Production, fertility, survival, and body measurements of Montbéliarde-sired crossbreds compared with pure Holsteins during their first 5 lactations

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19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two-breed crossbreds of Montbéliarde and Holstein (MO × HO) as well as 3-breed crossbreds of Montbéliarde and Jersey/Holstein (MO × JH) were compared with pure Holstein (HO) cows for production, somatic cell score (SCS), fertility, survival to subsequent calving, mortality, and body measurements during their first 5 lactations. Cows calved for the first time between 2005 and 2010 and were housed in either a confinement herd or a herd that had access to pasture for 165. d of the year in the north central region of the United States. Body, hoof, and udder measurements of cows were also objectively measured. The MO × HO crossbred cows were not different from pure HO cows for fat-plus-protein production during any lactation. However, the MO × JH crossbred cows had 5% lower fat-plus-protein production compared with pure HO cows in the confinement herd. On the other hand, the MO × JH crossbred cows were not different for fat-plus-protein production in the third to fifth lactation compared with pure HO cows in the seasonal pasture herd. Across the 2 herds, the MO × HO and MO × JH crossbred cows had 21% higher first-service conception rate, 41 fewer days open, and 12% higher pregnancy rate compared with the pure HO cows. Furthermore, the MO × HO (5%) and MO × JH (12%) crossbred cows had lower mortality rates than the pure HO cows (18%). Because of superior fertility and lower mortality rates, the MO × HO and MO × JH crossbred cows, combined, had greater survival to second (+13%), third (+24%), fourth (+25%), and fifth (+17%) lactation compared with pure HO cows. For body measurements, MO × HO were similar to pure HO cows for hip height and heart girth, but MO × HO cows had more body condition and greater body weight (+39. kg) across the first 5 lactations. The MO × JH cows had more body condition but 5. cm shorter hip height and 28. kg less body weight than pure HO cows across the first 5 lactations. Foot angle was steeper and hoof length was shorter for MO × HO cows, but MO × JH cows were similar to pure HO cows for hoof measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2512-2525
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume97
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Crossbreeding
  • Fertility
  • Montbéliarde
  • Survival

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