Crossbreed questions (NormandeXHolstein, etc)

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by JeffNY, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    I find it very interesting what some people are doing, crossing holsteins with Normande, and others. They get a cow, that does not have the troubles a pure-bred holstein has, they got excellent milk production, and calving ease. I have seen in Hoards some examples, for example. A Norwegian RedXHolstein had a SCC of 45-55,000. That is exceptional. Here are my questions.


    Are those crosses valuable at all? Do people buy them, do they bring some decent money if crossed with something decent?

    Do they classify them like they do with Holsteins, Jerseys, Brown Swiss, etc etc?

    Anyone have any experience with them? I know some swear by them, and Normande's seem to be fairly trouble free, from what I read.


    Now the reason I am curious, I am considering breeding a couple of my holsteins to a Normande, or Norwegian Red. If in fact they do perform, or atleast are as healthy as I read. It could prove to be an interesting cow (pending I get lucky, and a heifer is born).

    Now aside from milking, is there any spots in shows? For example, some fairs have "commercial" as a category. These are non-registered beef cattle. I am curious if anyone knows, is there a "cross bred" category? I find it interesting, comparing those NormandeXHolstein's udders to a regular ol' holstein, I see absolutely no difference.


    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I was talking a a vet the other day who at one time had over an hundred pure blood Normande's. He had the French and American lines. It seems that other than hybrid vigor the main reasons for the Normande/??? crosses were for better beef calves and better grass efficiency.

    The French line of cows are huge; 1800 pounds or larger, with some up to 2100 pounds. The French only feed their cows grass and have high milk production, quality beef, and high butter fat. Normande Butter!!! :)

    The American line is smaller of frame but still store their fat on their back so they don't need much in the way of shelter and harsh winters don't put them off much.

    There are beef strains and dairy strains of the American Normande.

    The vet said he would be happy to AI my old Jerseys to his one of his bulls but that he would have to pull he calves. As with many European breeds, the calfs are monsters.
     

  3. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We bought Norwegian Red semen five or six years ago. Settled four Jersey cows and had two heifers and two bull calves born. Still have two straws of semen left, I believe.

    Ilse and Slicker were the only 1/2 and 1/2s we had. They did wonderfully, but we just shipped them both at only four years old. Ilse got the toxic mastitis (nothing to fight with because of their almost nonexistent SCC) lost two quarters. We milked her back two functioning quarters and she was on her third lactation this year. She would give around 5o pounds at her peak out of those two quarters. She had a high protein and butterfat test. Comparable to our Jerseys. She got mastitis in her heavier quarter and so she was down to one quarter, we didn't have the space and we needed the money.
    Slicker on the the other hand had a test comaprable to Holsteins...lots of milk, not much test. She also was giving around 100 pounds at her peak this second lactation. We sold her because she was still open and we had dried her up. We needed the money and with their huge sizes (1253 for Ilse and 1135 for Slicker) they were great for selling.

    We also kept a 1/2 and 1/2 bull that was born. We lost his dam to the toxic mastitis (lost eight before figuring out what to treat them with and when). She was from a fantastic line and a far as dad knew she was the last of her line. Turns out she had a daughter in the herd afterall (doesn't look like the family at all). El Tigre settled half of our herd starting at 8 months old (love the size we get on them). He gave us 12 daughters (including a set of twin heifers). Those daughters started joining the herd last June and they are absolutely beautiful! They are averaging 40 pounds as first fresheners (though most are pushing 50 pounds), with exetremely low SCC. Amistad has had an SCC of 1,000 the last two tests. She is contributing zero percent to the tank count. The 3/4 Jersey, 1/4 N.R. almost always make up the lower levels on SCC counts each test! Their tests are high (that dam had high tests, one reasonw e wanted to keep her son), and they look fabulous build wise (another trait from that dam). We have only had two classified so far (most of the rest will be done this May) and they classified at 76 and 78 (the twins). We have 7 of El Tigre's daughters and Slicker's daughter in the milking herd. Ilse's daughter is due to calve on the 18th.
    We are very thrilled with how well they turned out.

