Current state and prospects of breeding of the askaniya population of the gray Ukrainian cattle breed
Preservation of aboriginal breeds and populations of domestic animals is one of the main tasks set before the world community by the Convention on Biological Diversity. With the intensification of Ukrainian livestock breeding with the use of commercial imported breeds, there is a threat of loss of domestic unique gene pools that carry original sets of alleles responsible for high adaptability and resistance to environmental factors in combination with high productivity and reproduction. The article assesses the current state of the Askania gray Ukrainian breed population and the dynamics of its development based on the results of an expedition survey. Indicators of productivity and reproduction based on the results of the last valuation, dynamics of indicators of productivity and reproduction during 11 years for the period 2010-2020, genealogical structure and structure according to the degree of kinship were studied. The progressive development of the Askani population of the gray Ukrainian breed is determined, which is characterized by a probable increase in live weight, the intensity of growth of young, an increase in the intensity of reproduction and the efficiency of fertility with a decrease in the variability of indicators.
The level of adaptability of the herd is high, which allows the animals to sustainably maintain the achieved phenotypic level, responding to the pressure of the external environment with insignificant annual deviations from the average herd. The high record indicators of live weight and growth of young animals revealed during the research put the Askani population of the gray Ukrainian breed at the level of world commercial meat breeds, such as Limousin, Hereford, Aberdeen Angus, light Aquitaine.
The Askani population of the gray Ukrainian breed represents a highly valuable gene pool, promising for breeding in extreme climatic conditions, which must be distributed in different regions of Ukraine, increasing the number and area of breeding.
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