Crossbreeding was initiated in two institutional herds of the University of Minnesota in 2000. Montbeliarde (MO)-sired progeny of pure Holstein (HO) and Jersey × HO crossbred (JH) cows along with pure HO cows calved for the first time from 2005 to 2010 in both herds.Montbeliarde (MO)-sired crossbred cows (n = 57) were compared with pure Holstein (HO) cows (n = 40) for dry matter intake (DMI), production, hip height, body condition score (BCS), and body weight (BW) during the first 150 d of first lactation. Also, production for 305 d was compared for first lactation. This subset of cows from the larger crossbreeding study were housed at the University of Minnesota St. Paul dairy and calved from 2005 to 2007. The MO-sired crossbred cows were composed of MO × HO cows (n = 33) and MO × Jersey/HO cows (n = 24). Cows were individually fed a total mixed ration twice daily. The DMI was measured for the first 150 d of lactation, except DMI was not recorded from d 1 to 3 postpartum to permit cows to acclimate to stalls in a confinement barn. Hip height was measured once between 20 and 172 d postpartum, and BCS and BW were recorded every other week. The MO-sired crossbred cows did not differ from the pure HO cows for 150-d DMI, 150-d fat plus protein production, or for 305-d fat plus protein production. Hip height was similar for MO × HO and pure HO cows, but MO × Jersey/HO cows had shorter hip height than the pure HO cows. Despite the lack of difference for DMI, the MO-sired crossbred cows had significantly greater BCS (3.30 vs. 2.74) and BW (551 kg vs. 528 kg) than the pure HO cows. The MO-sired crossbred cows (122 d) had fewer days open than the pure HO cows (150 d). The higher BCS of the MO-sired crossbred cows, especially during early lactation, may have provided an advantage for fertility. Differences for DMI between breed groups were not studied for the latter half of first lactation or for multiparous cows.Subsequently, Montbeliarde (MO)-sired crossbred cows (n = 150) were compared with pure Holstein (HO) cows (n = 163) for production, somatic cell score (SCS), fertility, survival to subsequent calving, mortality, and body measurements during their first five lactations. The MO-sired crossbreds cows consisted of MO × HO cows (n = 59) and MO × (Jersey/HO) cows (n = 91) and were housed in either a high-input, confinement herd (St. Paul) or a low-input, grazing herd (Morris). Body, hoof, and udder measurements of cows were objectively measured. The MO × HO crossbred cows were not different for fat plus protein production during any lactation and had significantly lower SCS during second lactation compared with the pure HO cows. However, the MO × (Jersey/HO) crossbred cows had 5% lower fat plus protein production with similar SCS compared with pure HO cows at St. Paul. On the other hand, the MO × (Jersey/HO) crossbred cows were not different for fat plus protein production and had lower SCS in third to fifth lactation compared with pure HO cows at Morris. Across herds, the MO-sired crossbred cows had 41 fewer days open and 12% higher pregnancy rate compared with the pure HO cows. Furthermore, the MO-sired crossbred cows (8%) had lower mortality rates than the pure HO cows (18%). Because of superior fertility and lower mortality rates, the MO-sired crossbred cows had greater survival to second (+13%), third (+24%), fourth (+25%), and fifth (+17%) calving in comparison to 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 than pure HO cows during first (+39 kg), second (+80 kg), and third to fifth (+39 kg) lactations. The MO × (Jersey/HO) had more body condition but shorter hip height than pure HO cows, and this resulted in less body weight across the first five lactations. The additional body condition of MO-sired crossbred cows may likely provide an advantage for fertility. Foot angle was steeper and hoof length was shorter for MO × HO cows, but MO × (Jersey/HO) cows were similar to pure HO cows for hoof measurements. The MO-sired crossbred cows had 3.6 cm less udder clearance and 2.6 cm greater front teat width than pure HO cows.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. May 2013. Major: Animal science. Advisor: Leslie B. Hansen. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 75 pages.
Hazel, Amy Renae.
Montbeliarde-sired crossbreds compared with pure Holsteins for feed intake, production, fertility, survival, and body measurements.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.