The first 2 generations from a 3-breed rotation of the Viking Red (VR), Montbéliarde (MO), and Holstein (HO) breeds were compared with their HO herdmates in high-performance commercial herds in Minnesota. The designed study enrolled pure HO females in 2008 to initiate a comparison of 3-breed rotational crossbreds with their HO herdmates. Sires of cows were proven artificial insemination bulls selected for high genetic merit in each of the 3 breeds. The first-generation cows calved for a first time from 2010 to 2014 and had 376 VR × HO and 358 MO × HO crossbreds to compare with their 640 HO herdmates. The second-generation cows calved for a first time from 2012 to 2014 and had 109 VR × MO/HO and 117 MO × VR/HO crossbreds to compare with their 250 HO herdmates. Collection of data ceased on December 31, 2017, and all cows studied had the opportunity for 45 mo in the herd after first calving. Production of milk, fat, and protein (kg) during lifetimes of cows was estimated from test-day observations with best prediction. The lifetime profit function included revenue and cost. Revenue was from production, calves, and slaughter of cull cows. Costs included feed cost during lactation, lactating overhead cost, dry cow cost (including feed cost during dry periods), replacement cost, health treatment cost, insemination cost, fertility hormone cost, pregnancy diagnosis cost, hoof trimming cost, and carcass disposal cost. For individual cows with herd life longer than 45 mo after first calving, survival of cows was projected beyond 45 mo after first calving to estimate herd life, production, and profitability. The 2-breed crossbreds had +158 d longer herd life and the 3-breed crossbreds had +147 d longer herd life compared with their respective HO herdmates. Also, 12.4% of the 2-breed crossbreds died up to 45 mo after first calving compared with 16.3% of their HO herdmates. Furthermore, approximately 29% of both the 2-breed and 3-breed crossbreds lived beyond 45 mo after first calving compared with approximately 18% of their respective HO herdmates. On a lifetime basis, the 2-breed and 3-breed crossbreds provided +$122 and +$134, respectively, more cull cow revenue compared with their HO herdmates. For lifetime replacement cost, the 2-breed crossbreds did not differ from their HO herdmates; however, the 3-breed crossbreds had −$28 less lifetime replacement cost compared with their HO herdmates because of their younger age at first calving. The combined 2-breed crossbreds had +$0.473 (+13%) more daily profit (ignoring potential differences for feed efficiency) and the combined 3-breed crossbreds had +$0.342 (+9%) more daily profit compared with their respective HO herdmates. This resulted in +$173 more profit/cow annually for the combined 2-breed crossbreds and +$125 more profit/cow annually for the combined 3-breed crossbreds compared with their respective HO herdmates.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors express gratitude to the 7 herds for their participation in this study and for providing data on the cows in their herds. The authors thank Minnesota Select Sires Co-op Inc. for its contribution of mating the individual heifers and cows with AI bulls. The authors also thank M. R. Donnelly (University of Minnesota, St. Paul) for interviewing the herd managers and their veterinarians in order to supply the input costs of cows. Funding for this study was provided by Coopex Montbéliarde (Roulans, France), Viking Genetics (Randers, Denmark), Creative Genetics of California (Oakdale, CA), Select Sires Inc. (Plain City, OH), and Minnesota Select Sires Co-op Inc. (St. Cloud, MN). The authors have not stated any conflicts of interest.
© 2021 American Dairy Science Association
- replacement cost
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article