Crossbreeding benefits calves

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Crossbreeding improves calf health and survival, according to a University of Wisconsin study. The researchers bred Holstein dams to Jersey-Holstein sires. Here are some of the results:

  • Better immunity. The serum protein of crossbred heifer calves was 5.1 grams per deciliter versus slightly less than 4 grams per deciliter for pure Holstein heifer calves.
  • Lower death loss. About 8 percent of crossbred heifer calves died before weaning versus about 11 percent of pure Holstein heifer calves.
  • Less scours. From birth until weaning, crossbred calves had about two fewer days of scours than pure Holsteins calves.


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