Characteristics of the Hereford breed cows


Breeding cattle (cattle) meat direction - quite profitable occupation in animal husbandry, it is less expensive than pig and poultry. For the efficiency of livestock breeding, it is important to know the physiological characteristics and needs of animals.

Hereford cow represents beef cattle

The Hereford breed of cows is a widespread breed of cattle for meat in the world. Rapid acclimatization, high productivity and high-quality meat significantly distinguish the British breed from other cattle. Herefords are bred in farms, on private farms and even in small household estates.


Homeland Hereford breed of cows is the UK, Herefordshire. The first calf new breed of Herefords was bred by breeders in 1846. Due to its simplicity, endurance, rapid growth and quality meat, the breed was popularized throughout the world. In the territory of the former USSR breeding bulls and heifers of the British breed appeared in the 30s of the 20th century.

Hereford breed dates back to the middle of the XIX century.

The Hereford breed of cows is of large build, withers 130–150 cm long, large breasts, up to 50 cm. For little girls, the girth of the chest is up to 195 cm, and for bulls - up to 215 cm. Due to the squat body structure, the Herefords are very hardy, can move long distances in search of a good pasture.

Characteristics of external signs of the breed:

  • muscular body, long, rectangular shape,
  • skin is elastic, thin, with soft, slightly twisted hair,
  • short legs set wide
  • small fat neck
  • chest round, with a pronounced dewlap,
  • red - brown color
  • horns, withers, nose, lips, head, neck, belly, tassel on the tail - white,
  • mammary glands weakly expressed.

Hereford is an early maturing cattle, bringing healthy offspring annually.

  • Nadoy Since the Herefords are beef cattle and are raised to produce marble meat, the heifers are not milked. The milking process is dangerous, as the animal is very fearful and can kick a hoof. The milk productivity of one cow per year is about 1000-1200 kg of milk with 4% fat.
  • Body weight. Calves are born weighing 25 - 35 kg. Calves grow quite quickly and in two months are gaining up to 100 kg. Gobies weigh 350–500 kg at the age of the year. A cow in three years weighs about 600 - 700 kg, and bulls - from 1 ton. The maximum weight of a bull can be no more than one and a half tons. The output at the bottom is 65-70%. The meat obtained from the Hereford "marble" - high quality, delicate, juicy, with thin fatty layers.
  • Fertility. The first time a cow is settled in 2 - 3 years. Calving occurs annually, quite easily, without complications, the calf is born weighing 25 - 35 kg. Cows have a good maternal instinct, milk calves up to eight months old.

Hereford cow easily tolerates annual calving

Features in the content

Herefords quickly acclimatized and undemanding in the diet. Cows and bulls must be kept clean on dry bedding, moisture and drafts are poorly tolerated by animals. Free access to water, separate pens for cows, calves and bulls - the main requirements in the content of herefords.

In feeding the cattle unpretentious. The main diet in the summer is green mass, and in the autumn and winter - hay.

Also, animals are fed legumes, barley, nutritional supplements in the form of calcium, protein and phosphorus for full healthy growth. The obligatory component of the menu of cattle is beets, which helps to maintain the microflora of animals' stomachs and sugar-protein ratio in normal conditions. Vitamins and minerals should be included in the diet of newborn calves.

In the presence of good nutrition, the Herefords tolerate any climatic conditions.

Below is a table of the needs of cattle in feed.

Appearance and description of the breed

The description of this breed allows you to make sure that it is an amazing creature, a true miracle of selection. Cow Features these are:

  • The body is massive and muscular, barrel-shaped.
  • The height of the animal - from 130 cm.
  • Chest girth from 210 cm in bulls and about 190 cm in calves. Depth of chest 72 cm.
  • Boca bulging.
  • Short neck
  • The back is straight and wide.
  • Strong legs of medium length, set wide.
  • The head is strong and powerful, painted white.
  • The horns are directed to the sides and forward, white, the tips are dark.
  • The main body color is red-brown.
  • Red hooves.
  • Thick skin with slightly twisted hair.
  • The mammary glands are weakly expressed.
  • The lips and nose are white, also white in the withers, neck and abdomen, scruff, tassel on the tail.
  • Weight indicators are impressive: in Russia, the weight of a cow is up to 600 kg, the bull is up to 900 kg. In Europe, in the historic homeland of the Hereford breed of cows, the mass is even greater - from 700 kg to 1.5 tons!

