For other uses, see Holstein (disambiguation). Holstein Friesian Cattle Holstein cow Other names Holstein Cattle Country of origin Netherlands, Germany, Denmark Distribution Worldwide Use Dairy and meat (ground beef and roast beef) Traits Coat Black and white patched coat (occasionally red and white). Notes Originally a dual-purpose breed, used for both dairy and beef. Cattle Bos primigenius Holstein Friesians (often shortened to Holsteins in North America, while the term Friesians is often used in the UK) are a breed of dairy cattle originating from the Dutch provinces of North Holland and Friesland, and Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany and Jutland.
They are known as the world's highest-production dairy animals. The Dutch and German breeders bred and oversaw the development of the breed with the goal of obtaining animals that could best use grass, the area's most abundant resource. Over the centuries, the result was a high-producing, black-and-white dairy cow. With the growth of the New World, markets began to develop for milk in North America and South America, and dairy breeders turned to the Netherlands for their livestock.
After about 8,800 Friesians (black pied Germans) had been imported, disease problems in Europe led to the cessation of exports to markets abroad. In Europe, the breed is used for milk in the north, and meat in the south. Since 1945, European national development has led to cattle breeding and dairy products becoming increasingly regionalized. More than 80% of dairy production is north of a line joining Bordeaux and Venice, which also has more than 60% of the total cattle.
This change led to the need for specialized animals for dairy (and beef) production. Until this time, milk and beef had been produced from dual-purpose animals. The breeds, national derivatives of the Dutch Friesian, had become very different animals from those developed by breeders in the United States, who used Holsteins only for dairy production. Breeders imported specialized dairy Holsteins from the United States to cross with the European black and whites.
For this reason, in modern usage, "Holstein" is used to describe North or South American stock and its use in Europe, particularly in the North. "Friesian" denotes animals of a traditional European ancestry, bred for both dairy and beef use. Crosses between the two are described by the term "Holstein-Friesian". Breed characteristics Holsteins have distinctive markings, usually black and white or red and white in colour.
On rare occasions some have both black and red colouring with white. Red factor causes this unique colouring. 'Blue' is also a known colour. This colour is produced by white hairs mixed with the black hairs giving the cow a blueish tint. This colouring is also known as 'blue roan' in some farm circles. They are famed for their large dairy production, averaging 22530 pounds of milk per year. Of this milk 858 pounds (3.
7%) is butterfat and 719 pounds (3.1%) is protein. A healthy calf weighs 40 to 50 kg (75-110 pounds) or more at birth. A mature Holstein cow typically weighs 680-770 kg (1500-1700 pounds), and stands 145-165 cm (58-65 inches) tall at the shoulder. Holstein heifers should be bred by 11 to 14 months of age, when they weigh 317-340 kg (700-750 pounds) or 55% of adult weight. Generally, breeders plan for Holstein heifers to calve for the first time between 21 and 24 months of age and 80% of adult bodyweight.
The gestation period is about nine and a half months. History Near 100 BC, a displaced group of people from Hesse migrated with their cattle to the shores of the North Sea near the Frisii tribe, occupying the island of Batavia, between the Rhine, Maas, and Waal. Historical records suggest these cattle were black, and the Friesian cattle at this time were "pure white and light coloured". Crossbreeding may have led to the foundation of the present Holstein-Friesian breed, as the cattle of these two tribes from then are described identically in historical records.
The portion of the country bordering on the North Sea, called Frisia, was situated within the provinces of North Holland, Friesland and Groningen, and in Germany to the River Ems. The people were known for their care and breeding of cattle. The Frisii, preferring pastoral pursuits to warfare, paid a tax of ox hides and ox horns to the Roman government, whereas the Batavii furnished soldiers and officers to the Roman army; these fought successfully in the various Roman wars.
The Frisii bred the same strain of cattle unadulterated for 2000 years, except from accidental circumstances. In 1282, floods produced the Zuiderzee, separating the cattle breeders of the modern day Frisians into two groups. The western group occupied West Friesland, now part of North Holland; the eastern occupied the present provinces of Friesland and Groningen, also in the Netherlands. The rich polder land in the Netherlands is unsurpassed for the production of grass, cattle, and dairy products.
Between the 13th and 16th centuries, the production of butter and cheese was enormous. Historic records describe heavy beef cattle, weighing from 2600 to 3000 pounds each. The breeders had the goal of producing as much milk and beef as possible from the same animal. The selection, breeding and feeding have been carried out with huge success. Inbreeding was not tolerated, and (distinct) families never arose, although differences in soil in different localities produced different sizes and variations.
 United Kingdom Up to the 18th century, the British Isles imported Dutch cattle, using them as the basis of several breeds in England and Scotland. The eminent Prof. Low recorded, "the Dutch breed was especially established in the district of Holderness, on the north side of the Humber; northward through the plains of Yorkshire. The finest dairy cattle in England...", of Holderness in 1840 still retained the distinct traces of their Dutch origin.
Further north in the Tees area, farmers imported continental cattle from the Netherlands, Holstein or other countries on the Elbe. Low wrote, "Of the precise extent of these early importations we are imperfectly informed, but that they exercised a great influence on the native stock appears from this circumstance, that the breed formed by the mixture became familiarly known as the Dutch or Holstein breed".
Holstein-Friesians were found throughout the rich lowlands of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the western provinces of Germany. The breed did not become established in Great Britain at the time, nor was it used in the islands of Jersey or of Guernsey, which bred their own special cattle named after the islands. Their laws prohibited using imports from the continent for breeding purposes. After World War II, breeders on the islands needed to restore their breeds, which had been severely reduced during the war, and imported almost 200 animals.
Canadian breeders sent a gift of three yearling bulls to help establish the breed. The pure Holstein Breed Society was started in 1946 in Great Britain, following the British Friesian Cattle Society. The breed was developed slowly up to the 1970s, after which there was an explosion in its popularity, and additional animals were imported. More recently, the two societies merged in 1999 to establish Holstein UK.
