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Breeds of Cows Directory: "I": Icelandic - Istoben

Information contained here is summarized from many different sources. Please refer to those sources for complete information. Major contributors are Oklahoma State University, Coroba University of Spain, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Domestic Animal Diversity Program of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Google Images and Wikipedia


Icelandic, Also Known By: Icelandic cattle, Íslenska kýrin (Iceland)
The Icelandic cattle are found on the island of Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean. They originated from cattle brought from Norway during the settlement of Iceland in the 10th century. It´s a dual-purpose breed and a very small one, total Icelandic cattle stock counts only 75,000 including 30,000 lactating cows.

The breed is usually polled and especially colourful with about 6 basic colours and more than 100 colours schemes. The most common colours are red or red pied, brindle, brown and black or black pied. Icelandic cows average 430 kg while bulls average 600 kg. The breed is usually polled.

Cows are selected for milking potential with emphasis on protein percentage or yield in the milk. The bulls are selected firstly by their pedigree and secondly on the basis of performance of their daughters (progeny test). In 1997, cows yielded an average of 4,235 kg of milk containing 4,00% fat and 3,33% protein during lactation.[Oklahoma State University]

Illawarra, Also Known By: Illawarra Shorthorn
The word Illawarra is an Australian aboriginal word early settlers used, and is still used today, to describe the land some 50 miles south of Sydney, land locked between the Pacific Ocean and what was once a near impenetrable escarpment which rears abruptly to the west. With few natural harbors it remained unexplored and unused until a big drought in 1815, forced such settlers as Charles Throsby to seek new pastures.

Even though the first land grants were made in 1816, it was not until the 1840s that dairying commenced as an industry, Cattle up till then were mainly raised for beef. Much of the land had cleared by the early settlers with the assistance of convict labor from the nearby penal settlement at Wollongong. All breeds types and colors of cattle had been introduced into the area.

Cattle grants from Government and private herds reached the Illawarra. These included Longhorn Durhams, Shorthorn Durhams, Red Lincolns, Red Ayrshires and Jerseys. However, three members of the Osborne family from Northern Ireland had, since 1829, laid the foundations of a dairy industry, and in doing so, the evolution of the breed we know as (the Australian) Illawarras. They imported the best cattle, promoted the first Agricultural products, and dairy has remained an important Illawarra industry ever since.

The Illawarra breeders were credited with having a flair for stockbreeding and an "eye for a good beast".

The 1860s ushered in a new era about which records and facts became more accurately recorded. Several outstanding bulls had been imported and breeding aimed at evolving a dairy breed of cattle to suit the environment still earnestly pursued.

In 1898 the embargo was lifted allowing a fresh wave of cattle imports. Breeders introduced Jersey, Kerri Dexter, Friesian, Shorthorn and Ayrshire bloodlines and it was from this amalgamation that the Australian Illawarra dairy cattle descended.

One Ayrshire bull, from Victoria, named "The Earl of Beaconsfield" proved outstanding when mated with cattle of the Illawarra. The progeny was magnificent, and amongst the most celebrated was a cow called "Honeycomb". Claimed to be Champion Dairy Cow of the world in the early nineties, she was also invincible in the show ring and winner of all the milk and butterfat awards. This was the cow that inspired the Illawarras, and the breeding programs began revolving around Red and Roan Shorthorns.

In 1910, dairymen met at Kiama to establish another Herd Book, under the title Illawarra Dairy Cattle. In turn the first published Herd Book appeared in 1919.

Milking Shorthorn and Illawarra Dairy Cattle Societies continued to flourish and expand throughout all Australian States. In Queensland the two breed Societies amalgamated to form the Illawarra Dairy Cattle Association of Queensland.

This lead to further interstate amalgamations until, after protracted negotiations over many years, a national body called The Australian Illawarra Shorthorn Society was formed in Brisbane in 1930. For many years they were referred to as the Illawarra Shorthorns, or "the A.I.S. cattle".

Now the term "Illawarras" is commonplace and the Society is called The Illawarra Cattle Society of Australia. The "Shorthorn" was dropped from the name because it caused confusion to some overseas buyers, who associate Shorthorns with dual-purpose animals. Illawarras are an excellent true dairy breed, hence the change of name.

COLOR: An Illawarra animal can be of a rich, whole red, a rich red with a little white on the flanks or body or a full rich roan. Broken colors are objectionable and black and brindle markings are not allowable.

UDDER: The udder should be capacious but not pendulous, and well-attached back and front. The skin should be fine, elastic and of a nice orange tint, covered with short silky hair, and the milk veins pronounced and visible. The teats should be from 65mm-75mm long, placed evenly, brown in color, and underneath the vessel. Thin or bottle teats are objectionable.