The cow may not look the most attractive of the domestic artiodactyls, but has many advantages. The benefits are:

  • Amazing endurance, animals tolerate traveling long distances.
  • Long term life.
  • Unpretentious care, so even a novice will cope with the work.
  • Almost anyone can eat food, not gourmets.
  • Fertile. Even in old age, cows give birth to healthy offspring.
  • By purchasing several Herefords, a farmer can improve the performance of his herd by crossing.
  • Cows easily give birth to offspring due to their large build, and the mortality of newborn calves is very small.
  • Gobies are excellent producers.
  • High resistance to diseases.
  • Good-natured calm temper.

Such a wide list of advantages made the breed one of the most popular in the world.

Breed flaws

There are not many of them, but at the same time, those wishing to purchase such cows need to know about these disadvantages:

  • A very large amount of feed consumed. Herefords eat a lot, need pastures with juicy grass.
  • They are afraid of drafts, so all the cracks in the barn must be conscientiously lawned.

The presented characteristic makes it possible to make sure that the strengths of the Hereford are several times greater than the disadvantages.

Productivity features

The weight of a newborn calf of the Hereford breed of cows is about 30 kg, while bull-calves can reach a weight of 35-36 kg. If animals are given proper care from birth, they will quickly develop and gain weight. Young animals quickly gain weight, with proper nutrition per day it is possible to gain from 800 to more than 1000 grams.

The breed belongs to the meat, so the indicator of milk productivity is very small. But at the same time meat productivity has reached the best performance, a slaughter yield of at least 60%, more often it reaches 70%. At the same time, the Herefords give aromatic and juicy marbled meat, which is valued in modern cooking due to its dietary properties and rich content of useful elements.

The elastic durable skin of animals is also used, shoes, bags, purses, cosmetic bags are made of it. Such products look very stylish and attractive.

Hereford cow breeds

Cows in care unpretentious, but taking care of them is obligatory for those who wish to profit from the sale of juicy meat. Therefore, animals should be settled in clean, dry and spacious barn with no drafts. The animals tolerate a good lowering of the temperature, but the wind from the cracks is capable of knocking down their health.

The premises of the crib should be divided into cow pens and equipped with calf stalls, a delivery room. In the central part establish drinkers and feeders. Access to clean water should be permanent.

Breed is among non-dairy, therefore does not need milking.

The first births of cows - Hereford occur at the age of 2-3 years, then every year the animal brings posterity. In this case, calves are born strong and healthy, their mortality is minimal.

To make the animal feel better, you need to try every day. wipe hereford's skin with a damp cloth. This will help get rid of pollution and prevent the occurrence of depriving.

Feeding organization

Hereford cows eat hay with pleasure, but in order for the animal to get the necessary nutrients, it is necessary to periodically give crushed barley, lightly salted.

An abandoned cow also needs to include in the diet of concentrated feed, vitamin and mineral supplements.

Newborn calves drink mother's milk until they reach 8 months, as well as starting from 3 months, in parallel are driven to pastures, where they feed on succulent herbs.

Important! In order for the calf to quickly gain the required weight, it should be weaned from the udder after gaining more than 200 kg of weight..

Hereford gobies, producers, also need special nutrition: to improve the quality of sperm, feed animals with cereal hay, legumes, do not forget the addition of proteins, calcium, phosphorus.

In winter Cows need hay, while this should be very impressive reserves, because one animal needs at least 14 tons! To the winter diet was not too meager, you should add silage, barley, roughage, bone meal, vitamin and mineral supplements. Beetroot will be very useful for the stomachs of animals, it can be safely added to the “menu”.

The Hereford breed of cows is one of the most popular representatives of the meat industry worldwide. They allow you to get an impressive amount of tasty and beautiful meat that is in high demand, as well as very unpretentious in the care and maintenance.

Description of the Hereford breed of cattle

Hereford cattle of dark red color. Head, dewlap, belly, tassel white. The constitution of the breed Hereford is characterized by large size, characteristic of all representatives of the meat direction. The body of animals is barrel-shaped, squat, with a protruding fenders. The neck is short, legs are strong. The skin is elastic, covered with soft hair.

  • height at withers - 120-130 cm
  • chest depth - 65-30 cm
  • torso length - about 152 cm,
  • chest girth - 195-197 cm.

Characteristics and features of the Hereford breed of cattle

Characteristics of the breed will impress any farmer. Hereford cattle is unpretentious in maintenance and care and is capable of large transitions.

In addition to a large weight, cattle is famous for its high fertility and longevity. The births of cows are easy, and the offspring rarely dies. Animals do not differ aggressive character, so keep them easy.

Herefords quickly adapt to the conditions of a particular locality. You can keep animals outside even in winter. Cattle of this breed is resistant to tuberculosis and infectious diseases.