 Numbers Records on 1 April 2005 from Nomenclature for Units of Territorial Statistics level 1 show Holstein influence appearing in 61% of all 3.47 million dairy cattle in the UK: Holstein-Friesian (Friesian with more than 12.5% and less than 87.5% of Holstein blood): 1,765,000 (51%) Friesian (more than 87.5% Friesian blood): 1,079,000 (31%) Holstein (more than 87.5% of Holstein blood): 254,000 (7%) Holstein-Friesian cross (any of the above crossed with other breeds): 101,000 (3%) Other dairy breeds: 278,000 (7%) The above statistics are for all dairy animals possessing passports at the time of the survey, i.
e. including young stock. DEFRA lists just over 2 million adult dairy cattle in the UK. Definition Holstein in this instance, and indeed in all modern discussion, refers to animals traced from North American bloodlines, while Friesian refers to indigenous European black and white cattle. Criteria for inclusion in the Supplementary Register (i.e. not purebred) of the Holstein UK herd book are: CLASS A is for a typical representative of the Holstein or Friesian breed, as to type, size and constitution, with no obvious signs of crossbreeding, or be proved from its breeding records to contain between 50% and 74.
9% Holstein genes or Friesian genes. If the breeding records show that one parent is of a breed other than Holstein-Friesian, Holstein, or Friesian, then such parent must be a purebred animal fully registered in a herd book of a dairy breed society recognised by the Society. CLASS B is for a calf by a bull registered or dual registered in the Herd Book or in the Supplementary Register and out of a foundation cow or heifer registered in Class A or B of the Supplementary Register and containing between 75% and 87.
4% Holstein genes or Friesian genes. For inclusion in the Pure (Holstein or Friesian) herd book, a heifer or bull calf from a cow or heifer in Class B of the Supplementary Register and by a bull registered or dual registered in the Herd Book or the Supplementary Register, and containing 87.5% or more Holstein genes or Friesian genes will be eligible to have its entry registered in the Herd Book. Production A Holstein heifer The breed currently averages 7655 litres/year throughout 3.
2 lactations, with pedigree animals averaging 8125 litres/year over an average of 3.43 lactations. By adding, lifetime production therefore stands at around 26,000 litres. United States History American breeders began to become interested in Holstein-Friesian cattle around the 1830s. Black and white cattle were introduced into the US from 1621 to 1664. The eastern part of New Amsterdam (present day New York) was the Dutch colony of New Netherland, where many Dutch farmers settled along the Hudson and Mohawk River valleys.
They probably brought cattle with them from their native land and crossed them with cattle purchased in the colony. For many years afterwards, the cattle here were called Dutch cattle and were renowned for their milking qualities. The first recorded imports were more than 100 years later, consisting of six cows and two bulls. These were sent in 1795 by the Holland Land Company, which then owned large tracts in New York, to their agent, Mr.
John Lincklaen of Cazenovia. A settler described them thus, "the cows were of the size of oxen, their colors clear black and white in large patches; very handsome". In 1810, a bull and two cows were imported by the Hon. William Jarvis for his farm at Wethersfield, Vermont. About the year 1825, another importation was made by Herman Le Roy, a part of which was sent into the Genesee River valley. The rest were kept near New York City.
Still later, an importation was made into Delaware. No records were kept of the descendants of these cattle. Their blood was mingled and lost in that of the native cattle. The first permanent introduction of this breed was due to the perseverance of Hon. Winthrop W. Chenery, of Belmont, Massachusetts. The animals of his first two importations, and their offspring, were destroyed by the government in Massachusetts because of a contagious disease.
He made a third importation in 1861. This was followed in 1867 by an importation for the Hon. Gerrit S. Miller, of Peterboro, New York, made by his brother, Dudley Miller, who had been attending the noted agricultural school at Eldena (Königlich Preußische Staats- und landwirthschaftliche Akademie zu Greifswald und Eldena; the latter today a locality of the former), Prussia, where this breed was highly regarded.
These two importations, by Hon. William A. Russell, of Lawrence, Mass., and three animals from East Friesland, imported by Gen. William S. Tilton of the National Military Asylum, Togus, Maine, formed the nucleus of the Holstein Herd Book. After about 8,800 Holsteins had been imported, a cattle disease broke out in Europe and importation ceased. In the late 19th century, there was enough interest among Friesian breeders to form associations to record pedigrees and maintain herd books.
These associations merged in 1885, to found the Holstein-Friesian Association of America. In 1994, the name was changed to Holstein Association USA, Inc. Presidential cow President William Howard Taft's cow, Pauline, in front of the Navy Building, which is known today as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Perhaps the most famous Holstein was Pauline Wayne, which served from 1910 to 1913 as the official presidential pet to the 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft.
Pauline Wayne lived and grazed on the White House lawn and provided milk for the first family. Pauline Wayne was the last presidential pet cow. Production The 2008 average actual production for all USA Holstein herds that were enrolled in production-testing programs and eligible for genetic evaluations was 23,022 pounds (10,443 kg) of milk, 840 pounds (380 kg) of butterfat and 709 pounds (322 kg) of protein per year.
 Total lifetime productivity can be inferred from the average lifetime of US cows. This has been decreasing regularly in recent years and now stands at around 2.75 lactations, which when multiplied by average lactation yield above gives around 61,729 pounds (28,000 kg) of milk. The current national Holstein milk production leader is Bur-Wall Buckeye Gigi EX-94 3E, which produced 74,650 pounds (33,860 kg) of milk in 365 days, completing her record in 2016.
 The considerable advantage, compared to the UK, for example, can be explained by several factors: Use of milk production hormone, recombinant bST: A study in February 1999 determined the "response to bST over a 305-day lactation equaled 894 kg of milk, 27 kg of fat, and 31 kg of protein".Monsanto Company estimates a figure of about 1.5 million of 9 million dairy cows are being treated with bST, or about 17% of cows nationally.