OUTLINE: Fairly light in front but increasing in depth and width towards the hindquarters, giving a wedge shape as viewed from front, behind or above the animal. The outline should be sharp and clean without any signs of beefiness in a cow in milk. There should be refinement and quality in the animal.

PRODUCTION AND MILK QUALITY: Illawarra are producers of large quantities of milk. Many cows produce in excess of 40 liters per day and 300 day lactations over 10,000 liters are not uncommon. Because of its moderate fat, high protein milk yield the breed is in an excellent position to take advantage of the growing world demand for protein.

ADAPTABILITY: Australian dairy cows are subjected to a wide range of climatic conditions. Whilst extreme temperatures in dairy farm areas vary from below 0C to over 40C, Illawarra cows thrive on a pasture based feeding system and are not housed at any time of the year. Consequently they have adapted well in countries extending from the Tropics to North America.

CALVING EASE: One of the most outstanding features of Illawarra cows is their ability to calve unattended with assistance rarely ever needed. Contributing factors to this highly desirable characteristic appear to be their superior pelvic formation and individual determination.

LONGEVITY: An Illawarra cow can be expected to calve at 2 years of age, calve regularly every 12 months increasing her yield each year until a mature cow and keep producing into her early teens. Many have produced lifetime totals in excess of 60,000 liters of milk.

PIGMENTATION: Illawarras have strong dark hooves and dark pigmentation of the skin, thus avoiding the problems of skin cancer and sunburnt teats. The latter being one of the contributing factors to the reputation of Illawarras having an excellent temperament.[Oklahoma State University]

Ilocos, Iloilo see Philippine Native
Indo-Brazilian, Also Known By: Indubrasil (Portugese), Induberaba
The Indo-Brazilian is a zebu type breed which was developed in Brazil from 1910-1930. The breed was developed from Gir and Kankrej (Guzerat or Guzera) breeds with some Ongole also used. By 1946 Indo-Brazilian cattle were being imported into the United States and some sources site their contribution to the development of the Brahman.

The breed is white to dark grey in color. The Indo-Brazilian are generally taller and lighter muscled than the Brahman. One of the notable feature of the breed are its extremely large, pendulous ears. It probably has the largest ears of any of the cattle breeds. [Oklahoma State University]

Irish Moiled, Also known by: Irish Polled
This breed is usually red or roan colorsided. It was formerly also found as grey, dun, black and white. The Irish Moiled is developed in northwestern Ireland and is used for both meat and milk production.

Some sources credit establish their ancestory with the cattle brought with the Vikings. in the 8th and 9th century. [Oklahoma State University]

Íslenska kýrin see Icelandic (above)
Israeli Holstein, Also Known By: Israeli Friesian
In Israel’s quest for breeding a high-yielding dairy cow adapted to prevailing climatic conditions, genetic material from the most different sources was brought in, with the aim of upgrading locally available cattle. Sometimes, imported Dutch bulls were owned and operated cooperatively. The concerted effort for genetic improvement on a broader scale began with the onset of artificial insemination in the mid-forties. The impressive number of Holstein-Friesians imported from the American continent during the fifties and the strict observance of nation-wide breeding plans contributed decisively to the creation of the Israeli-Holstein breed.

Modern Dairy cattle improvement in Israel started in the early twenties with the importation of Friesian bulls from the Netherlands and Germany to upgrade the indigenous dairy cows of the Damascene and Baladi breeds. In 1947,ten Holstein bulls were imported from Canada and they and their sons were heavily used through artificial insemination. From 1950 through 1962 Holstein bulls and cows were imported from the United States. Since 1963 nearly all Israeli dairy cows have been mated to bulls bred locally.

The Israeli-Holstein cow was reached with a series of crosses. Israel first took a Damascus cow and bred it with an imported Dutch bull, thus creating an F1 cross(50%). The offspring was bred with a different imported Dutch bull, creating an R2 cross(75%). This R2, when mated with an Israeli-Dutch bull, created an R2 cross(87.5%) which were bred with other Israeli-Dutch bulls producing later generations of the cross with higher percentages. These crosses were then bred with the Holstein-Friesian bulls which resulted in the typical Israeli-Holstein cow.

There are currently about 110,000 dairy cows in Israel, practically all of which are Israeli Holstein breed. This number has been virtually constant for the last 20 years. About 60% of all cows are concentrated in Kibbuts herds (large units in cooperatively owned and managed farms), while the remainder belong to Moshev herds (family farms) [Oklahoma State University]

Israeli Red, Also Known By: Simford
The Israeli Red is a synthetic breed of cattle based on Mediterranean origin (native, Turkish and Abushe) crossed with Brahman and Santa Gertrudis. Over the years an upgrading program of Hereford, Angus and Simmental breeds has been carried out. The main goal in the breeding program was to produce a breed, which is:

1. An aggressive forager, with ability to graze a native pasture existing in the arid zones of the Mediterranean.
2. Disease and parasite resistant mainly resistant to Cattle Tick Fever under hot weather conditions.

