Why Holstien Jersey Cross?

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Son of Butch

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Why do Dairy's breed Holstein's to Jerseys?
They are trying to combine the best traits of the 2 most profitable
dairy breeds.

Holsteins are great, but the 4 weaknesses of the modern holstein are
1. conception 2. calf survival 3. longevity 4. feed efficiency
Crossbreeding improves all 4 - Hojo's have higher conception rates
than Holsteins and give more milk than Jerseys.

Dairy farmers have debated for years which are more profitable Holsteins
or Jerseys. In fluid milk markets holsteins win, In cheese markets jerseys are
the winners. Pound for pound jerseys are more efficient, but North American
dairies in general have chosen volume over efficiency.
 
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Hereford2

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I appreciate all of the responses about the question I had concerning the jersey/ Holstien cross.
 
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Hereford2

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I also think it's interesting the different experiences people have with different breeds of cattle. Like the Brown Swiss for instance I read up on them a lot before getting them and raising the calves up on bottles and on my nurse cow, and it seemed like most of the stuff I read was how hard they're supposed to be to start on the bottle and poor doer's ect. But my personal experience has been that it doesn't matter how long they have been on a cow they will take a bottle within 2, days and they're easy to put on a nurse cow, even after being on the bottle for 2 weeks. They're healthier and easier to raise than Holstien or jersey calves. Very laid back and thrifty, fast growing calves that are intelligent, except for 1 or 2 out of 50 but that's to be expected from any breed of cattle. Also my favorite milk cow's are brown Swiss Purebred and Purebred Jersey cow's for milk cow's.
 

farmerjan

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@Hereford2 bless your heart for having the knack with the swiss.
I have 2 dairies that have reg swiss, and they both also have reg holsteins..... and they are very adamant about the swiss difficulties in comparison. Both show and we laugh about the different cows attitudes, stubbornness, etc. Both do real good with raising their swiss calves but the problems getting them on bottles once they have nursed the cow is legendary. It is an actual syndrome the swiss assoc has had discussions about. Yes, they are laid back.
I find jerseys very easy to raise as long as a person quits trying to stuff too much milk down their throats in the beginning. I have next to no trouble getting them up and going and will take them 100 to 1 over swiss. Holsteins all depend on what dairy I get them off.... if the "bugs" on that dairy are compatible to the ones on my farm. The swiss calves here get discounted more than the jerseys when they get up in size. One reason they are not liked on feed lots is because they get too big to hang properly when "finished"......I have had buyers tell me that point blank. And that they tend to not grade good.
 

farmerjan

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The reason that holsteins were preferred for the volume was because for quite awhile that was where the fluid milk market was.... and the milk plants were not paying enough extra for the components in this area. Butterfat/protein and solids not fat are only worth more if the milk is shipped to go into cheese plants and such.... as @Son of Butch said. Around here our market is fluid milk sales, so they want volume.
Jerseys are getting to where they are having more breeding problems and they are getting bred to be bigger and then you get into other problems. My holstein dairies have very good conception rates overall.... and I have several dairies that longevity is VERY IMPOTANT.... mostly in the reg purebreds. The problem with that is that there are fewer dairies now, the ones left are getting bigger, and replacement heifers are getting cheaper. Used to be a small dairy had a good "side income" from selling a couple of good replacements a year, because they didn't want to milk more than "X" number of cows. Sexed semen made it easier to have plenty of replacements, and the smaller dairies are going out and there is less market for the replacements.
 
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Hereford2

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I haven't ever lost a Jersey or a Holstien calf, I start out feeding any bottle calves I get less than the 2 quarts twice a day for a while, it causes a lot less problems. I have bought jersey bull calves from dairy farms , just to keep them from getting knocked in the head, I have a soft spot for any calf, and I have bought 3 calves that I knew were going to die, because they were in to bad of shape, but I didn't want the guy's kids to have to watch the calves die, that they had gotten from people who didn't take care of their calves. (They were beef and a beef cross calf) one hadn't ever had clostrum and it was hauled a long way, the other 2 were also hauled a long way and they were to weak to stand, but they were probably month old calves starved down to skin and bones. One dairy where I bought a Jersey bull calf from the guy wouldn't give me the calf, because ( as he put it) I'd rather knock them in the head then give them away. But he would sell them all day long for $50 a head. I would have bought more, (even though I can't make money on them). But I was already buying a cow from the guy, and I only had $50 extra on me, and it was a hour and a half each way.
 

Muddy

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Black hided dairy bull calves bringing more money than spotted or jersey calves from what I've seen in several local sale barns. Some of these hojo calves went to the ranches as a grafted calf.
 

Warren Allison

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Used to be a lot of dairies around me growing up in the 60s. They all bred their heifers to jerseys, and the cows to Holsteins. Late 70's some of them took to breeding the heifers to Angus, mostly the younger dairymen. I remember some of the old-timers saying that the cows didn't make as much milk bred to a beef bull. Which was nonsense, of course.
 

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