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Tall horses, huge bulls and best cows: BelAgro 2016 exhibition held in Minsk

An amazing agricultural site gathered last week the miracles of Belarusian cattle breeding: tall horses like elks, bulls, huge like bison (I am not telling you a fairy tale) and cows with a perm. Our correspondent Yana Shipko saw all this at the exhibition BelAgro 2016.

Cheers are heard near open-air cages. For young people this is like a petting zoo. For the older generation, this is something resembling an exhibition of economic achievements, which used to be popular in Soviet times. Here children and adults could see animals of unprecedented sizes and breeds. Grandmothers, repeatedly and not without envy, wondered how thick fat of these pigs is.

What is exotic to laymen is already a standard for Belarusian breeders. They learned how to breed these brown-eyed Americans for bacon.

Farmer:
Meat output in her case is up to 80%. That is, we get very little fat, like our modern consumers want.

This Yorkshire pig breed has already been reproduced in several generations. However, it was adapted to Belarusian taste. Fat thickness is also controlled at the gene level here.

Roman Borisik, veterinary operator of a selection and hybrid center:
We are working to increase the fat layer a little bit, because, after all, our people are accustomed to fat.

At the BelAgro 2016 exhibition, a cow beauty contest was organized! The most charming, attractive and thoroughbred were chosen: there were 24 Holstein contenders. It is this very breed that boasts the highest milk yields. They give up to 40-50 liters of milk per day. An ordinary village cow produces 20 liters on average.

Georgy Kolosovsky, livestock breeder:
The cow is named Malyshka, she weighs 608 kg. We selected the animal according to the contest requirements, that is, the type of the udder and exterior.

Tatiana Ananyeva, livestock breeder:
We washed then, brushed and scrubbed. We were preparing for this competition for a long time. Since cows have no tails we have decided to make an artificial and beautiful one for her.

Here everything is like at a real beauty contest: a tail with curls, flirty bows and a catwalk.

The coveted title went to the five-year-old Milashka from the Brest region.

Viktor Tochkar, farm manager:
Oh, this is sheer joy! A joy for all managers, our entire farm. This is big pride!

Here is a strong representative of the breed. A bull is larger than bison is size and weighs a ton. Yurza is a real male beast. Thanks to his genes, the Belarusian population of Holstein cows is increasing. And it is their milk that Belarus can sell abroad for decent money.

Igor Brylo, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus:
We exported four million tons of milk and the task for the next five years is to increase the production by more than two million tons. And, of course, these beauties, who give 13,000-15,000 liters per year, make up our potential.

Belarusian breeders can treat you not only to cow's milk, but also to mare milk. The best such milk is obtained from draft horses.

This handsome dark bay horse finds it hard to stand still even during the interview. A descendant of the East Prussian horses, he is a thoroughbred of Trakehner with Belarusian roots. To tie in with his appearance is the nickname - Senior. Today, the horse helps young riders learn show jumping basics. Senior's offspring may soon compete at the Olympics.

Maria Yunevich, coach of the Republican Centre of Olympic Training for Equestrian Sports and Horse Breeding:
All children are very adequate, with elastic movements. They inherited them from their great-grandfather. Their leaps are technical. The horses are ready for competitions. They are very athletic.

Belarus grows more than 200 breeds of chickens. The friendliest and tamest is Padovana chicken. The bird with a beautiful hairdo is not afraid of people and apparently she no more has a reason for that.

Farmer:
Now people do not take them for meat. They are more interested in their beauty.

The variety of "eared" exhibits at BelAgro stuck imagination too. Here were those rabbits from California and Flemish Giant rabbits, all of very different colors. French lop-eared rabbits are quite popular in Belarus. They come in different colors: blue, kangaroo-like and, of course, white. Their weight may reach 8.5 kg.

Oleg Bogy, owner of a private rabbit farm:
We in Belarus have almost all modern European breeds and their numbers are quite significant.

Tall horses, huge bulls and best cows: BelAgro 2016 exhibition held in Minsk