Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 430668
Title Suitability of cross-bred cows for organic farms based on cross-breeding effects on production and functional traits
Author(s) Haas, Y. de; Smolders, E.A.A.; Hoorneman, J.N.; Nauta, W.J.; Veerkamp, R.F.
Source Animal 7 (2013)4. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 655 - 665.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731112002042
Department(s) LR - Animal Breeding & Genomics
LR - Animal Behaviour & Welfare
LR - Backoffice
Animal Breeding and Genetics
WIAS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) conventional dairy herds - somatic-cell counts - milk-production - reproductive-performance - genetic-parameters - clinical mastitis - udder health - short-communication - energy-balance - cattle
Abstract Data from 113 Dutch organic farms were analysed to determine the effect of cross-breeding on production and functional traits. In total, data on 33 788 lactations between January 2003 and February 2009 from 15 015 cows were available. Holstein–Friesian pure-bred cows produced most kg of milk in 305 days, but with the lowest percentages of fat and protein of all pure-bred cows in the data set. Cross-breeding Holstein dairy cows with other breeds (Brown Swiss, Dutch Friesian, Groningen White Headed, Jersey, Meuse Rhine Yssel, Montbéliarde or Fleckvieh) decreased milk production, but improved fertility and udder health in most cross-bred animals. In most breeds, heterosis had a significant effect (P <0.05) on milk (kg in 305 days), fat and protein-corrected milk production (kg in 305 days) and calving interval (CI) in the favourable direction (i.e. more milk, shorter CI), but unfavourably for somatic cell count (higher cell count). Recombination was unfavourable for the milk production traits, but favourable for the functional traits (fertility and udder health). Farm characteristics, like soil type or housing system, affected the regression coefficients on breed components significantly. The effect of the Holstein breed on milk yield was twice as large in cubicle housing as in other housing systems. Jerseys had a negative effect on fertility only on farms on sandy soils. Hence, breed effects differ across farming systems in the organic farming and farmers can use such information to dovetail their farming system with the type of cow they use.
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