THE HOLSTEIN BREED - A SERIES OF CHARACTERISTICS

The increasing distribution of Holsteins in all agro-economic zones is the most noteworthy event of the century in the field of cattle production. 

The reasons for this worldwide distribution are clear as can be seen below.

       Holsteins have the highest milk productions in the world.  They have an unequalled genetically anchored achievement ability which has no biological ceiling. Genetic improvements of 1 to 2 percent per year are totally realistic.

       They constitute a guarantee for milk production that yields a profit. Not only do they have the highest milk production, compared to other breeds, but they also the lowest feeding cost, which therefore results in a better milk price. Owing to their physical capacity they are able to ingest nutrients not fit for human consumption and convert them into milk with the help of enzymes. They represent the type that can mobilize energy reserves for milk production when shortages occur during times of high lactation requirements.

       They adapt to all management and utilization systems. They can be stabled, but are equally suitable for grazing. They can be kept on grassland or in mixed farming systems with bi-annual grazing, or be stabled throughout the year. Neither does it matter whether they are kept in high-lying or low-lying area. Not only are Holstein suitable for low-cost farming systems, they are also eminently suitable as dairy industry cows in intensive farming, which requires the stabling of cows.

       They have a unique genetic ability to adapt themselves to widely divergent agro-ecological areas.  The extent to which they have spread as a breed in contrast with other breeds, is ample proof of ability.

       However, Holsteins, compared to natural breeds, are not as resistant to heat and diseases when in difficult agro-ecological areas. Their reaction to such conditions is a reduced production capacity. Experience has taught that they exhibit divergent adaptation abilities, which should therefore receive attention from a technical point of view when breeding. In the case of cross-breeding with natural breeds the calves show a higher heat tolerance and higher production figures are achieved than in the case of cross-breeding with other cultural breeds. These are all reasons that support the argument that Holsteins will continue to survive both in the near and distant future. Their technical development in respect of breeding is a continuous process which enables them to again. During the process, possibilities for further improvements by means of new bio-technological procedures and methods can be created and their application in practice achieved in a short time. According to all prognoses the world population will continue increasing, which means that the need for foodstuffs obtained from animals will also increase: naturally milk, which is an indispensable nutrient for mankind, plays an important role.

       Holsteins produce vigorous calves distinguished by rapid growth, early maturity and easy care. If they are managed well, they exhibit no fertility problems.

       The animals appear to be problem-free and require little care. They are good-natured, are easy to handle and can be stabled without any problems. They are also resistant to stress, exhibit a herd mentality and are not solitary animals.

       Holsteins are more than just a dairy breed. The animal also contribute to the meat supply worldwide, have a high growth percentage in the fattening sector and produce meat with a fine fiber. In industries aimed exclusively at milk production, they are cross-bred with beef breeds for a better quality veal.

 
       

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