Siberian Cows Compete in Bovine Beauty Pageant

Beauty pageants are often criticized for their overwhelming focus on physical appearance.

But for creatures that have always been judged solely for their milk and beef, a beauty pageant must feel like a breath of fresh winter air.

Cows and bulls from across Russia’s republic of Sakha (formerly Yakutia) had the unique opportunity to be judged by their appearances in the region’s second annual bovine beauty pageant.

The online pageant was organized by a folk crafts center in the village of Tyolyoy which is well-known regionally for its dairy cows, the regional SakhaDay news website reported Friday.

Traditional Russian costumes topped by bright makeup were the most popular among the contestants, though some — like a white-hatted cow allegedly imitating Audrey Hepburn —   also found inspiration in classic Hollywood films. One entry even featured a cow and a bull dressed up as a bride and groom.

Ootoy and Tootoy, a pair of twin bulls, stole the judges’ hearts with their photo in sailor’s jackets and caps.

“This open competition was a hit among the republic’s residents,” village head Igor Nikolaev told SakhaDay. “It just so happened that the Chinese lunar calendar symbols of the coming year, twin bulls Ootoy and Tootoy from the Tootoy village, were chosen as the winners.”

It was not specified whether their newly acquired title would be accompanied by a reward.

While the choice of a pageant winner is often subjective, the twin bulls’ victory is a good sign for the upcoming Year of the Ox.

Siberian Cows Wear Woolly Bras to Stay Warm

As winter temperatures drop below minus 45 degrees Celsius in Russia’s coldest village, even the local cows need all the help they can get to stay warm — including putting a bra on their udders.

Nikolay Atlasov, a farmer from the village of Oymyakon in the republic of Sakha, makes woolly bras for his herd of five cows to protect the tender skin on their udders from the brutal cold. The bras are made from old sheepskin coats or hare fur, The Siberian Times reported.

Video shows Atlasov dressing the cows in their triangular bras as they go outside for a drink from the watering hole.

“They are our breadwinners,” Atlasov, an Oymyakon native in his 70s, told The Siberian Times. “They spend winters in a shed, but every day they go outside even if the air temperature is minus 60 C.”

The garments are said to save up to two liters of milk per cow.

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