Top-12 of the best and highest-yielding breeds of dairy cows

Top-12 of the best and highest-yielding breeds of dairy cows

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The choice of livestock for a farm depends on the direction in which the person is going to work. Dairy cows are purchased if the livestock owner is interested in the production of milk and dairy products, since they hold the record for milk yield. A review of dairy cattle breeds will allow you to determine which cows should be started in your own backyard.

Features of the dairy direction

Dairy cows are distinguished by a calm disposition, graceful forms, and a developed digestive system. Muscles are less pronounced than in meat and meat and dairy breeds. Their main task is to produce large volumes of milk. To do this, they must receive a lot of succulent feed. The animals are unpretentious, they do not need large walking areas, the livestock does not scatter in the pasture.

A typical representative of the dairy industry is a cow, characterized by the highest adaptability to various types of milking machines, comfortable in manual milking, a productive individual.

Fatty sour cream, delicious cottage cheese, butter - this is not a complete list of products that a small herd of dairy cattle and even one cow can constantly provide to the owners.

The milk yield is influenced by:

  • heredity;
  • breed of animal;
  • the age of the cow;
  • quality of food and care.

Milk yield increases from 2 calving, reaches a maximum after 5, then, after 8 calving, begins to gradually decrease. A cow is considered old after 10 calves, some animals remain productive up to 13-15 years.

Important: it should be borne in mind that the quantity of products and their quality directly depend on the nutrition and living conditions of animals.

Dairy breeds include animals with tub-shaped and bowl-shaped udders, which have a minimum of adipose tissue.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

It is from the structure of the udder, the amount of glandular tissue and the quality of blood circulation in it that the volume and fat content of milk given by cows depend.

Best breeds

Dairy and meat-and-dairy cows are kept in private farmsteads. The latter give less milk, but its fat content is higher, and more meat yield at slaughter. The list of the best includes dairy and universal types of cattle.


Dairy cows with British roots. Bred in the 19th century. Heifers weigh 400-450 kilograms, bulls are larger, up to 750 kilograms. Daily milk yield - up to 30-32 liters of milk with a high (5-8%) fat content of the product.

milk quality;

disease resistance, no problems at the hotel;

low feed consumption.

low meat yield at slaughter;

cows cannot stand noise, harsh sounds, they get used to new owners badly.

These compact, abundant red-headed cows with bowl-shaped udders are unpretentious in keeping, easily adapt to heat and cold.


Scottish dairy cows. The animals are hardy, stocky, red-red with white spots. Heifers - up to 500 kilograms, bulls - up to 800. They tolerate frost perfectly, are unpretentious in keeping, and are resistant to diseases. Productivity characteristic:

  • milk yield - 7000-10000 liters of milk per year;
  • fat content of milk - 4-4.8%;
  • meat yield - 50%.

Popular in Finland, Russia. These cows live up to 20 years while maintaining productivity.

adapt to harsh conditions;

with temporary nutritional problems, they do not lose productivity;

unpretentious in content.

do not tolerate heat;


Heifers are covered at 1.5-1.7 years. Cows calve easily, ideal for machine milking. The breed is popular in the Novgorod region, northern regions of Russia.

Black and white cows

Representatives of the domestic breed. Animals with a powerful constitution and black and white skin color. There are 3 subspecies of the breed, depending on the region of maintenance: Ural, Siberian, Central. Heifers weigh 600-650 kilograms, bulls - up to 1 ton. Milk yield - from 3500 to 8000 liters per year.

high milk yield;

easy calving, strong calves;

the ability to choose an animal for a specific climatic zone.

fat content of milk about 4%

do not tolerate dampness and drafts in the barn.

High-yielding black-and-white cows are most common in Russia. Calves are active, robust, with excellent survival rates.


The oldest representatives of the breeds of meat and dairy direction, originally from Switzerland. Stocky animals with a large head. The color is light red with white spots. Heifers weigh 600-650 kilograms, bulls 800-1000 kilograms. When choosing a milk simmental, you should pay attention to the size and shape of the udder. It should be large with prominent veins and smooth, wide-set nipples. Milk yield is about 5000 liters of milk per year.

versatility, bred for milk and meat;

high milk yield throughout life;

disease resistance, unpretentious care

late ripening, cover after 20 months;

average fat content of milk;

bony meat with high taste.

Under poor conditions, the breed is prone to degeneration. With care and milking errors, mastitis occurs.

Yaroslavl breed

Large animals of black color with white spots on the muzzle, around the eyes, on the belly. Cattle of the Yaroslavl breed are bred to produce milk. Milk yield - from 3000 to 5500 liters per year. Milk with excellent taste and fat content of 4-4.3%.

high milk productivity;

strong immunity;

unpretentiousness to feed.

thin legs, prone to fractures;

the possibility of paresis of the forelimbs after calving;

low meat yield after slaughter.

Yaroslavl cows are common in different regions. The animals are easy to acquire. They are adapted to Russian weather conditions.