 Greater use of three-times-per-day milking: In a study performed in Florida between 1984 and 1992 using 4293 Holstein lactation records from eight herds, 48% of cows were milked three times a day. The practice was responsible for an extra 17.3% milk, 12.3% fat and 8.8% protein. Three-times-a-day milking has become a common in recent years. Twice-a-day milking is the most common milking schedule of dairy cattle.
In Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, milking at 10- to 14-hour intervals is common. Higher cow potential (100% Holstein herds): European Friesian types traditionally had lower production performances than their North American Holstein counterparts. Despite Holstein influence over the last 50 years, a large genetic trace of these cattle is still present. Greater use of total mixed ration (TMR) feeding systems: TMR systems continue to expand in use on dairy farms.
A 1993 Hoard's Dairy survey reported 29.2% of surveyed US dairy farms had adopted this system of feeding dairy cows. A 1991 Illinois dairy survey found 26% of Illinois dairy farmers used TMR rations with 300 kg more milk per cow compared to other feeding systems. The American type of operation (North and South America) is characterised by large, loose-housing operations, TMR feeding, and relatively many employees.
However, dairy farms in the northeast US and parts of Canada differ from the typical American operation. There, many smaller family farms with either loose-housing or stanchion barns are found. These operations are quite similar to the European type, which is characterised by relatively small operations where each cow is fed and treated individually. Genetics The golden age of Friesian breeding occurred during the last 50 years, greatly helped lately by embryo transfer techniques, which permitted a huge multiplication of bulls entering progeny testing of elite, bull-mother cows.
Osborndale Ivanhoe, b. 1952, brought stature, angularity, good udder conformation, and feet and leg conformation, but his daughters lacked strength and depth. His descendants included: Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation, b. 1965, often abbreviated RORA Elevation, was another top-notch bull. He sired over 70,000 Holstein cattle, with descendants numbering over 5 million; Elevation was named Bull of the Century by Holstein International Association in 1999.
 Elevation was the result of a cross of Tidy Burke Elevation being used on one of the best ever Ivanhoe daughters, Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve. He was unsurpassed at the time for type and production. Penstate Ivanhoe Star, b. 1963, sired daughters with similar stature and dairy traits as the Ivanhoes, but with higher production. He also notably sired Carlin-M Ivanhoe Bell, the great production bull of the 80s, known also for good udders, feet and legs.
A present-day genetic disorder, complex vertebral malformation, has been traced to Carlin-M Ivanhoe Bell and Penstate Ivanhoe Star. Hilltop Apollo Ivanhoe, b. 1960, sire of Whittier Farms Apollo Rocket, b. 1967, was the highest milk production bull of the 70s, and Wayne Spring Fond Apollo, b. 1970, was the first bull ever to have a milk transmission index of over 2,000 M and have a positive type index.
"Wayne" had a very famous daughter, To-Mar Wayne Hay, that was dam of the great To-Mar Blackstar, b. 1983. Cloning Starbuck II, clone of the famous CIAQR sire Hanoverhill Starbuck, was born on 7 September 2000 in Saint-Hyacinthe. The clone is a result of the combined efforts of CIAQ, L'Alliance Boviteq Inc and the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire de l'Université de Montréal. The cloned calf was born 21 years and 5 months after Starbuck's own birth date and just under 2 years after his death (17 September 1998).
The calf weighed 54.2 kg at birth and showed the same vital signs as calves produced from regular AI or ET. Starbuck II is derived from frozen fibroblast cells, recovered one month before the death of Starbuck. The Semex Alliance also cloned other bulls, such as Hartline Titanic, Canyon-Breeze Allen, Ladino-Park Talent and Braedale Goldwyn. A huge controversy in the UK in January 2007 linked the cloning company Smiddiehill and Humphreston Farm owned by father and son team Michael and Oliver Eaton (also owners of the large, Birmingham-based stone product business, BS Eaton) with a calf that was cloned from a cow in Canada.
Despite their efforts to block the farm from view of the press, news cameras broadcast this as breaking news among many of the country's top news stations. Since then, this calf had been rumored to have been put down to protect the owners, the Eatons, from invasions of the press. British Friesian cattle A British Friesian cow grazing While interest in increasing production through indexing and lifetime profit scores saw a huge increase in Holstein bloodlines in the UK, proponents of the traditional British Friesian did not see things that way, and maintain these criteria do not reflect the true profitability or the production of the Friesian cow.
Friesian breeders say modern conditions in the UK, similar to the 1950s through to the 1980s, with low milk price and the need for extensive, low-cost systems for many farmers, may ultimately cause producers to re-examine the attributes of the British Friesian. This animal came to dominate the UK dairy cow population during these years, with exports of stock and semen to many countries throughout the world.
Although the idea of "dual-purpose" animals has arguably become outmoded, the fact remains that the Friesian is eminently suitable for many farms, particularly where grazing is a main feature of the system. Proponents argue that Friesians last for more lactations through more robust conformation, thus spreading depreciation costs. There is the added advantage of income from the male calf, which can be placed into barley beef systems (finishing from 11 months) or steers taken on to finish at two years, on a cheap system of grass and silage.
Very respectable grades can be obtained, commensurate with beef breeds, thereby providing extra income for the farm. Such extensive, low-cost systems may imply lower veterinary costs, through good fertility, resistance to lameness, and a tendency to higher protein percentage and, therefore, higher milk price. An 800-kg Holstein has a higher daily maintenance energy requirement than the 650-kg Friesian.
Friesians have also been disadvantaged through the comparison of their type to a Holstein base. A separate "index" be composed to greater has been suggested to reflect the aspects of maintenance for body weight, protein percentage, longevity and calf value. National Milk Records figures suggest highest yields are achieved between the fifth and seventh lactations; if so, this is particularly so for Friesians, with a greater lift for mature cows, and sustained over more lactations.
