Dairy Science Department
BS in Dairy Science
The objective of the literature review was to determine whether or not crossbreeding is a profitable and a viable option for the dairymen of today by reviewing the literature and experiments that have been conducted throughout the world by today’s dairy professionals and leaders. The Dairy market today is increasingly competitive and more and more dairymen are considering crossbreeding to decrease health costs and increase profitability. Price premiums from cheese plants are given to milk producers for high components like protein and fat. In recent studies done by universities and research facilities around the world, results have found promising numbers from different kind of crossbred dairy breeds. In this literature review different studies were compared from the universities of Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Penn State, Kentucky, and a research facility in Canada (Weigel, 2006). Each study reviewed included different types of two-way and three-way crosses made up of different breeds from the United States and Europe. The table results presented are from separate studies done by specialists in the field of genetics and include comparisons between crosses and purebred Holsteins for productions, net profit, calf mortality, calving ease, body condition scoring, etc. The research and results done by various experts in the dairy industry revealed milk yield does not drop off as much as expected but is never superior to Holsteins. (Cassel et. al., 2009). In various studies, both two way and three way crossbreeding programs revealed decreased health costs and maintained production. In conclusion, research done on crossbreeding experiments is still in its early stages, yet is proving again and again as a viable option to improve overall production, reproductive efficiency, and increase profitability.