year-old heifer can well weigh 500 kg or more.
Milk qualities of the Lebedin breed are quite high. Productivity indicators range from 3,200 to 5,000 kg per year with a milk fat content of 3.8%. On the best farms milk yield of cows-record holders was up to 12,600 kg per year, while maintaining a high fat content of milk. This fact is important in the further development of the Lebedin breed. Already, a large group of cows have been created on tribal farms that produce milk with a record fat content of 5.5%.
Currently, the animals of this breed are actively bred in several north-eastern regions of Ukraine and are exported to improve the breeds of local livestock to other CIS countries.
Lebedinskaya breed of cows