Istoben Cattle

The Istoben cattle are a dual-purpose breed of cattle which are raised for both milk and meat production. They were named after the settlement of Istoben where a large creamery was established.

They were established in the Kirov region (former Vyatka province) by crossing the local Great Russian cattle with the Brown Swiss, Kholmogory, Dutch and East Friesian cattle breeds.

The development of dairy husbandry in this region was aided by a good feed base, the near-by markets for selling dairy products and organized butter-making.

In the late 19th and in the early 20th century, the importation of the Brown Swiss and Kholmogory breeds began. And the Yaroslavl breed was imported later.

There was an infusion of East Friesian blood during 1936-1937. Nevertheless, crossing of the local cattle with the breeds mentioned above was quite limited and had no major effect on the productivity of the local herds.

Major emphasis was placed on fat content during the selection. The Istoben cattle breed was recognized in 1943. Read more information about the breed below.

Istoben Cattle Characteristics

The Istoben cattle are medium sized animals. Their coat color is mostly black or black and white (up to 70 percent), and sometimes red or red and white (about 25 percent). Their head is somewhat coarse with a long face.

They have deep and long chest but not wide enough. Their ribs are well sprung, flat with a large distance between them. Their back and loin are long enough, and the withers are narrow and medium in height.

Rump of the Istoben cattle is long and fairly wide at the hips but narrow at the pinbones. Udder of most cows is cup-shaped and medium in size. Both bulls and cows usually have horns.

Average live body weight of the mature cows vary from 430 to 480 kg. And the mature bulls on average weight between 720 and 790 kg. Info from


Istoben cattle are dual-purpose animals. They are used for both milk and meat production. The cows are good milkers.

Special Notes

The Istoben cattle are strong and compact in conformation. The cows have clearly-defined dairy features. According to the results of the 1981 evaluation, average milk production of the Istoben cows was 3107 kg, with a fat content of about 3.83 percent.

But some good cows can produce even more milk. The breed is also good for meat production with satisfactory beef qualities. Review full breed profile of the Istoben cattle in the following chart.

Breed NameIstoben
Other Namenone
Breed PurposeMilk, meat
Special NotesGood milkers, good for beef
Breed SizeMedium
Bulls720-790 kg
CowsAbout 430-480 kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Coat ColorBlack or black and white, and red or red and white
Milk YieldGood

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