However, production index only takes the first five lactations into account. British Friesian breeding has certainly not stood still, and through studied evaluation, substantial gains in yield have been achieved without the loss of type. History Friesians were imported into the east coast ports of England and Scotland, from the lush pastures of North Holland, during the nineteenth century until live cattle importations were stopped in 1892, as a precaution against endemic foot and mouth disease on the Continent.
They were so few in number, they were not included in the 1908 census. In 1909, though, the society was formed as the British Holstein Cattle Society, soon to be changed to British Holstein Friesian Society and, by 1918, to the British Friesian Cattle Society. The Livestock Journal of 1900 referred to both the "exceptionally good" and "remarkably inferior" Dutch cattle. The Dutch cow was also considered to require more quality fodder and need more looking after than some English cattle that could easily be out-wintered.
In an era of agricultural depression, Breed Societies notably had flourished, as a valuable export trade developed for traditional British breeds of cattle. At the end of 1912, the herd book noted 1,000 males and 6,000 females, the stock which originally formed the foundation of the breed in England and Scotland. Entry from then until 1921, when grading up was introduced, was by pedigree only. No other Friesian cattle were imported until the official importation of 1914, which included several near descendants of the renowned dairy bull Ceres 4497 F.
R.S. These cattle were successful in establishing the Friesian as an eminent, long-lived dairy breed in Britain. This role was continued in the 1922 importation from South Africa through Terling Marthus and Terling Collona, which were also near descendants of Ceres 4497. The 1936 importation from the Netherlands introduced a more dual-purpose type of animal, the Dutch having moved away from the Ceres line in the meantime.
The 1950 importation has a lesser influence on the breed today than the previous importations, although various Adema sons were used successfully in some herds. The Friesian enjoyed great expansion in the 1950s, through to the 80s, until the increased Holstein influence on the national herd in the 1990s; a trend which is being questioned by some commercial dairy farmers in the harsh dairying climate that prevails today, with the need to exploit grazing potential to the fullest.
Friesian semen is once again being exported to countries with grass-based systems of milk production. The modern Friesian is pre-eminently a grazing animal, well able to sustain itself over many lactations, on both low-lying and upland grasslands, being developed by selective breeding over the last 100 years. Some outstanding examples of the breed have 12 to 15 lactations to their credit, emphasising their inherent natural fecundity.
In response to demand, protein percentages have been raised across the breed, and herd protein levels of 3.4% to 3.5% are not uncommon. Whilst the British Friesian is first and foremost a dairy breed, giving high lifetime yields of quality milk from home-produced feeds, by a happy coincidence, surplus male animals are highly regarded as producers of high quality, lean meat, whether crossed with a beef breed or not.
Beef-cross heifers have long been sought after as ideal suckler cow replacements. Although understanding the need to change the Society's name to include the word Holstein in 1988, British Friesian enthusiasts are less than happy now that the word Friesian has been removed from the Society's name. With the history of the breed spanning 100 years, the British Friesian cow is continuing to prove her worth.
The general robustness and proven fertility provide an ideal black and white cross for Holstein breeders seeking these attributes. The disposal of male black and white calves continues to receive media attention, and would appear to be a waste of a valuable resource. One of the great strengths of the British Friesian is the ability of the male calf to finish and grade satisfactorily, either in intensive systems, or as steers, extensively.
This latter system may become increasingly popular due to the prohibitive increase in grain prices. The robustness of the British Friesian and its suitability to grazing and forage systems is well known. Compared to the Holstein the Friesian: Calves more frequently Calves more often in their lifetimes Needs fewer replacements Provides valuable male calves Has lower cell counts Has higher fat and protein percent Polled Holsteins The first polled Holstein was identified in the United States in 1889.
Polled Holsteins have the dominant polled gene which makes them naturally hornless. The polled gene has historically had a very low gene frequency in the Holstein breed. However, with animal welfare concerns surrounding the practice of dehorning, the interest in polled genetics is growing rapidly. Red and white Holsteins A red and white heifer The expression of red colour replacing the black in Holsteins is a function of a recessive gene.
 Assuming the allele 'B' stands for the dominant black and 'b' for the recessive red, cattle with the paired genes 'BB', 'Bb', or 'bB' would be black and white, while 'bb' cattle would be red and white. History Holstein dairy cows eating hay Earlier 13th-century records show cattle of "broken" colours entered the Netherlands from Central Europe. Most foundation animals in the US were imported between 1869 and 1885.
A group of early breeders decreed that animals of any colour other than black and white would not be accepted in the herd book, and that the breed would be known as Holsteins. There were objections, saying that quality and not colour should be the aim, and that the cattle should be called "Dutch", rather than Holsteins. Only a small number of carriers were identified over the hundred-year span from the early importations until they were accepted into the Canadian and American herd books in 1969 and 1970, respectively.
Most of the early accounts of red calves being born to black and white parents were never documented. A few stories of "reds" born to elite parents persist over time, as there is a tendency to credit the ancestor with the highest (closest) relationship to a red-carrier animal as the one that transmitted the trait, whereas sometimes it is the other parental line that has passed it on, even though the ancestor responsible may have entered the pedigree several generations earlier.
In 1952, a sire in an artificial insemination (AI) unit in the US was a carrier of red coat colour. Although the AI unit reported the condition and advised breeders as to its mode of inheritance, almost a third of the breeding unit's Holstein inseminations that year were to that red-carrier bull. That year, American AI units had used 67 red-factor bulls that had sired 8250 registered progeny. In spite of this, any change to the colour marking rules was rejected.
The Red and White Dairy Cattle Association (RWDCA) began registry procedures in 1964 in the United States. Its first members were Milking Shorthorn breeders, who wanted a dairy registry for the cattle they had bred in prior years, including some red and white Holsteins. The name was changed to the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association in 1966. When Milking Shorthorn breeders were looking for potential outcrosses to improve milk production, red and white Holsteins came into the picture, since the red colour factor is the same for both breeds.
