VikingHolstein in crossbreeding – where smaller size matters!
Cow size is one of the focal points for improving the profitability of your crossbreeding herd. Stature differences among breeds combined can be a challenge with crossbreeding. To achieve a more homogenous herd, have a closer look at VikingHolstein sires that are special in terms of their shorter stature compared to any other Holstein bulls.
Globally, the idea that Holstein cows are becoming too tall for their production environments is not a new topic of discussion. Also in the Nordic countries, some dairy producers find that the size of the Holstein cows is a matter that is getting more and more attention.
“A smaller cow requires less maintenance feed and is therefore likely to be more efficient”, says senior breeding manager for VikingHolstein, Claus Langdahl. He continues and points out that cubicle size is another motivation to work towards a smaller dairy cow.
“There is also a worry for many dairy producers regarding cows outgrowing the cubicles in both barns and milking parlors, which can lead to serious extra costs and even culling in the worst case,” he states.
The shortest Holstein available
The VikingHolstein set itself apart from other Holstein populations of other countries when it comes to its breeding values for stature. An Interbull summary of daughter proven bulls born in 2012 and later showed that VikingHolstein sires have the lowest breeding value for the stature of any Holstein population in the world.
In summary, the VikingHolstein sires had an average breeding value for the stature of 101, whereas the equivalent Holstein bulls born in the USA and Canada had 113 and 116, respectively. This means that the average VikingHolstein cow is approx. 2.5 cm shorter than the average US Holstein cow.
Some will argue that this difference seems insignificant, but with stature being perceived as the single type of trait with the greatest degree of heritability, the effects of using the right type of Holstein over generations should not be underestimated.