Jersey × Holstein crossbreds (J×H; n = 76) were compared with pure Holsteins (n = 73) for 305-d milk, fat, and protein production; conception rate; days open; proportion of cows pregnant within fixed intervals postpartum; and body and udder measurements during first lactation. Cows were housed at 2 research locations of the University of Minnesota and calved from September 2003 to May 2005. The J×H were mated to Montbeliarde sires, and Holstein cows were mated to Holstein sires. Best Prediction was used to determine actual production (milk, fat, and protein) for 305-d lactations with adjustment for age at calving, and records less than 305 d were projected to 305 d. The J×H (274 kg) and pure Holsteins (277 kg) were not significantly different for fat production, but J×H had significantly less milk (7,147 vs. 7,705 kg) and protein (223 vs. 238 kg) production than pure Holsteins. The JxH had significantly fewer days open than pure Holsteins (127 vs. 150 d). Also, a significantly greater proportion of JxH were pregnant at 150 and 180 d postpartum than pure Holsteins (75 vs. 59% and 77 vs. 61%, respectively). The J×H had significantly less body weight (60 kg) at calving, but significantly greater body condition (2.80 vs. 2.71). Furthermore, J×H had significantly less udder clearance from the ground to the bottom of the udder than pure Holsteins (47.7 vs. 54.6 cm), and greater distance between front teats (15.8 vs. 14.0 cm) than pure Holsteins during first lactation.
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The authors express appreciation to Agri-Tech Analytics (Visalia, CA) and to Jerry Steuernagel for the use of the BP algorithm for 305-d production. The authors also express gratitude to Bill Hansen and coworkers at SP and Darin Huot and coworkers at MO for their assistance in data collection and care of animals. Funds were provided by the American Jersey Cattle Club Research Foundation (Reynoldsburg, OH) for this project.