The RWDCA had adopted an "open herd book" policy, and the Red and White Holstein became the major player. The red trait was thus able to survive the attempts to eradicate it that came from all sides of the Holstein industry. It was inevitable that even when a red calf was killed or sent to a grade herd, the herd owner rarely did anything to remove the dam from his herd and only hoped she would not have another red calf.
Many red calves, born in both countries prior to the 1970s, were quietly disposed of, with a view to preserving the acceptance of their elite pedigrees. Also, thousands of Holsteins were imported from Canada each year, and many were carriers. More than 14,000 Holsteins were exported to the United States in 1964 and again in 1965. This was at a time when both countries were debating the "red question".
While the United States was trying to eliminate the red trait, the Canadian imports simply counterbalanced the US effort to reduce its incidence. Canada's number one red-carrier sire in the 1940s was A B C Reflection Sovereign. His sons and grandsons in the 1950s and '60s spread the red gene throughout Canada and increased its frequency in the United States. Three of the biggest names siring Red and Whites in the United States were Rosafe Citation R, Roeland Reflection Sovereign, and Chambric A B C.
The red trait was readily available in Canadian Holstein genetics. Early on, there was criticism of the policy of the Canadian AI units to remove bulls found to carry red. A number of superior bulls were slaughtered or exported. The studs were simply supporting the Canadian policy to prevent the intensification of the red recessive in the breed. The phrase "carries the red factor" had to be included in the description, and excessive promotion of unproven red-factor bulls was discouraged.
They later added the aim of permitting intelligent breeders to use any red-carrier sire that had an outstanding proof for production and type. It became obvious that AI was the primary way of finding out which bulls were red carriers. Prior to AI, few red-carrier sires were uncovered because their service was limited to one or a few herds. Such herds often had no carrier females, and there was only a 25% chance that a carrier bull mated to a carrier female would produce a red calf.
If a red and white calf were dropped, it was often concealed and quietly removed from the herd. In 1964, the Netherlands Herd Book Society indicated a breakdown of 71% Black and White Friesian and 28% Red and Whites. A herd book that accepted Red and Whites had already been established in the United States. A separate herd book for Canadian Red and Whites was then established, following which Red and Whites became acceptable to the major Canadian (export) markets.
The sales ring began to establish interest in the new breed. The US Holstein-Friesian Association and its membership worked diligently from its early days until 1970 to eliminate the red trait from the registered population. However, once the door was open, red and whites began to appear in some of the more elite herds. The rush to get the best of Canadian breeding even prior to the opening of the herd book brought red calves to many dairymen who had never even seen one.
Canadian Red and Whites became eligible for registration in the herd book on July 1, 1969, through an alternate registry. Red and Whites were to be listed with the suffix –RED and Black and Whites with ineligible markings would be registered with the suffix –ALT. Both groups and their progeny would be listed only in the Alternate book and the suffixes had to be part of the name. In the Canadian herd books, all –Alt and -Red animals were listed in the regular herd book in registration number order and were identified with an A in front of their numbers.
The Alternates were separate in name only. The A in front of the registration number was discontinued in 1976 and the –Alt suffix was dropped in 1980, but –Red was continued. It did not bar the registration of animals whose hair turned from red to black. The US Holstein Association decided not to have a separate herd book for red and whites and off-color animals. The suffixes of –Red and –OC would be used, and numbering would be consecutive.
The first red and white Holsteins were recorded with an R in front of their numbers. Two hundred and twelve males and 1191 females were recorded in the initial group of red registrations. Red and Whites registered in the Canadian herd book numbered 281 in 1969 and 243 in 1970. An American Breeders Service ad in the Canadian Holstein Journal in 1974 on Hanover-Hill Triple Threat mentioned one of several colour variants that were not true red.
Its existence was undoubtedly common knowledge among breeders in both countries, but until that time, it had not been mentioned in print. Calves were born red and white and registered as such, but over the first six months of age turned black or mostly black with some reddish hairs down the backline, around the muzzle and at the poll. The hair coat colour change became known as Black/Red and sometimes as Telstar/Red, since the condition appeared in calves sired by Roybrook Telstar.
Telstar was the sire of Triple Threat, but nothing about this had hitherto been in print about Telstar, which was by then over 10 years old. Black/Reds were often discriminated against when sold and were barred from Red and White-sponsored shows. In 1984, Holstein Canada considered recoding B/R bulls that had always been coded simply as red carriers, a designation that was not acceptable to all buyers.
The breed agreed to change after checking with other breed associations and with the AI industry. In 1987, Holstein Canada and the Canadian AI industry modified their coding procedures to distinguish between Black/Red and true red colour patterns for bulls. Holstein Canada dropped the suffix Red as a part of the name in 1990, but continued to carry it as part of the birth date and other codes field.
Famous Holsteins Pauline Wayne, the US presidential cow RORA Elevation, a prize-winning bull Pawnee Farm Arlinda Chief, Bull with great genes for milk production Missy, a prize winner from Canada Belle Sarcastic, "unofficial mascot" of Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections. Lulubelle III, pictured on the cover of Atom Heart Mother from English rock band Pink Floyd Kian (1997-2013), the first red Holstein bull whose semen has sold more than one million units worldwide Toystory (2001-2014), Holstein bull whose semen has sold more than 2.
