Healthy Cattle - Healthy Nutrition - Happy Farmer

Cross Breeding

Information – Questions and Answers

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What Does Bavarian Fleckvieh Offer?

  • Flat and persistent lactations
  • Improved fertility and breeding intervals at or below 13 months
  • Strong feet and legs
  • Added muscularity improves value of market animals and improves metabolic health
  • Increased protein in milk
  • Can be used in continuous mating (absorption cross to breed toward purity)
  • Adds strength in Criss cross breeding, three way or four way cross
  • Healthy udders; low somatic cell count
  • Moderate frame size – middle of the road – avoiding the extremes
  • A large genetic base with a low inbreeding coefficient of 1.8% and 17 foundation sire lines
  • High reliability sires with consistent and uniform high quality progeny

Solutions With Crossbreeding

  • Crossbreeding in all facets of livestock production is used to maximize the value of heterosis
  • First cross mating in crossbreeding captures 100% of heterosis (hybrid vigor) effect
  • A subsequent system of breeding back and forth will stabilize hetorosis at roughly 66%
  • A three way cross maintains the heterosis effect at 87.5%; this system is the most common recommendation in today’s crossbreeding dairy programs – Dr. Les Hansen – University of Minnesota

Why Keep Breeding With Bavarian Fleckvieh

  • Genetic depth of the Fleckvieh population allows for continued mating as many generations of breeding can be done without going back to original bloodlines
  • Fleckvieh as a population has had multi-trait selection for many years.  Albeit milk production is of greatest importance  – breeders of Fleckvieh have not lost sight of the fact that one cannot and should not select only for this trait.  Thanks to this effort by breeders, Fleckvieh can be and has been successfully used for 15 years on herds that were Holstein to begin with
  • Fleckvieh as a population also has further outcross parentage from Red Holstein and Montbelliarde adding to genetic depth and helping maintain some continued heterosis effect
  • Second and subsequent matings with Fleckvieh create tremendous cow uniformity; Although some of the heterosis is lost – Fleckvieh is a breed that can stand alone – again, genetic depth is the key

Suggestions – Ideas for Mating

Scenario 1

You have a dairy herd that is productive – cows are sharper for type – need improvement in feet and legs

  • Focus on using sires that add strength and muscularity and are rounder/muscular for type
  • F1 crosses will be fit cows with good feet and legs and better longevity and can be bred back with a more dairy type sire
  • You will not loose milk as the originating cows need strength

Scenario 2

Your dairy herd is represented by mostly middle of the road type cows with some sharpness – overall you are disappointed in udder quality and udder health

  • Focus on using a Fleckvieh sire with a good udder quality score that is an all around sire
  • F 1 crosses remain as middle of the road type with improvements in udder quality

What about triple AAA classifications?

The concept of AAA is very similar to how cows are mated in Germany – focus on weaknesses and use sire with opposing character to create a better cow.  To date some of the sires for Fleckvieh are classified under AAA.  We would be happy to look at cow scores and give suggestions on mating.

Archived articles on Fleckvieh

  • Riebow Dairy - Manitoba-Canada 75% Fleckvieh 25% Holstein - 1st lactation 28kg 4.1% F; 3.2% P - 125 DIM
  • Holstein * Fleckvieh - Sired by Hippp Exhibited by Cabin Hill Dairy - Boesl Family ME 23341 lbs; Fat - 905 Protein - 740
  • 50% Fleckvieh 50% Holstein 9931kg / 3.64,3.41
  • 50% Fleckvieh 50% Holstein 8671 kg / 3.71,3.33
  • Paula 87.5% Fleckvieh Lifetime > 100'000kg