Cattle breeding was subject to natural conditions in primeval and medieval times.
Kingdom : Animale (Animals)
Phylum : Chordate (Vertebrates)
Sub-Phylum : Vertebrate (Vertebrates)
Class : Mammalia (Mammals)
Sub-Class : Placentalia (Eutherian)
Order : Ungulata (Unguiculate)
Sub-Order : Artiodacnty (Artiodactyl)
Group : Ruminantia (Ruminantia)
Family : Bovidae
Sub Family : Bovinae
Genus : Bos
Sub-Genus : Taurus
Species : Bos taurus
Domesticated cattle is listed in the species Bos taurus. This species consists of two subspecies Bos taurus typicus and Bos taurus inducus. Bos taurus typicus includes cattle mostly living in mild climates and Bos Taurus indicus includes Zebu cattle with humps and large drooping ears adapted to hot climates.
The cattle today have originated from wild ox which have lived thousands of years ago. Bos taurus primigenius is considered to be the ancestor of cattle today. They stood 180-215 cm high at the shoulder and were large animals. They had spreading, forward-curving strong horns. It is flat between two horns and its forehead and face is long and narrow. However, oxes included in Bos taurus brachyceros and longifrans subspecies are much more smaller. Their horns and faces are shorter, forehead is longer and wider. The line between two horns rises towards the middle and forms a prominent protrusion.
They originate from the Dutch province of Friesland. Holstein province in Germany has given its name to this breed. Holstein Friesians are a culture breed of dairy cattle. Some types of Holstein breed in the Netherlands are beef cattle. However, the types of cattle in the U.S. are mostly dairy cattle. Is stands taller than all other dairy breeds. Its skin is thin and soft, and there are vertical curls on the neck area. It has a strong bone structure. The udders are large, soft and well-shaped. The udders extend upwards properly under the stomach and back.
Holstein cows are crossed with beef bulls (Belgian Blue, Charolais) , due to decrease in the number of dairy cattle in Europe. Thus, bulls which yield a high amount of meat are produced.
Holstein cattle is resistant to cold weather conditions, but adaptability to hot climates is not good.
Its live weight is about 750-800 kg. Height at withers is 145-156 cm. The bulls can reach a live weight of 1000 kg. They can produce 7000-11000 kg milk per year. Average milk yield per year during lactation period (305 days) is approximately 8,000 kg. Percentage of fat in the milk is 3.5-4%. Their most productive time is the first 6 years.
SIMMENTAL (FLECKVIEH / ABONDANCE / PESETA ROSA)
It is mostly raised in Austria and Germany, although it is a Swiss breed. Simmental cow is in second place in our country and in the world in terms of number of dairy cows. Holstein breed takes the first place. Combining characteristics of other breeds, Simmental cattle are raised for their meat and milk.
Simmental cattle is attractive in appearance. Head is typically white. The frame is red with white background and the red spots are different, also it has a different appearance with golden spots.
Simmentals are sought for stockbreeding also. Fattened Simmental calves have a live weight increase of approximately 1100 and 1300 gr. per day. This breed is preferred in Turkey because of its adaptation to the climate and environmental conditions of the country. Simmentals have good meat yield. They have around 60 – 62% meat yield.
The lactation period is 300 days, in the event Simmental cows are viewed in terms of milk yield. Average milk yield is 6,000 kg within the farming conditions of our country in a lactation period. The percentage of fat in milk is around 3.5 – 4% (may change subject to feeding). Age at first calving is 30 months.
They easily adapt to the climate and environmental conditions of our country. They are more disease resistant compared to other breeds. Simmentals can be raised in all regions of our country.
They are a cross breed. Simmentals have the characteristic to turn feed into meat very efficiently when they are fattened. They can turn feed into milk very efficiently.
They originate from the region of Montbeliarde, France. Their association is founded in 1889 and received its official name. Monbeliarde bulls are used to cross breed with Red Holstein breed in 1970. It is used for cross breeding with Danish Red breed in 1990. Montbeliarde cows are raised for their milk. There are 700,000 Montbeliarde cows registered in France. They are also raised in Central and Eastern Europe, Italy, Austria, East Africa, Eastern and Southern U.S. Today they are generally used in cross breeding with Holstein breed.
Skin color is bright red and white. It has short horns. It is a calm animal and easily adapts to the environment. It has a strong muscle structure and grows up fast. It is resistant to mastitis. It has a high success rate of artificial insemination. Its milk is usually used in cheese production.
Live weight of males is 900-1200 kg and females 600-700 kg. Height at withers is 145 cm for females. Milk yield is 7300 liters per year. Average percentage of fat in milk is 3.9% and percentage of protein is 3.4%.
Jersey cows are one of the most famous cows in the world in terms of milk quality. They spread to other countries from their homeland of Jersey Island, between England and France. It was first brought to Samsun from the United States in 1958 and Black Sea region was designated as Jersey cattle breeding area. Jersey is a breed of dairy cattle bred for centuries. Breeding Jersey bulls is in demand in many countries.