4 million units worldwide and has been estimated to have sired over 500,000 offspring References ^ CIV, France, a tradition of animal husbandry. Animal husbandry and environment. Civ-viande.org. Retrieved on 2011-11-03. ^ a b Holstein Association USA, The World's Largest Dairy Breed Association. Holsteinusa.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-03. ^ Breeds of Livestock – Holstein Cattle. Ansi.okstate.
edu (2000-02-23). Retrieved on 2011-11-03. ^ a b c Core Historical Literature of Agriculture. Chla.library.cornell.edu. Retrieved on 2011-11-03. ^ a b A Brief history of the Holstein Breed, Holstein UK ^ Most common breeds of cattle in GB (NUTS 1 areas) on 01 April 2005 Archived January 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ National statistics reports. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
25 March 2008 ^ Bye-Laws. Holstein UK ^ History of the Holstein Breed. Holsteinusa.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-03. ^ H. Duane Norman, E. Hare, and J.R. Wright Historical examination of culling of dairy cows from herds in the United States (PPT file). Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory Agricultural Research Service, USDA ^ "Gigi The Cow Broke The Milk Production Record. Is That Bad For Cows?". NPR.
org. Retrieved 2017-08-10. ^ Bauman, D. E.; Everett, R. W.; Weiland, W. H. & Collier, R. J. (1999). "Production Responses to Bovine Somatotropin in Northeast Dairy Herds". Journal of Dairy Science. 82 (12): 2564–2573. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(99)75511-6. PMID 10629802 ^ 2016 in America most dairy markets are non supplemented, the use of BST in dairy cattle is in rapid decline since 2006. the owner of BST is Elanco supphttp://ageconsearch.
umn.edu/bitstream/123456789/16239/1/os02ba02.pdf Microsoft Word – rBST AAEA 7–18–02.doc] Archived March 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Campos, MS; Wilcox, CJ; Head, HH; Webb, DW; Hayen, J (1994). "Effects on Production of Milking Three Times Daily on First Lactation Holsteins and Jerseys in Florida" (PDF). Journal of Dairy Science. 77 (3): 770–3. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(94)77011-9. PMID 8169285.
Archive ^ Archive – Milking Frequency Archived February 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Changing to a TMR Feeding System. Wcds.afns.ualberta.ca. Retrieved on 2011-11-03. ^ Management of the dairy cow. www.delaval.co.uk ^  Archived October 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Starbuck". Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. ^ RED AND WHITE HOLSTEIN HISTORY.
das.psu.edu ^ British Friesian Breeders Club. Britishfriesian.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-11-03. ^ http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/documents/polled-holsteins-history ^ livestock equipment for the profitable farm. AgSelect.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-03. ^ http://archives.msu.edu/documents/Belle_Sarcastic.pdf ^ "Rotbuntbulle Kian ist tot". topagrar.com. June 28, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-breeder-apart-the-bull-who-sired-500-000-offspring-is-gone-1421196530?tesla=y Wikimedia Commons has media related to Holstein Friesian cattle. External links Ontario Plaques – Holstein Friesian Cattle in Ontario World Holstein-Friesian Federation Holstein Association USA Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Holstein_Friesian_cattle&oldid=814192777"See Also: Where To Milk A Cow
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Home Breed History Facts Dairy Terms Cattle Care A "Good Cow" Pedigrees Photos Mature Holstein Cow in the 1950's Mature Holstein Bull in the 1950's Modern Ideal Holstein Cow Modern Ideal Holstein Bull When migrant European tribes settled the Netherlands close to 2,000 years ago, they wanted animals that would make the best use of the land. The black cattle of the Batavians and white cows of Friesians were bred and strictly culled to produce animals that were the most efficient, producing the most milk with limited feed resources.
These animals genetically evolved into the efficient, high producing black-and-white dairy cow, known today as the Holstein-Friesian (or more simply, “Holsteins”). When markets began to develop for milk in America, dairy breeders turned to Holland for their cattle. Winthrop Chenery, a Massachusetts breeder, purchased a Holland cow from a Dutch sailing master who had landed cargo at Boston in 1852.
The cow had furnished the ship's crew with fresh milk during the voyage. Chenery was so pleased with her milk production that he imported more Holsteins in 1857, 1859 and 1861. Many other breeders soon joined the race to establish Holsteins in America. By the late 1800s, there was enough interest among Holstein breeders to form associations to record pedigrees and maintain herdbooks. These associations merged in 1885, to found the Holstein-Friesian Association of America.
In 1994, the name was changed to Holstein Association USA, Inc. Genetic ProgressThe artificial insemination (A.I.) industry has had a tremendous impact on genetic improvement of the breed. Since perfection of the semen freezing process in the late 1940s, A.I. has allowed Holstein breeders across the country to use a wide range of bulls with high genetic value, allowing them to make more rapid genetic improvement in their cattle.
Today, calves resulting from A.I. account for more than 85 percent of Holstein births. Through A.I., a single Holstein bull can sire more than 50,000 daughters. Type and production information on all these females makes it easier to predict performance of future offspring and evaluate the quality of genetics transmitted from sire to offspring. In the late 1960s, the AI industry, the Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA) and breed organizations, including the Holstein Association, worked together to develop tools which dairy producers could use to breed their cattle for improvement.
They used type and production information and research data from universities to develop measures Holstein breeders now use to evaluate bulls and select sires according to their needs. Today, dairy producers have the ability to utilize genomic technology to discover the genetic potential of their animals at an earlier age than ever before. Genomic testing analyzes the DNA of an animal to determine what genes they actually possess, information that can be used to estimate future performance more reliably than simply taking an average of the parents' genetic values.
The majority of bulls that enter A.I. are genomic tested, and many breeders are genomic testing their females to make more educated breeding decisions, particularly on heifers. One thing is for certain - technology is constantly evolving, with more tools being added to breeders' arsenal of options to consider in their journey to breed a better cow. Such convincing evidence of genetic superiority has created an active export market for U.
S. Holstein genetics. Live Holstein females and males, as well as frozen embryos and semen are being exported to numerous countries worldwide and used extensively to improve foreign food supplies and dairy producer incomes. Recommended Reading: Holstein cattle are easily recognizable by their distinctive black and white markings, but may also be red and white in color (caused by a recessive genetic trait).
