Montbéliarde (MO) × Holstein (HO) and Viking Red (VR) × HO crossbred cows were compared with pure HO cows in 8 large, high-performance dairy herds. All cows were either 2-breed crossbred or pure HO cows that calved for the first time from December 2010 to April 2014. Best Prediction was used to calculate 305-d milk, fat, and protein production, as well as somatic cell score, and 513 MO × HO, 540 VR × HO, and 978 HO cows were analyzed for production in first lactation. Calving difficulty was scored from 1 (no assistance) to 5 (extreme difficulty). The analysis of calving traits included 493 MO × HO, 504 VR × HO, and 971 HO cows at first calving. Age at first calving was similar for breed groups, and the herds calved both crossbred (23.8 mo) and HO (23.9 mo) cows at young ages. The MO × HO crossbred cows had +3% higher production of 305-d fat plus protein production (actual basis, not mature equivalent) than the HO cows, and the VR × HO were similar to the HO cows for fat plus protein production. Breed groups did not differ for SCS during first lactation. The VR-sired 3-breed crossbred calves (from MO × HO dams) were similar to pure HO calves for calving difficulty; however, MO-sired male calves born to VR × HO dams had a mean score that was +0.5 points higher for calving difficulty than pure HO male calves. The 3-breed crossbred calves from both MO × HO (4%) and VR × HO (5%) first-lactation dams had a much lower stillbirth rate compared with pure HO calves (9%) from first-lactation dams.
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© 2017 American Dairy Science Association
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- Viking Red