Watussi: Useless monsters of African villages (8 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 0+
11 April 2024

What is the most important quality for cows like those in the photo? Calm character! It’s scary to imagine what an 800-kilogram animal with thick 2.5-meter horns can do!

This is the world record holder - the bull Lurch.

He was included in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest horns. Each of its horns weighed 50 kg.

But you shouldn’t worry: the cows in the photo can only offend a bunch of grass. Meet the Ankole-Watussi - unusual, beautiful and very interesting, but at the same time super unprofitable. These cows are considered one of the lowest productive breeds of cattle.

We may not be the most productive, but we are definitely the most beautiful!

Ankole milk is given at best 4 liters per day, gaining muscle mass takes a long time and is unprofitable, calves are brought in one piece per year. Moreover, they cling to their faces everywhere, horror! So for what purpose do farmers even keep these animals?

The cycle of horns in nature.

It depends on what kind of farmers they are. In Africa, the homeland of the Ankole-Watussi, they are started for a simple reason: this is how it was originally, and now nothing can be changed. The breed (or rather, the breed group) of super-horned cows was created about 4000 years ago by crossing the humpbacked Indian zebu and ancient Egyptian long-legged cows. The resulting hybrids spread widely across the continent. But since each tribe carried out its own more or less independent selection, today the population of ungulates in Africa is distinguished by its heterogeneity and diversity.

Some have wider horns, some narrower, but they all have one thing in common - they are simply huge!

Ankole-Watussi is still maintained by wealthy farmers of the Nkole, Tutsi and some other tribes. Why rich? In continental conditions, it is difficult and energy-consuming to care for even one cow, let alone a herd! So long-legged cows are a symbol of wealth in a number of African societies.

We show off with cool cars and expensive phones. And in Africa they show off in herds!

But in Eurasia and America there are only two reasons to own an Ankole-Watussi - for beauty and to improve the characteristics of local breeds. In the first case, animals live on farms, in petting zoos and other almshouses, where you can admire them for money. Why, many people want to touch these giant horns!

Of course, the horns are hollow inside, but even so they weigh about 30-40 kg.

Horns, by the way, are needed mostly to remove excess heat. A whole network of blood vessels runs inside the horns, which cools and returns to the body. Almost like elephants have ears. Only here the animal can also attack you with these heat sinks!

This is what I understand, cattle!

In the second case, animals are bred as improvers of milk performance and endurance of local breeds. African cows are distinguished by their enviable immunity to parasites, temperature fluctuations, all kinds of infections and the evil eye. And their milk has a high fat content - as much as 10% cream per liter of milk! Quite a lot, considering that the average European breeds produce only 3-4%.

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