The problem of the contents of the Hereford breed

The cattle of the Hereford breed is very voracious. During the winter, 15 cows can eat 200 tons of hay. Without the presence of hay equipment such large volumes can not be prepared. To purchase it, you can use regional programs to support livestock. For example: in the Perm region, you can purchase hay equipment under the terms of preferential loans.

Hereford breed of cattle is very afraid of drafts. When they appear, the animals lose their appetite. All the cracks in the barn must be caulked.

Peculiarities of keeping animals

Milk breed Hereford gives little, so animals do not milk. On average, calves on the suction hold up to 8 months. Animals are not tied, they are kept on open paddocks or lightweight barns. The room for cattle must be dry and free from drafts. Along the perimeter should be installed pens for cows with calves, and in the center to place the drinkers with water. Separately, a pen should be provided in which calves will receive additional feeding. At the end of the room it is necessary to arrange a shelter for calving, in which cows will be kept several days before calving and up to a week after giving birth.

In the summer, it is better to keep animals on free pasture grazing. There is no need for specially planted pasture - cattle eat up all the grass, including weeds.

Heating in the winter should not be excessive. Adult bulls and heifers are cold-resistant, and calves, if they feel cold, can bury themselves in hay.

Feeding the Hereford breed cows

Cattle is unpretentious in food, which saves money on its maintenance. Hay is the basis of the diet of animals. As a top dressing they are given salted barley.

In addition to hay, coarse forage, silage and mineral supplements should be included in the diet of cows feeding the offspring, such as bone meal, tricalcium phosphate, etc.

Bulls should receive good quality leguminous or cereal hay, succulent feed and concentrates. In addition to their daily diet should include proteins, calcium and phosphorus.

Up to three months, the main feed of calves is mother's milk. From 15 days, calves can receive hay as a complementary food. To improve the reproductive ability and increase their weight, they are taken away from the mother when recruiting 200 kg of weight.

Breeding and care for cattle

The main purpose of breeding cattle hereford breed - getting high-quality "marble" meat. Most of the time the animals are in the pasture, so they feed well. Slaughter carcass output can reach 70%.

The thickness and elasticity of the skin of the Hereford breed of livestock indicates its high quality. The skin is used to make shoes, bags and wallets.

The ability to reproduce is maintained for life. The quality of the young does not decrease with aging of the uterus.

Hereford breed belongs to small-fruited, calves are born with a body weight of up to 25 kg. Due to the low weight, the cow gives birth without complications and without human help. If the litter room changes regularly in the calving room, the calves barely get sick, their survival rate is 98%.

Cows grow very quickly. At one-year-old age, bulls reach a weight of 320 kg, and heifers up to 270 kg. In one and a half years, these values ​​increase to 400 and 430 kg, respectively. The average daily gain is 1100 grams of weight.

The maximum weight that bulls gain is 1500 kg. When crossed with representatives of other breeds, they convey their meat characteristics well. Sexual maturity in livestock comes at the age of 2 - 2.5 years.

Hereford breed does not require special care. Cows have delicate elastic skin. Livestock must be cleaned daily with a soft brush and water to wash away the dirt, otherwise it will appear deprived.

The breed is not afraid of either extreme heat or cold, it easily tolerates acclimatization. The best results in growing the Hereford cattle were achieved in the Orenburg region. Also, cattle are bred in Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov, Chelyabinsk and Tyumen regions.

Acquisition of Herefords

In Russia, the Hereford breed is the second largest among the breeds of meat type. It is equally divorced in its purebred form and to improve the meat characteristics of cattle, since the meat qualities are inherited.

Due to the unpretentiousness of the maintenance and care and low mortality prices for young animals are low. So the calves that did not come out of the lumbering age will cost 130 rubles per kg. Young animals that have switched to the general nutrition system cost, on average, 300 rubles per 1 kg.

Adult chick, which brought 2 times offspring, costs 500-600 rubles per kg.

You can buy Hereford breed calves from the following farms:

Hereford cows breeding

Initially, the Hereford breed of cattle was divorced as a pig and intended specifically for meat. Almost no attention was paid to the milk production of these animals. Therefore, at present, this breed is valued primarily for its large build and its adaptability to the pastures of any type. Its another undoubted advantage is precociousness and unpretentiousness. In addition to growing for meat, Hereford cows are used as producers while improving the qualities of other breeds. Some of the latter are also very popular in our country. An example is the Kazakh white-headed breed.