Kholmogory cows

A large, versatile milk cow producing 4000-6000 liters of milk per year. The color is black with white spots, black and red with white individuals are rarely found. Bred in the 19th century in the Arkhangelsk province. A distinctive feature is the crooked legs of animals. Heifers weigh up to 600 kilograms, bulls weigh 1000-1100 kilograms. They are bred in the Non-Black Earth Region and in the northern regions.

strong immunity;

on a walk, animals huddle together;

unpretentiousness to feed.

incorrect positioning of the legs, the possibility of injury;

poor adaptation to hot climates.

Due to their impressive size, animals need spacious stalls. Special attention should be paid to the legs; hoof joints are often inflamed in knolls.


The oldest dairy breed of cows. From crossing these animals with local breeds, they got Kholmogorki, Yaroslavl and black-and-white breeds. The animals are large, with a proportional constitution, high milk and meat productivity. Annual milk yield is up to 5000 liters. The meat yield is 55-60%. Heifers weigh about 600 kilograms, bulls - up to 900 kilograms. Animals are white with large black spots. A distinctive feature is the white belt along the body in the area of ​​the shoulder blades.

high productivity;

rapid growth and maturation of heifers (14-16 months).

the need for quality content;

tendency to get sick with tuberculosis.

Dutch cows are considered one of the best dairy breeds in the world. Dutch cattle are bred in many countries.

Finnish breed

Dairy productive cows. The number in Finland is 1% of the total number of livestock in the country. Milk yield - 6000-6500 liters per year, milk with a fat content of 4.4%.

high milk yield;

quality indicators of milk.

small number of thoroughbred animals;

high cost of cows;

purebred animals are difficult to find even at home, in Finland.

Brown Latvian

Compact dairy animals make up 90% of the dairy cattle population in Latvia. The skin is of various shades of brown. Modern cows produce 4500-5000 liters of milk per year, with a fat content of 4.4%.

the ability to tolerate heat well;

excellent survival rate of young animals.

The biggest disadvantage of the breed is a congenital predisposition to leukemia. Animals should be carefully selected and purchased from trusted producers.

Tagil subspecies

Meat and dairy cattle breed. Most common in the Urals. Derived from crossing local animals with Kholmogory and Dutch breeds. The weight of heifers is 450-600 kilograms, depending on heredity, bulls are 800-1200 kilograms. Delicious meat, high quality milk.

adaptability to difficult weather conditions;

ease of breaking;

unpretentious content.

low (in comparison with other breeds) milk yield - 4000-4300 liters annually;

difficulty in the hotel due to the narrowness of the pelvis.

The milk yield of cows depends on the nutrition during the growing up period. A cow gives more milk if it is well fed from childhood. Animals are consistently productive up to 15 years.

Red steppe

A breed of cows typical for southern warm regions. Large animals with a uniform red-brown color. Weight of heifers - up to 500 kg, bulls - up to 900. Indicators of productivity - 4000 liters of milk per year. With quality care, it reaches 5000.

easily tolerates heat up to +30 ° С;

resistant to most diseases.

weak limbs, often injured;

the udder may be irregular in shape, in which case the cow is not convenient for milking.

Animals of the red steppe breed are unpretentious, they need walking and active movement so that the livestock does not stagnate.

Holstein subspecies

Large animals of black and white color. Red-and-white cows are rare. Milk yield - up to 8500 liters per year, sharply increases in warm climates. The fat content of milk is 3.7%.

high productivity;

quality meat;

rapid maturation of heifers (by the year).

decrease in milk yield depending on the climate;

animals are shy, suffer from stress.

Milking animals of the Holstein subspecies are bred in the southern and central regions, used to obtain meat and milk.

Comparative analysis of the performance of dairy cows

When choosing animals for your own backyard or farm, you need to pay attention to the shape and condition of the udder, performance indicators, and the appearance of cows.

Breed of dairy cowsThe amount of milk per year in litersFat content of the product
Ayrshirskaya7000-100004-4,8 %
Jersey4000-45006-8%, up to 9%
Finnish6000-65004,40 %
Kholmogorskaya4000-60003,90 %
Dutch50004,10 %
Black motley5000-80003.7% goes up to 4%
Simmental5000About 4%
Brown Latvian4500-50004,40 %
Yaroslavl3000-55004,40 %
Red steppe40003,5-3,8 %
Tagilskaya3500-40004- 4,2 %
Holstein7000-85003,70 %

The Jersey breed took the lead thanks to the high fat content of milk. It is used for the production of cheese and cream. The Finnish breed is difficult to acquire, there are few such cows even in their homeland - in Finland.

What breed is better to choose

When choosing a cow, you should take into account the weather conditions in the region. Pay attention to the condition of the udder, gait, hooves of the animal. You should buy thoroughbred animals from trusted producers who are ready to provide documents for the livestock. Animals must be vaccinated.

Of course, the selection of a thoroughbred productive livestock is a complex and costly business. However, the expenses quickly pay off, animals, with proper care, bring high profits. The profitability of dairy production is one of the highest among various livestock industries.

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