The color of Jersey cattle varies from light brown to black. The most common color is deer color. A white circle around its nose and protruding eyes are characteristics of this breed.
Jersey cattle are the smallest among dairy cattle breeds. Average live weight of adult cows are approximately 350 kg. Jersey cows turn feed into milk in the most affordable way. They give better milk yield than other dairy breeds in medium quality meadows.
Ease of calving is high and weight at birth is approximately 25 kg. Percentage of fat in milk is very high for Jersey cows. They yield 5,000 liters of milk in lactation period, at a percentage of 5% fat in milk.
Jersey cows are raised in farms as the secondary dairy breed to increase milk fat rate of Holstein cows. Holstein and Jersey cow milk is mixed and sold to dairy farms or new generation of cross bred Holsteins are born through artificial insemination with Jersey bulls to increase fat percentages in milk.
Its color is golden, light brown and cream. Males and females have horns. It is absolutely a meadow animal. Ease of calving and high fertility are at the foreground. It has high adaptability to hot climates. It is resistant to mastitis and foot diseases. Increase in the number of feeder cattle is not very high in Jersey calves and that is the only negative trait. It has strong horns. Jerseys can be fed in all kinds of field conditions. Rate of excrement is 50% lower compared to Holstein breed. Jersey cows can manage with 32% less water and 11% less pasture compared to other breeds. Furthermore, amount of manure is 20-25% less compared to other breeds.
Brown Swiss is a breed originating from Swiss Alps. It is the second largest dairy breed in the world. This breed was cross bred with Pinzgauer breed in 1860 according to a research carried out in 1906-1907. Although the color of Brown Swiss is brown, it appears dull black in light reflections, which indicates cross breeding. Also, grey dorsal stripe goes across its back.
No cattle breed has held championship for consecutive years. In 1996 Brown Swiss was selected as best udder cow.
It has dark brown or grey and brown color. The sides of its mouth is light colored. Male and females have horns. It has large ears and inside of the ear is light colored and very hairy. It has a strong muscle structure. Brown Swiss is resistant to hot and cold weather. It has high adaptability. Females have a live weight of approximately 650 kg. Their milk yield is 9,000 lt/year. Average percentage of fat in milk is 4% and percentage of protein is 3.5%. Its milk is usually used in the production of cheese.
SWEDISH RED (SRB)
It is originated from Sweden. It is a cross bred of domestic breeds with Ayrshire and Shorthorn breeds. It is in Viking Red group. It was registered in the 1920’s and its popularity increased.
It is a dairy breed. Its situation as feeder cattle is quite good compared to other dairy breeds. Its ease of calving is the highest among dairy breeds. It has ideal ease of calving. It is the only red dairy breed that can rival Holstein. Swedish Reds are raised as purebred or for the purpose of cross breeding in many countries today.
It has red color. There are usually white patches under the stomach or on hind legs. It does not have horns. The cows have strong maternal instincts. They are resistant to cold and Mastitis .
Cross breedings recommended for Swiss Red:
Montbeliarde x Swiss Red x Holstein or Swiss Red x Montbeliarde x Holstein
Average live weight is 550 kg for females. Average milk yield is 8.730 kg / per lactation.
Angus (Aberdeen Angus) is a breed extensively used in meat production. It originates from cross breeding of cattle from Aberdeenshire and Angus regions of Scotland, and is known as Aberdeen Angus in many places around the world.
The most significant characteristic of Angus is that it is all black in color. However, Red Angus breed was produced by using red gene found in some lineages, and it was initially registered in 1954. Furthermore, Red Angus breeders were organized as a different breed than Black Angus. Red Angus is considered as a “breed resistant to hot weather” in hot regions.
Angus is one of the several breeds that is naturally polled (do not have horns). Both bulls and cows do not have horns. Furthermore, the ones that are naturally polled are dominant to the ones with horns. They have small heads and wide foreheads. Their frame is long and chest is wide and deep, and their back and stomach are parallel to each other. Their leg bones are short, but has a lot of meat. They are smaller than Hereford cattle. Live weight is approximately 500 kg. for females and 800 kg for males. It is recognized as one of the best in terms of taste of its meat. Also, meat yield is 55% in the meadow and 75% in extensive fattening. Fat is distributed rather homogenously among the fibers (marbling in steak). This increases the taste of meat.
Raised for breeding, female Angus breed primarily provides benefit to the breeder in both management of the farm and reducing operational costs. It is resistant to natural conditions, gets best of the worst pastures and can give birth without needing any help. It protects its calf from external factors and adverse weather conditions when it gives birth. The calves grow without any problem with minimum care at -30 ºC’ in the winter and +30 ºC in the summer.
They do not harm each other because they are naturally polled. Females mature early. It is possible to have calves from breeding cows even in old age as long as they are healthy. Cows show the same performance whether in the first calf or in the fourteenth. Angus breed is preferred more compared to other beef breeds, thanks to these benefits provided to their breeder.
