Alvaro Garcia

Crossbreeding remains an important production approach in several species of farm animals. The productive/economic advantages of crossbreeding have been known for a long time, and they include improved health, growth, fertility, and production.

Dairy cattle has not been the exception with crossbreeding showing improvements in fertility, health, calving ease, and longevity. There is no doubt these traits can provide economic advantages, particularly in times where returns to the dairy business are challenged.

In spite of these obvious advantages there are farmers that still prefer working with the more traditional pure-breed system. There are limited studies to date that have explored the effects of crossbreeding on animal performance and its impact on farm profitability. To consider this approach both parental breeds should have production traits that can be transferred to the offspring, and rival those of the original individual breeds. Swedish Holstein (SH) and Swedish Red (SR) are considered at a similar economic, and even complementary level, since SH provides higher income from milk yield, and SR have better health and other functional traits.

Advantages of using crossbreed cows

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