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A century ago, it was difficult to imagine farms without these noble animals, and although today equipment has replaced horse forces, they are still necessary in various branches of human activity. One of the hardiest, and at the same time beautiful breeds of horses are considered Percherons - the pride of Normandy. Before starting to breed such animals, they are familiar with the requirements for the conditions of detention.
The history of the origin of the Percheron breed
To date, there are two hypotheses for the origin of the Percheron breed:
- Judging by one, the ancestors of the noble animal were wild horses, which lived in the south of France several thousand years ago.
- According to other hippologists, the breed is not ancient, but the first horses were bred in the 19th century by crossing elite Arabian horses and Norman heavy trucks.
Regardless of the version of the origin, today the Percheron is one of the most hardy, powerful and at the same time beautiful horses, black and gray with apples, which have gained popularity in a short time.
Description of the breed's inherent features
Like any other breed, the Percheron has its own unique characteristics that make it easy to distinguish it from other horses.
Productive qualities of a horse
Description of the productive qualities of the Percheron breed:
- Dry constitution.
- A smooth ride at any gait.
- Easy and free movement.
- The ability to adapt to any climate.
- Unpretentiousness to feed and high immunity to diseases.
- The ability to be in the pastures for almost a whole year, enduring cold and heat.
- Harmony of addition.
At first, horses of this breed were used for agricultural work, but over time they became in demand for crews carrying passengers.
In order to easily distinguish the Percheron horse breed from other varieties, pay attention to the characteristics of the appearance:
- According to the standard, the height at the withers should not be less than 1.6 meters.
- The girth of the chest is within 1.8-2 meters.
- The muscular body, neck and chest are massive.
- The color is black or gray, sometimes there are horses of a red or roan color.
- The beautiful and expressive head looks small in comparison with the massive body.
- Convex and broad forehead.
- Flat nose and wide nostrils.
- Slightly raised withers with a thick mane.
- Well set, strong and short back.
- Slightly forked, straight, long and powerful croup.
- Strong and muscular legs.
- The tail is low and fluffy.
- The life span of a horse is on average 25 years.
Great patience, calm and kind disposition characterize the horses of the Percheron breed. However, with external calmness, animals have a sharp mind and lightning-fast reaction, they are mobile and active.
Sensitive and understanding Percherons are easy to train and train, while the horses are friendly towards humans. Despite the seeming heaviness, they have a soft ride. Compliant disposition and unpretentiousness to the conditions of keeping are the qualities for which the Percheron breed is still valued by horse breeders.
Advantages and disadvantages of the breed
According to breeders who have been breeding Percherons for many years, animals have many advantages and are practically devoid of disadvantages.
The pluses of the breed include:
- The endurance and good working qualities of the horses.
- Unpretentiousness to living conditions and a variety of feed.
- Climate tolerance with hot or cold weather.
- Congenital immunity to common diseases.
- The ability to use in any area due to its versatility and quick learning.
The disadvantages of the Percheron breed include only the high cost of animals.
Conditions of detention
Percheron horses do not make high demands on the conditions of keeping. Due to their endurance, the horses remain on pastures all season, animals are driven into stables only in very bad weather or in severe frosts. Since the development of the breed has continued over the years, thanks to the infusion of new blood, horses have a strong immunity to infectious diseases.
The most important thing horses need is a dry, warm and clean environment. The list of required care procedures is as follows:
- Thorough care of the mane - comb out regularly using a brush made from natural materials.
- Periodic examination by a veterinarian for early detection of signs of disease and timely vaccination of animals.
- When the weather is hot outside, horses are bathed more often. This procedure helps to improve the well-being of the animals.
- Regular cleaning of horses' nostrils and ears.
- It is recommended to use a contrast shower after hard work.
- Hooves are cleaned with a special hook and brush.
- At least once every 7 days, the oral cavity of the animal is examined for early detection of inflammatory processes.
Percherons nutritional requirements:
- First of all, they purchase feed only from trusted manufacturers. Dust and mold are unacceptable in forage.
- Make sure that there is always a lot of fodder in the feeder, which has a positive effect on the functioning of the intestines of the animals.
- Feeding is done often and in small quantities.
- Containers for food and drinkers are kept clean so as not to provoke outbreaks of infections.
- Only clean and fresh water is suitable for drinking Percherons, dirty horses do not drink, this causes dehydration of the body and can lead to death.
- It is impossible to drastically change the diet, otherwise the animals develop colic.
- The daily diet of Percherons contains hay, oil cake and flour.
Private farms rarely breed Percherons. This is done only at stud farms where there are the necessary conditions for this. As a rule, pregnancy in females passes without complications, easily. Babies are born healthy and strong. As with all draft horses, foals are considered adults only at the age of 2 years.
The care of young animals includes daily walks, a balanced diet and preventive examinations by a veterinarian. It is important to provide the animals with maximum movement so that the horses grow muscular and strong.
Frequent diseases and how to deal with them
Due to their strong immunity, horses of the Percheron breed rarely get sick. Sometimes there are disturbances in the work of the digestive system due to an improperly composed diet.
Also, if you neglect skin and hair care, they face the development of skin diseases.
Scope of use
The scope of the Percherons is wide due to the versatility of animals. In the old days, horses carried knights dressed in heavy armor, during the Second World War they dragged artillery pieces. Today, Norman horses are used for agricultural work, as circus performers and at hippodromes, for training in horseback riding.
The description of the breed will not be complete without entertaining facts about animals:
- The first breeding producers were brought from France to Russia in 1891.
- The horse breeding center is located in the French province of Perche, at the Le Ara du Pins factory.
- The largest representative of the Percheron breed is considered to be a horse named Doctor Le Ger. The weight of the animal was 1.37 tons, and its height was 2.13 meters.
- Until 1996, the tails of the Percherons were docked so that they would not get entangled in the harness. This caused discomfort and inconvenience to animals, since horses could not drive away biting insects. Today this procedure is prohibited.
The high cost of Percheron stallions is the only disadvantage of these horses. The price ranges from $ 2,000 to $ 10,000. This parameter varies depending on the pedigree of the foal.