Breeding program was started in 1960 and for the past 30 years seedstock herd management has been based on organized record keeping and analysis.

Today, main seedstock herd consists of 5,000 (out of 50,000) selected dams with the following record:

* Average mature weight 500 Kg.
* Average weaning weight 280 Kg. (250 days).
* Performance test for postweaning daily gain bulls from the seedstock herd under Central Test Station indicates an average of 1.5 Kg./day.[Oklahoma State University]

Istoben, Also Known By: Istobenskaya (Russian)
The breed was established in the former Vyatka province (now Kirov region) by crossing the local Great Russian cattle with the Kholmogory, Swiss Brown, Dutch and East Friesian breeds. The development of dairy husbandry in this region was aided by a good feed base (from flood lands in the alluvial plains of the Vyatka and Moloma rivers), the near-by markets for selling dairy products and organized butter-making. The breed was named after the settlement of Istoben where a large creamery was set up; the best herds were concentrated in its vicinity.

The importation of the Kholmogory and Swiss Brown breeds began late in the 19th and early in the 20th century; later the Yaroslavl breed was imported. During 1936-37 there was an infusion of East Friesian blood. Nevertheless, crossing of the local cattle with the above-mentioned breeds was quite limited and had no major effect on the productivity of the local herds. During selection the major emphasis was placed on fat content. In 1935 the National Herdbook of the Istoben cattle was opened. The breed was recognized in 1943.

The animals of this breed have clearly-defined dairy features; their constitution is strong and conformation compact. The head is somewhat coarse with a long face. The chest is deep and long but not wide enough; the ribs are well sprung, flat with a large distance between them. The withers are narrow and medium in height. The back and loin are long enough; the rump is long and fairly wide at the hips but narrow at the pinbones. The legs are frequently wrongly set; cow hocks and knock knees as well as bowed hind legs are occasionally observed. The musculature is poorly developed. Common defects are as follows: narrow chest, sway back, sloping and narrow rump, wrongly set legs. Coat color is mostly black or black-and-white (up to 70%), sometimes (about 25%) red or red-and-white. The udder of most cows is cup-shaped and medium in size.

Istoben cows on the best farm (Kirovsk Lugobolotnaya experiment station 1976) have the following measurements (in cm): withers height 129, chest depth 70, chest width 49, width at hips 51, oblique body length 162, heart girth 190, cannon bone girth 18.5. The live weight of newborn calves is 26-30 kg; that of cows is 430-480 kg and of bulls 720-790 kg.

According to the results of the 1981 evaluation the average annual milk production of pedigree animals (mature cows) was 3107 kg, and the fat content was 3.83%. The best breeding herd of the Kirovsk Lugobolotnaya experiment station produced earlier (in 1976) 4238 kg of milk with 3.96% fat. The best cows in this herd produced during their best 305-day lactation 5990-6286 kg of milk with 4.05-4.15% fat. The 1200 cows at the 50-letiye SSSR breeding state farm in Orichevsk district of Kirov region averaged, in 1983, 4023 kg of milk and 156 kg of butterfat.

Some Istoben cows have reached a record milk yield. The cow Beluga K10-64 during her 6th lactation produced 8127 kg of milk with 4.07% fat; over 12 lactations she produced 53278 kg of milk with 3.90% fat. Fara K10-1315 produced 8366 kg of milk with 4.98% fat.

Istoben cattle have satisfactory beef qualities. The structure of the breed comprises 6 major lines. The valuable features of this breed are its good adaptation to the local ecological conditions and resistance to infectious diseases. Cases of leucosis among Istoben animals are 20 times less than among the Black Pied breed.

The number of Istoben cattle on 1 January 1980 was 10,6000 head. Numbers have decreased because these cattle are not competitive compared with the leading dairy breeds. In accordance with the long-term plan of Istoben cattle breeding in Kirov region a conservation herd was established in Istobenski breeding state farm in Orichev district. The main purpose of this farm is to produce valuable bulls of the tested lines. The major technique is outbreeding; moderate inbreeding may be used within lines followed by line crossing.

To proceed with the breeding of the approved lines of this breed, a bank of deep-frozen semen of the 24 best sires representing the leading lines is being set up. With complete diet feeding the Istoben breed can be rapidly improved by crossing with the related Dutch breed.[Oklahoma State University]


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