A Modernized Approach to Crossbreeding
For several decades, dairy owners in the U.S. have attempted to utilize crossbreeding with their Holstein cows. They have been hoping to harness the effects of heterosis to reduce the mature size of the cow in order to reduce maintenance costs and improve reproductive efficiency, calving ability, fitness and longevity.
The goal of any managed dairy crossbreeding program should be to:
- maximize heterosis by using a three-breed rotation
- utilize breeds that have sufficient genetic options and development to offer a broad selection of elite sires
- build on the strengths of each breed in the rotation and properly select to overcome the breed weaknesses
- produce cows that calve easily, transition into production with no issues, breed back easily and stay productive in the herd for many years, while maintaining a profitable level of milk production and milk solids
- create consistent cows that fit into the operation’s housing and milking systems
Select Sires has supported extensive crossbreeding research. Armed with this data and years of experience, we recommend a modernized approach to crossbreeding, SelectCROSS®.
®SelectCROSS is a registered trademark of Select Sires Inc.