Healthy Cattle - Healthy Nutrition - Happy Farmer

Riedbow Dairy, Elm Creek, Manitoba – 800 cows milking

As one of the first dairies in North America to use Bavarian Fleckvieh, the Riedstra family has seen the furthest development with the breed. They have used other dairy breeds in three way crosses to determine the strength of that concept relative to ‘absorption’ crossing (keep breeding Fleckvieh). They have found the second cross (F2) Fleckvieh to be even more consistent for type in comparison to the F1 with consistent milk production. At equal days in milk, production volume on Holsteins appears 3 to 5% higher, however, milk components on Fleckvieh (esp. protein) are better. There a good number of cows in 4th lactation now, the farm is in a position of being able to sell heifers and the longevity of the cows has improved significantly. The Riedstra’s are happy to give tours of their operation to see the animals and many farmers throughout Canada and also in the United States have started using Fleckvieh as a result of what they have seen at the farm.  As Riedbow Dairy has also done a major expansion and moved to robotic milking they are pleased with Fleckvieh but also with doing a 3 way cross with Holstein and Scandinavian Breeds and some Jersey.  Maximizing yield per cow becomes much more critical due to the investment cost going to Laval Robots.