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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Breeds of Livestock - Sanhe Cattle

Breeds of Livestock - Sanhe Cattle



The Sanhe are milk/meat dual-purpose cattle. They are the product of long-time selection and crossbreeding between native Mongolian cattle and exotic breeds such as the Simmental and Shorthorn. They originated on the grasslands in the northeast of Inner Mongolia.

The noticeable characteristic of Sanhe cattle is the adaptability to the adverse environment where the temperature gets as low as -50 degrees Celsius. During a severe winter a monthly average temperature is below zero degrees Celsius. The grassland is completely covered with snow for about 200 days and the grass-growing season is limited to five months in a year. Cows usually drink ice water during the winter, and are exposed to direct sunlight with an air temperature as high as 35 degrees Celsius during the summer. Sanhe cattle can also stand harsh feeding and resist insect bites.

The Sanhe cow has a height of 130 cm and a live weight of 880 lbs.


Milk Production

The lactation length for Sanhe cows averages about 300 days but varies according to the feeding and management conditions. The average milk production per lactation is about 3000 kg with an average fat percent of 4.1 to 4.5.




Cheng. P. (1984) Livestock breeds of China. Animal Production and Health Paper 46 (E, F, S). Publ. by FAO, Rome, 217 pp.




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Updated June 6, 1996


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