The Hereford breed of beef cows is distinguished by a well-muscled front part and large weight. The constitution of these animals can be described as very strong, if not rude. Outwardly, this breed can be recognized by the white head (dominant trait), the stomach, the neck, and sometimes the back, as well as the tassel of the tail and the nasolabial area. In other places, the fur of animals is red-brown. The head and neck of the Hereford cows are short and wide. Their horns are directed forward, to the sides and slightly upwards, painted white and have dark tips. The torso of these animals is long, and the legs are short. Another distinctive feature of the breed are thick skin, strong muscles and underdeveloped mammary glands.

Breed characteristic

In addition to the large weight, the Hereford breed of cows (the photo of which can be seen on this page) is distinguished by its fertility and longevity. The birth of animals is very easy, and the mortality of calves is low. Содержать этих коров очень легко, так как они не отличаются агрессивным или своенравным характером и очень просты в обращении.

На данный момент герефордская порода считается одной из самых распространенных в мире. Популярность ее объясняется прежде всего неприхотливостью, в том числе и в еде. Another remarkable feature of these animals is that they very quickly adapt to the climatic conditions of this particular area. For example, even in the harsh Russian winters, these animals can be kept practically in the open.

Meat quality

Cows of Hereford breed are also appreciated for the very tasty “marble” (with fatty layers) juicy meat. In addition, it differs in thin fiber and nutrition. These qualities are inherited even when crossed with other breeds of cows. Slaughter meat can range from 65 to 70%.

Cost of young

You can buy Hereford breed calves at a price that is not too high. At the beginning of 2015, it is about 100-130 rubles per kg of live weight when purchased in bulk for farms and 130-160 rubles when purchased by one private owner. Since the calves of this breed are raised up to 8 months in the intake, most of the proposals of individuals of this particular age.

Development features

Hereford cows grow very fast. Already at the age of one year, the heifers reach a weight of about 270 kg, the bulls - 320 kg. By one and a half years, this figure rises to 396 and 430 kg, respectively. At birth, the live weight of calves is 31-36 kg. Its average daily increase subsequently ranges from 850 to 1300 grams. The height of adult cows at the withers is 130-140 cm, the bulls - 135-150 cm. The chest girth of the cows is 190-195 cm, and the bulls - 210-215 cm.

Keeping cows with horn calves

Since the Hereford milk breed of cows, whose characteristics are given above, gives very little, animals are not milked. Therefore, calves are kept on the suction for up to 8 months. In this case, the most acceptable technology is considered free-standing content in open-air pad areas and in lightweight premises. The animal shed should be clean, dry and free from drafts. It is necessary to arrange a den for cows with calves, located along the perimeter. In the middle should be set feeders with drinkers. You also need to provide a separate pen for calves in which they will receive additional food. At the very end of the barn they usually arrange a room for calving. These cows lead for 2-3 days before the calf and contain a week after birth. In the summer, animals are transferred to free or pasture walking.

Feeding Cows with Lactating Calfs and Bulls

The diet of mothers feeding calves should contain 45% of roughage, 20% of concentrates, 25% of silage. Bonemeal, defluorinated phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, etc. are used as mineral supplements.

Bulls-producers need to give good quality leguminous and cereal hay, concentrates and succulent feed. On 100 kg of live weight give 1 to. Units, 100 gr. proteins, 5-6 gr. phosphorus, 7 grams. calcium.

Since in the food the cows of the Hereford breed are not too whimsical, the individuals bred for meat can be fed simply with hay, adding barley crushed meat and salt to it.

Feed for nursing calves

The newborn must be allowed to go to the mother to get milk for a maximum of 1-1.5 hours after birth. Until three months of age, it will be its main feed. You can start feeding with hay from 15-20 days. Up to three months give 0.4 to. Units. Up to 6 months - 2-2.3 units., Up to 8 months - 3.5 units. Units. If the calf gains 200 kg of weight by half a year, it can be taken away from the cow. This will help improve reproduction and weight gain.

In the initial period of feeding, in addition to roughage, you can use juicy, in the end - add concentrated.

Where Hereford cows are bred

This wonderful breed is very well suited for breeding in steppe areas with a sharp continental climate. Abroad it is bred in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States, some European countries. In our country, the best results in growing calves of this breed are achieved in the Orenburg region. Cows of this breed in the steppes of Kazakhstan are very common and feel well.

As you can see, the Hereford breed is unpretentious, quickly gaining weight and does not require too much investment. It is very easy to care for these cows, and you can get a lot of calves and meat from them. Taking into account all these factors, breeding Herefords both in private farms and on large farms seems more than appropriate.

Appearance and features

Description of Herefords is inherent to cows from the meat group:

  • Massive, muscular, dense, wide, elongated body with a convex chest,
  • Wool on the body of a red-brown suit,
  • Strong, medium straight, steady legs,
  • Thick skin,
  • A large white head with a powerful, medium neck;
  • White horns are dark at the end,
  • Poor udder,
  • The height at the withers is not more than 130 cm, the girth of the chest is up to 195 cm in calves and up to 215 cm in bulls.

