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BREEDER’S FORUM
Q
For those considering either a Holstein or a Friesian as a crossbreed,
what do you think are their respective merits?
Richard - I have used the Holstein on the Shorthorns and Ayrshires to improve stature, dairyness and milk yield.
David - When you look at the two breeds, half-way house would be the perfect animal for the commercial milk producer. I
have and I will continue to use the Holstein to improve certain traits in the British Friesian and at the same time keeping black
and white pedigree status. I hope that in future extreme Holsteins can use traits from the British Friesian, which in my eyes
would be a great plus for the Black and White breed.
Tim - The Friesian as an outcross should be considered for those on lower input systems as it is an effi cient grazing animal
which unlike some other crosses will produce a good beef calf and the cull cows are of high value. The Holstein as an outcross
breed will clearly add milk and udder quality, and as it has diversity within the breed it can add a number of other attributes
as desired such as stature (tall or not), locomotion and temperament for example. People will remember their fi rst crosses to
Holsteins as a terrifi c improvement.
Robert - I think that both breeds have their part to play within the UK dairy population. When considering the merits of
both breeds it is important to take into consideration your own herd management objectives. Personally I am a strong
supporter of the Holstein breed. With the largest and most diverse gene pool I personally do not feel the necessity to look
outside the Holstein to source the attributes I am looking for. Be it effi cient production, type, strength, udders, legs and feet
or health traits, I believe the Holstein has ample variation in bloodlines should I require an outcross within my herd. The
Friesian breed has a much smaller gene pool and therefore does not offer the same diversity of bloodlines. In my view one of
the main attributes of the breed is their ease of management in low cost environments. But just like any dairy breed, careful
consideration of each bull’s individual merits is essential.
82 THE JOURNAL OCTOBER 2009
e5-09 Breeders Forum.indd 4 21/09/2009 22:11:17
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