Belgian Blue is bred in a limited number of countries, despite having a high meat yield. Belgian Blue is recognized as a crossbred of Shorthorn breed and Charollais breed, although the records are not complete.
As can be understood from the name of the crossbreeding study, Belgian Blue originates from Belgium. Our country imports Belgian Blue as stocker cattle.
While Belgian Blue was produced through crossbreeding, the producers tried to create a combined cattle that is for both milk and beef. However, its milk yield is quite low and meat yield is extemely high.
Carrying double muscle gene, Belgian Blue cattle have higher meat yield than usual as a result of its enhanced muscle development. A strong muscle structure indicates meat without fat.
Belgian Blue is in black and white, blue and white and all white. Some spots are in blue and black colors. Carrying double muscle gene, Belgian Blue calf has a developed muscle structure. They are small boned.
The Belgian Blue calves develop early. A twelve month old calf may weigh more than a ton.
The Belgian Blue cows have a live weight of approximately 900 – 1000 Kg and the bulls have 1500 – 1600 Kg.
Belgian Blues are docile, in harmony with the environment. Contrary to its appearance, Belçika Blue bull is very docile.
Calving is hard, therefore Belgium Blue is bred in a limited number of countries. Caesarean section may be necessary in giving birth to Belgian Blues.
Hereford is a beff cattle breed. It is named after Hereford Valley in the southwest of England. It spread across the world from this valley after 17th century. This breed is not for milking and milk is left for the calves.
Its head, neck, forehead, under the stomach, foot joints and tail are always white. They have breeds both with horns (British type) and without horns. They have red – brown color.
They are calm and peaceful creatures. They have high adaptability and show resistance to diverse climates. They have a strong muscle structure. They have soft meat low in fat. Their fertility is high.
Live weight of an adult cattle is 500 – 600 kg for females and 800 – 900 kg for males.
They have a high ability to benefit from the feed. Meat yield can go upto 70%.
It has a strong bone, muscle and hoof structure. Its meat is low in fat. It is a cattle breed primarily preferred by the breeders.
Limousin is a beef cattle originated from France. Its homeland is Limousin in the southwest of France. They are docile and in hormany with the environment. Limousin is a muscled beef breed which has a high ability to fatten. Its meat is without fat, non-fibrous and soft. It is small boned. Its meat is low in fat, ensuring a high quality of meat.
It has ease of calving. Its maternal instincts are very high. It is extensively used is crossbreeding. Being horned is a significant characteristic.
Live weight of Limousin cow is approximately 750 kg and Limousin bull is 1200 kg. their color is light or dark red.
It is considered as the TOP-GENETIC breed of Europe.
Charolais cattle are raised in Charolais, France and therefore named after the region. They are recognized as stocker cattle produced for its meat.
Milk yield of Charolais cow is quite low. Charolais is a beef cattle which is not usually kept for breeding in our country. Charolais bulls have a high quality meat.
There are very few number of Charolais cows in our country. It is known that some interested producers produce Charolais cows although low in number. Some producers use seeds of Charolais bulls for their cows even if they are a minority.
The whole trunk of Charolais cattle is dirty white or dark cream color. There are both horned and dehorned cattle in Charolais breed. It is observed that Charolais bulls have a type of body which can gain weight fast. Bulls have a developed muscle structure.
Live weight of adult Charolais cows is approximately 800 kg. Sometimes they can weigh more than 1000 kg. Males weigh approximately 1.000 - 1.100 kg. Some Charolais bulls can weigh 1400 kg.
Charolais cows are not milked. Their milk yield is extremely low. Their fertility is lower compared to other cattle breeds. Their meat yield is 70%. They are rather thought as feeder cattle as Charolais is a beef cattle in yield. The live weight increase of Charolais bulls is around 1.100 gr - 1.300 gr per day.
Water buffalo is known as camız, camış or kömüş in Turkey. Its offspring is called buffalo calf. It is a species belonging to the sub family of Bovidae family. Weighing almost a ton, the height of a water buffalo is around 180 cm and its length is around 300 cm.
They are usually recognized as pets. The number of wild water buffalos has increased dramatically. While the number of water buffalos raised as pets in Turkey were 1,002,000 in 1982, it has decreased to 1 in 2006.
They have names representing their way of live dependent on water in many languages; for example: “Water Buffalo”. Water buffalos cannot decrease their body temperature through perspiration when air temperature goes above 30 °C, because of the fact that their sweat glands are 10% less than that of a cattle. This affects their metabolism. They have to go in water several times a day in order to prevent this adversity and to cool off. Water buffalos cannot breed in very dry regions, if an artificial pond or a shower system is not build.
Water buffalo is as sensitive to cold as it is sensitive to hot weather. It feels cold and starts to shiver if ambient temperature drops below 5 °C and it is exposed to temperatures under 0 °C for extended period of time. Even if they do not die when exposed to low temperature for extended period of time, the tips of their tails will froze and become gangrenous and eventually fall off. More importantly, if there is lack of calorie due to undernourishment in addition to feeling cold, a metabolism disorder may occur and renal and liver failure may develop and they may die.