Mature Holstein cows typically weigh around 1,500 pounds and stand 58 inches tall at the shoulder, making them the largest of the U.S. dairy breeds. Holsteins are known for their outstanding milk production, desirable phenotypic characteristics, and adaptability to a wide range of environments. There are over 9 million dairy cows in the U.S., with approximately 90% of them being of Holstein descent.
Holsteins can thrive in the many various management settings of the U.S. dairy industry, and can be found from coast to coast. Holstein cows typically calve for the first time when they are 23 to 26 months of age, with healthy calves weighing an average of 80 to 100 pounds at birth. Holsteins have a gestation period of nine months. Holstein cows give more milk than any other dairy breed in the U.S.
The average Holstein cow produces around 23,000 pounds of milk, or 2,674 gallons, of milk each lactation. With a standard lactation lasting 305 days, that comes out to 75 pounds, or almost 9 gallons of milk per cow per day. The world record for milk production was set by a Holstein cow in 2017 when “Selz-Pralle Aftershock 3918”, a cow from Wisconsin, produced 78,170 pounds of milk in a year. Black and white Holstein cows have claimed Supreme Champion honors, the highest recognition given for elite phenotypic characteristics, at the world’s largest dairy cattle exhibition, the World Dairy Expo (held each fall in Madison, Wis.
) 35 times in the past 51 years. When talking with “cow people” or reading about cattle, it’s handy to know the lingo! Following is some very basic terminology which anyone learning about cattle should understand. Artificial Insemination (A.I.): A standard practice on most dairy farms today, involving a dairy producer or trained technician inserting frozen semen into a cow’s uterus.
This is a common procedure as it is quick and easy to perform, allows dairymen to utilize a wide variety of high quality genetics in their herd, and avoids the health and safety risks involved with keeping a mature bull on the farm. Commonly abbreviated as “A.I.” Bovine: Of or relating to cattle (dairy or beef) Bull: A male bovine of any age Calf: A young bovine of either gender, typically describes animals from newborn up to a year old Calving: The act of a cow giving birth; also known as “freshening” Classification: A system of assigning numeric values to various parts of a cow, based on how well they compare to breed ideals.
Performed by trained Holstein classifiers, the result is an official final “classification score,” which gives the owner unbiased information on how their cattle rank compared to the breed standard, and can give other interested parties an idea of what the cow looks like without seeing her, based on her scores. Conformation: The physical appearance of a bovine, including their bone structure Cow: A female bovine who has given birth at least once Crossbred: An animal whose parents were of different breeds; not purebred Dam: The mother of an animal Dry (Cow): Cows who are not lactating currently; typically pregnant and due to calve within two months Ear Tag: A plastic or metal tag which is placed in an animal’s ear(typically at birth or soon after) for identification purposes Freestall Barn: A type of housing system where cows are housed in large group pens, with free choice access to feed, water, and comfortable stalls to lay in.
Stalls in freestall barns are typically bedded with sand, straw, or some type of mattress. Modern Freestall Barn Fresh (Cow): A cow who has recently given birth (or “calved”); the act of giving birth (“calving”) is sometimes described as “freshening” Genotype: An animal’s genetic makeup Heifer: A female bovine who has not yet given birth; typically describes animals younger than two years old In Heat: A cow’s fertile period when she may become pregnant, indicated by increased activity and other hallmark signs.
Most cows cycling normally come into heat every 21 days. This period is also referred to as “estrus.” Lactation: The stage of a cow’s life where she is producing milk after having calved. Most cows lactate for between 300 to 365 days before going into a dry period. Milking Parlor: Central area of a barn where cows come to be milked Pedigree: A document showing an animal’s lineage, a record of their ancestry; a typical Holstein pedigree shows three generations - the animal itself, its sire and dam, along with their sires and dams.
May also list genetic and performance records for each animal, when applicable. Phenotype: An animal’s physical characteristics and appearance Polled: An animal born naturally without horns (and no ability to grow them). Polled is a dominant trait in Holstein cattle, but the majority of Holstein cattle are not polled. Progeny: The offspring of an animal Purebred: An animal whose ancestors are of the same breed.
Registered: An animal whose lineage is formally recorded and tracked through its respective national breed association Showing: Exhibiting an animal at a fair or other show, where a judge evaluates and ranks cattle based on their physical appearance and conformation to breed standards and ideals. At shows, animals are typically split into classes based on their breed and age; shows are typically for purebred and registered animals only.
Sire: The father of an animal Steer: A male bovine who has been castrated and is being raised for beef production Tie-Stall Barn: A type of housing system where cows remain in an assigned stall for most of the time, with free choice access to food and water. Cows in tie-stalls (also called “stanchion barns”) are milked in their stalls (rather than walking to a milking parlor), and typically turned out to exercise for a portion of the day.
Cows in a tie-stall barn Dairy cattle of every breed require a few basics to be happy and healthy, much the same as people - a balanced diet, clean water, safe and comfortable housing, and basic health (veterinary) care. Most dairymen have decades of experience in caring for cattle, along with a team of professionals such as dairy nutritionists and large animal veterinarians, which help them provide the highest standard of care to their animals.
The Holstein Foundation offers a free educational workbook which can give you a basic introduction into what it takes to care for dairy heifers and cows. The workbook, entitled “Working with Dairy Cattle,” covers the following topics, among others: Feeding Heifers and Cows Proper Housing for Heifers and Cows Health and management Calving Milking Procedures And more! If you are still interested in learning more about dairy cattle care, visit with a local dairy producer in your area, a veterinarian or your county’s dairy or agricultural extension agent for more advice.
Recommended Reading: A common question many who are not familiar with the pedigreed livestock industry ask is, “what makes a ‘good cow?’” What makes some cows more valuable than others? There are many things which may increase a cow’s value over her herdmates, traits which registered breeders seek to improve with each generation. These qualities can be broken down into three basic categories - physical appearance/conformation; milk production; and genetic merit.
