Production of pure Holsteins versus crossbreds of Holstein with Normande, Montbeliarde, and Scandinavian Red

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Pure Holsteins (n = 380) were compared to Normande/Holstein crossbreds (n = 245), Montbeliarde/ Holstein crossbreds (n = 494), and Scandinavian Red/ Holstein crossbreds (n = 328) for 305-d milk, fat, and protein production during first lactation. Scandinavian Red was a mixture of Swedish Red and Norwegian Red. Cows were housed at 7 commercial dairies in California and calved from June 2002 to January 2005. All Holstein sires and all Holstein maternal grandsires were required to have a code assigned by the National Association of Animal Breeders to assure they were sired by artificial insemination bulls. Daughters of Normande, Montbeliarde, and Scandinavian Red sires were artificial insemination bulls via imported semen. Best prediction was used to calculate actual production (milk, fat, and protein) for 305-d lactations. Adjustment was made for age at calving and milking frequency, and records less than 305 d were projected to 305 d. Herd-year-season (4-mo seasons) and the genetic level of each cow's Holstein maternal grandsire were included in the model for statistical analysis. Pure Holsteins had significantly higher milk (9,757 kg) and protein (305 kg) production than all crossbred groups, but pure Holsteins (346 kg) were not significantly different from Scandinavian Red/Holstein (340 kg) crossbreds for fat production. Fat plus protein production was used to gauge the overall productivity of pure Holsteins vs. crossbreds. The Scandinavian Red/Holstein (637 kg) crossbreds were not significantly different from the pure Holstein (651 kg) for fat plus protein production; however, the Normande/Holstein (596 kg) and the Montbeliarde/Holstein crossbreds (627 kg) had significantly lower fat plus protein production than pure Holsteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2799-2804
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Crossbreeding
  • Heterosis
  • Production


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