Decline of fertility and survival of pure Holstein cows has led some dairy producers to turn to crossbreeding to help alleviate these problems. Often fertility and survival have been ignored when crossbreds and purebreds are compared. For seven large commercial dairies in this study, Normande/Holstein, Montbeliarde/Holstein, and Scandinavian Red/Holstein crossbreds had significantly fewer days open than pure Holsteins, and these advantages for crossbreds should have substantial impact on profitability of milk production. The results of this study suggest dairy producers can improve fertility and survival of cows by crossing pure Holstein cows with sires of some other breeds of dairy cattle. The resulting crossbred females will also have fewer days open and higher survival rates during first lactation than pure Holstein cows.

B. J Heins, L. B Hansen, A. J Seykora

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 01.05, 2006
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