Animals excelling in any or all of these areas have added value over cows which might not be as outstanding. Let’s take a closer look at each and explain a little more... Physical Appearance and ConformationThere are two primary ways that female dairy cattle are evaluated on their physical appearance: dairy cattle shows (females of all ages) and linear classification (cows only). Dairy cattle shows are held around the country, and may be as small as a local or county show with a few dozen animals, or as large as the International Holstein Show at World Dairy Expo, which boasts hundreds of cattle from around the United States and Canada.
At shows, animals are divided into classes based on their breed and age. An official judge evaluates each class of animals, and winners are those who, in the judge’s opinion, most closely conform to the breed standard. Winners from each class compete for champion honors, and at the end of the day, and Grand Champion of the show is named. Often, if multiple breeds are competing at a show, they will take the Grand Champions of each breed and select a Supreme Champion - the best of the best, on that day.
Showing dairy cattle is a very fun and rewarding activity for people of all ages, from a young 4-Her just getting started, to the seasoned breeder. Linear classification is a program performed by Holstein Association USA (and other breed organizations, for their respective breeds). Trained professionals, called “classifiers,” travel to farms around the country who wish to have their cattle “classified.
” On the farm, they evaluate individual animals' physical conformation, compared to breed ideals, and assign each part of the body a score of 1 to 50. After each part is scored, the classifier also assigns a final score, between 50 and 97, falling into one of five categories: Excellent (90-97 points) Very Good (85-89 points) Good Plus (80-84 points) Good (75-79 points) Fair (65-74 points) Poor (50-64 points) The classification program provides dairy producers with an unbiased evaluation of their animals’ physical conformation, and can be used to assist in making breeding decisions, as well as for marketing.
With both show animals and animals who receive high classification scores, animals which conform to physical ideals are more valuable than animals with less correct physical conformation. These systems reward animals which possess the physical structure to lead long, productive lives and produce large volumes of high quality milk. Recommended Reading: Milk ProductionAs a cow’s milk production is the basis for the majority of dairy producers’ income each month, cows that produce large volumes of milk are more desirable than cows which produce less.
Holstein cows produce more pounds of milk than any of the other dairy breeds, with the average Holstein producing around 23,000 pounds of milk, or 2,674 gallons, of milk each lactation, which averages out to about 75 pounds, or almost 9 gallons of milk per cow per day. The current world record for milk production in a single lactation is held by Ever-Green-View My Gold-ET, who produced 77,480 pounds of milk in a year, in 2016.
Recommended Reading: Genetic MeritWhile the first two categories apply primarily to females, outstanding genetic merit is directly measured in both cows and bulls. Each Registered Holstein has estimates of genetic merit calculated for them, based on the genetics and actual performance of their ancestors and other related animals. These are in the form of Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTAs) and are listed on each Official Holstein Pedigree.
Genetic merit in young animals with no performance information of their own is based on an average of the genetic merit of their parents, referred to as “parental averages.” Once an animal starts to have official performance information of their own (such as a milk production record or classification score), that information starts to contribute to their estimates of genetic merit. Genomic testing is a newer technology which analyzes the actual genes an animal possesses (based on a hair sample), which allows breeders to get a more accurate estimate of genetic merit and future performance than ever before, on animals of any age.
This technology is especially useful in young animals that have no performance information of their own. The Holstein Association updates these estimates of genetic merit three times per year and publishes lists of high ranking animals. The Association has also created a formula to help breeders sort out animals which excel in many traits possessed by profitable cattle, known as the Total Performance Index (TPI).
The TPI formula combines various health, conformation, and production traits, and is a common standard used to rank Holstein cattle. Animals ranking high for TPI values, or other important traits, are in demand as breeding stock. There are a few other novel genetic traits an animal may possess which would increase their potential value, such as carrying the polled (naturally hornless) gene, or carrying the gene for red and white hair color.
These traits are less common in the Holstein breed, thereby making animals which possess them (particularly if they also excel in other traits) more valuable. Recommended Reading: A pedigree is a record of an animal’s ancestry. Official Holstein Pedigrees may only be issued by Holstein Association USA, combining a wealth of ancestry, performance and genetic information on a single page.
While each animal is different, their information is all presented in the same format, making it easy to evaluate and compare animals. Typical pedigrees include three generations of information on one page, including the animal, its sire and dam, and its paternal and maternal grandparents. Paternal information (related to the sire and his ancestors) is found on the top half of the pedigree, and maternal information (related to the dam and her ancestors) is found on the bottom half of the pedigree.
On an Official Holstein Pedigree, you will find: Registration names and numbers for all animals on the pedigree The birthdate of the animal Information on the animal’s current owner Estimates of genetic merit for all animals on the pedigree Any current classification scores for all animals on the pedigree Any official production records for females on the pedigree Any national show winnings or other awards received by animals on the pedigree Why are pedigrees important? Pedigrees can be useful to owners and breeders because information on an animal’s ancestors can help predict how well that animal may perform later in life; for example, how much milk they might produce, or how they will look, conformation-wise, based on how their ancestors performed in those areas.
Aside from providing owners and breeders with a great deal of information about their animals, Official Holstein Pedigrees also serve as a verified source of ancestry, performance and genetic information when selling animals, giving the buyer trusted documentation that information presented on the animal is accurate. Recommended Reading: Show your Holstein pride with one of our free desktop backgrounds.
Each features U.S. Registered Holsteins in different settings, and provide the ideal backdrop for any Holstein enthusiast's computer screen. The Holstein Association USA phone number and website are also included, so you never have to search if you need to get in touch with us. Download each desktop for free.(images are 1680 x 1050 pixels) Click on the thumbnail below to view the wallpaper (it will open in a new window).
Right click on the image and select "Save image as..." Save to your computer, then find the file and open it. Right click on the image and select "Set as Desktop Background"