Degree Name

BS in Dairy Science


Dairy Science Department


Bruce Golden


In this study, data from six Holstein dairies in California and four Jersey dairies were examined. Dairies were compared on 3.5% energy corrected milk, feed intakes, feed efficiency, feed costs per milking cow, and feed costs per hundred weight. Both Holstein and Jersey dairies had information taken from the months of September and May to observe the effects of weather on production and feed intakes, and so credible data could be determined for the year of 2012. For milk production the six Holstein herds produced an average of 70.925 lbs of energy corrected milk, while the four Jersey herds produced an average of 73.688 lbs of energy corrected milk. For feed intakes the six Holstein herds consumed an average of 52.417 lbs per milking cow, while the four Jersey herds consumed an average of 45.094 lbs of feed per milking cow for the year 2012. For feed efficiency, the Holstein dairies had 1.353 lbs of milk produced per pound of dry matter (DM) consumed. For the Jersey breed, the dairies reported an average feed efficiency of 1.635. Feed costs for the dairies were also observed. Feed costs per day per milking cow on the six Holstein dairies resulted in $7.66 compared to $7.45 for the four Jersey dairies. Another feed cost that was determined was the cost per hundred weight of milk. The Holstein dairies had a $10.85 average on feed cost per hundred weight, while the Jersey dairies had a $10.12 average on feed cost per hundred weight. As well as the information from the dairies, I constructed spread sheets to compare different prices of milk income for different cooperatives. Premiums were observed and milk quality bonuses were plugged into spread sheets for different cooperatives in California to see which ones were more beneficial to ship milk to. Information from this study was very hard to draw conclusions with, because of different factors that go into how cooperatives pay dairymen. With this information, I will determine if there is a sound advantage between milking a Jersey herd or a Holstein herd on a commercial size dairy in California.