Type

Journal Article

Authors

D P Berry
R D Evans
B Horan
E L Coffey

Subjects

Veterinary

Topics
fixed effects seasonal calving milk production dairy cow random effects milk yield holstein friesian fertility performance

Milk production and fertility performance of Holstein, Friesian, and Jersey purebred cows and their respective crosses in seasonal-calving commercial farms. (2015)

Abstract There is renewed interest in dairy cow crossbreeding in Ireland as a means to further augment productivity and profitability. The objective of the present study was to compare milk production and fertility performance for Holstein, Friesian, and Jersey purebred cows, and their respective crosses in 40 Irish spring-calving commercial dairy herds from the years 2008 to 2012. Data on 24,279 lactations from 11,808 cows were available. The relationship between breed proportion, as well as heterosis and recombination coefficients with performance, was quantified within a mixed model framework that also contained the fixed effects of parity; cow and contemporary group of herd-year-season of calving were both included as random effects in the mixed model. Breed proportion was associated with all milk production parameters investigated. Milk yield was greatest for Holstein (5,217 kg), intermediate for Friesian (4,591 kg), and least for Jersey (4,230 kg), whereas milk constituents (i.e., fat and protein concentration) were greatest for Jersey (9.38%), intermediate for Friesian (7.91%), and least for Holstein (7.75%). Yield of milk solids in crossbred cows exceeded their respective parental average performance; greatest milk solids yield (i.e., fat kg + protein kg) was observed in the Holstein × Jersey first-cross, yielding 25 kg more than the mid-parent mean. There was no consistent breed effect on the reproductive traits investigated. Relative to the mid-parent mean, Holstein × Jersey cows calved younger as heifers and had a shorter calving interval. Friesian × Jersey first-cross cows also had a shorter calving interval relative to their mid-parent mean. Results were consistent with findings from smaller-scale controlled experiments. Breed complementarity and heterosis attainable from crossbreeding resulted in superior animal performance and, consequently, greater expected profitability in crossbred cows compared with their respective purebreds.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> PubMed

Full list of authors on original publication

D P Berry, R D Evans, B Horan, E L Coffey

Experts in our system

1
D P Berry
Teagasc
Total Publications: 243
 
2
R. D. Evans
Teagasc
Total Publications: 44
 
3
B Horan
Teagasc
Total Publications: 38
 
4
E L Coffey
Teagasc
Total Publications: 3