    We have been breeding back towards Jersey and the AJCA has been very cooperative in my endeavours with registering and identifying.
    Our two cows were J1s, their two daughters are OAs.
    The 3/4 Jersey, 1/4 N.R.s are identified as J1s (because the AJCA prefers going by sire's and not dams). Their three daughters born so far are OAs. If Siv has a daughter she will be a PR. since she is an OA etc.
    We raised another bull, Jason (out of Ilse and Jace 7J535) for clean up purposes this past year. Just shipped him at 15 months, as well mannered as the day we turned him out. He has hopefully settled the older crosses we weren't catching with AI. They will be turning three this year. Any heifers out of him settling the 3/4 Jersey, 1/4 N.R. will be identified as URs but their genetic info will be there and their offspring will be J1s. Not too thrilled about that because they have traceable Jerseys on both sides and wil be 3/4 Jersey, 1/4 N.R., but I don't make the rules. Now with our purebred Jerseys he settled, the daughters will be OAs.
    His first calf arrives in June to Juness (El Tigre's youngest daughter).

    As far as showing, I wish. That was where dad first saw the Norwegian Red, Jersey cross and that is why he bought N.R. semen. Our purebreds were very weak and he wanted some strength. The N.R. offered strength, lower SCC, were great for grazing, crossbred vigor adn he really liekd the looks of the cows being shown. She was allowed to show them because she was in 4-H. I am not allowed, as of yet, to show them in the Open classes. There are so few dairy animals being shown at our local fair (only one farm that has brown swiss) that they aren't really interested in making a crossbred class available.
    I would love to be able to show our crosses, but for now I will focus on getting them back to Jersey status (all of the lines that have crossed out will have NR in their names so we will know.

    If you are interested in numbers, I will be updating the cow information on our website and it has the numbers for production.

    Won't be til later though.

    You do realize you opened a can of worms with me, right? :p :haha:
     
  4. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Crossbreeding really is a pandora box to the dairyman. It is darn near impossible to find purebred Beef cattle at any auction, yet considered almost freakish to see a dairy mix around here. This is beginning to change though. Most people cross Holsteins with Jersey or Brown Swiss, both make good cows with all the formentioned traits. ( personally I don;t know why you would use swiss, sorry Jeff) Generally these crossbred heifers sell for less and bulls bring more. The Boys if sold young are easily confused with beefers. Adding the exotics from Europe definately adds a pickle to it. Norwegian, Scandinavian, and Danish reds are basically a composite breed that is now fairly pure. These countries do an excellent job selecting animals on health and performance and have governmental regs up the wazoo . All mastitis treatments,shots ect are done by a vet and recorded for evalution. Normandes will definately spice up the milking herd with the patterns and attitudes. Currently Minnesota has a class for purebred Normandes with a push for one at Madison. I highly doubt that it would happen as most show people are purist and hey a bit of snobbery, except for shorthorns who are basically all crossed up anyway. At the county fairs there are classes for grade and shown by the sires breed. This is where the crosses show up. In fact the champion Jersey at our little fair was actually a Jersey Ayrshire cross. She deserved the win and really upset the oldtimers. Just be careful when you cross as you never know for sure what you'll get or what to mate them back to. Remember when all the exotic beef breeds flooded into the US??
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    I asked the vet today, when he came to treat the 4 Jerseys for Calf Pnuemonia (friggen damp weather sucks!), but they are doing much better (caught them super early). Well I asked him as well, and he said the same thing as you evermoor, what do you breed them back to? There is another option, you only breed 2, hope you get a heifer, and see how the animals do as a "trial". I might do it for kicks and giggles, to see how they turn out.


    Roseanna,


    From what I understand, they are trying to increase the Jersey herd by breeding the holstein out of holsteins, and go for 5th generation genetics. I find that interesting, use a common breed (holstein) to increase the Jerseys herd size. We have a herefordXJersey cross, and she has a unique trait. She has that hardyness beef trait. Another one we have, who is a 3rd generation hereford (mother was the cross mentioned, father was a hereford). She has the temperment of a Jersey, she is snotty. I know all Jerseys aren't, but she has a snotty side to her. Thing is, her first calf died upon birthing. We let her dry off, simply let her bag fill, and her system does the rest. I find it interesting how beef cattle can do that, and do not loose capacity, do not get sick. Their udders aren't WARM when touched (abnormal). She has a udder smaller than a Jersey, but it has the same general shape, strong cleft, and a smooth udder. Her teats aren't straight, but she produces more milk than what her calf needs. He doesn't bump her, because she makes soo much. But I find it interesting, the Jersey shows up in her frame (she has more beef frame than Jersey), and other little things. If I were to get a homstead cow, I would chase down a hereford/Jersey cross (or a baldy), because that one beef trait, is nice. Mastitis? What's that? They don't seem to get it.


    I always wondered, could they somehow breed an animal that would have that one beef trait, sickness (rare). Any calves we have, don't get sick. They get wet, they don't get sick, they are very hardy. Either way, Xbreeding is interesting.


    Jeff