The official description of the herefords testifies to their endurance, excellent adaptation in any climate, and unpretentiousness in food. In areas with a temperate climate, they can be kept year-round in the open air. But in the barn animals will have to protect from drafts, timely eliminating the cracks in the room.

The appearance of the Hereford breed

Strong limbs allow cows to move over long distances and stay on pastures for a long period of time. In the summer, farmers usually move the herd from pasture to pasture in search of food.


The weight of Hereford calves at birth is 36 kg maximum. Bullheads are larger than chicks. Sturdy build allows cows to calve easily. Mortality among newborn babies is minimal. Careful care and high-quality feed contribute to the rapid growth of calves and their precocity.

Herd of Hereford Cows

Adult cows on domestic farms reach a weight of 600 kg, the weight of the Hereford bull is about 850 kg. Their British counterparts have slightly higher rates. Cows grow up to 700 kg, and bulls - 1000-1500 kg.

Hereford cow with calf

The characteristic of this meat breed suggests that the slaughter yield at the Herefords is about 60%. And they give little milk - no more than 200 kg. Hereford cows have marbled meat with a uniform layer of fat, characterized by its special juiciness, calorie content and high nutritional qualities. Meat characteristics are well transmitted at the genetic level. Hereford breed breeders improve other types of cattle.

Hereford Bull

The skin of these animals is very elastic, thick and high-quality. It is often used in the manufacture of shoes for soles, frames and insoles. From it also sew bags, wallets and other leather goods.

Maintenance and care

Since herefords give very little milk, they are usually not milked. All milk goes to calves that stay with their mother for up to 8 months. The animals move freely in the barn or open paddocks, they are not tied.

Hereford cows with calves

Hereford breed must be kept in a dry room without drafts. But it is necessary to monitor the temperature in the barn in the winter. It should not rise much. Adults tolerate frost well. Calves have the opportunity to warm themselves, burying in the hay.

Along the walls are mounted pens for newly-laid cows, in the center are drinking bowls of water. For kids, a pen is also needed where they will receive additional feeding. At the end of the barn there is usually a pen where the delivery will take place. The cows are moved into it several days before the calving and there they are kept for another week.

Herefords on a walk

In the warm season, cows are best kept in open pastures. No need to sow the land on purpose. Cattle eat all grass, including weeds. The main ration of beef cattle is hay, roughage, silage. Salted barley, bone meal and tricalcium phosphate are used as a supplement. Unpretentiousness in food allows you to save on livestock feed.

Hereford bull should be fed with succulent feed, high quality cereal or leguminous hay, concentrates. A daily ration needs to be built from foods rich in phosphorus, calcium and proteins.

Corral for cow walking

Cows of this breed have elastic skin that needs to be cleaned with a soft brush with water daily. Removing pollution - a ritual that prevents the development of lichen.

Calves up to 3 months consume mother's milk, but after a couple of weeks they already give food - hay. In order to improve the reproductive ability and increase body weight, they are subtracted from the mother after a set of 200 kg.

Hereford breed calves

Since this is a meat breed, cows hereford are distinguished by rapid growth. At the age of the year, the heifers weigh already 270 kg, and the bulls - 320 kg. After 0.5 years, the figures increase to 400 and 430 kg, respectively. The average daily gain is about 1.1 kg. Puberty in this species of cattle comes at the age of 2 - 2.5 years.

Reproduction of Herefords

The ability to reproduce in a cow of this breed is maintained throughout life. The quality of young stock remains at the same high level, without decreasing with aging.

Advantages and disadvantages of the breed

Hereford has its merits:

  • High performance,
  • Easy adaptation to any climate and weather conditions,
  • Unpretentiousness in food and content,
  • Rapid weight gain in conditions of free grazing,
  • Excellent health, low calf mortality,
  • High nutritional properties of meat,
  • Calm, flexible temper.

Despite the advantages, the Hereford breed has one drawback, which should be remembered by those who want to have cattle of this species - significant feed costs. In order to get a good meat output to the animal, they provide a complete and varied diet. The ration will have to be built with regard to the potential average daily gain. Nutrients provide a quick set of muscle mass. Therefore, to save on the quantity and quality of food will not work.

Video: Hereforda Conspiracy Theory

Unpretentiousness, productivity and high quality of the meat output make the Herefords the favorites of many farmers. Owners of small and large farms prefer to breed cattle of this breed. It became widespread in the United States, England, New Zealand and Australia.