Breed Characteristics The Holstein Breed History Historical Leaders for Milk Production Holstein cattle are most quickly recognized by their distinctive color markings and outstanding milk production.Holsteins are large, stylish animals with color patterns of black and white or red and white. A healthy Holstein calf weighs 90 pounds or more at birth. A mature Holstein cow weighs about 1,500 pounds and stands 58 inches tall at the shoulder.
Holstein heifers can be bred at 13 months of age, when they weigh about 800 pounds. It is desirable to have Holstein females calve for the first time between 23 and 26 months of age. Holstein gestation is approximately nine months. While some cows may live considerably longer, the average productive life of a Holstein is approximately four years.The 2015 average actual production for all U.S. Holstein herds that were enrolled in production-testing programs and eligible for genetic evaluations was 24,958 pounds of milk, 920 pounds of butterfat and 710 pounds of protein per year.
Top producing Holsteins milked three times a day have been known to produce over 72,000 pounds of milk in 365 days.Holstein dairy cattle dominate this country's milk production industry. The reason for their popularity is clear: unexcelled production, greater income over feed costs, unequaled genetic merit, and adaptability to a wide range of environmental conditions. Added up, this means more profit for the dairy producer who milks Holsteins.
This point becomes even clearer when you consider that nine of every 10 dairy producers currently milk Holsteins. Modern Ideal Holstein Cow Modern Ideal Holstein Bull Learn about the developmentof these two paintings in 2012 More than 22 million animals are registered in the Holstein Association's herdbook. The ancestry of most of these animals can be traced to animals originally imported from the Netherlands.
Holsteins identified with the Association account for nearly 20 percent of all U.S. dairy cattle. The upper end of this population is looked upon as a source of superior breeding stock, providing genetics for the dairy industry worldwide. s Also available for download, a simple Holstein Cow image Click the image for a high resolution image.Please contact us if you require the file in a specific format.
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 as the Holstein-Friesian.
With the settlement of the New World, 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.After about 8,800 Holsteins had been imported, a cattle disease broke out in Europe and importation ceased. In the late 1800's 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. Mature Holstein Cow in the 1950's Mature Holstein Bull in the 1950's In May 1887, a noteworthy event in the history of the Holstein breed in America took place. It was the Madison Square Garden dairy cattle show where the four leading dairy breeds - Ayrshire, Jersey, Guernsey, and Holstein-Friesian - met for the first time to see which was the greatest producer of milk and butter.
Prizes of $200 were offered for both 24-hour milk production as well as butter production.Most observers conceded that a Holstein would win a milk production prize, but the Jersey breeders were certain that they would take the butter prize - so certain that they offered a handsome silver cup, with a beautiful Jersey cow engraved on the side, to the winner. However, that cup is now sitting in the Holstein Association USA office in Brattleboro, VT.
When the butter samples were weighed, Clothilde, a Holstein owned by Smiths & Powell of Syracuse, had won the $200 and the silver cup.This decisive victory in a public butter test, which followed on the heels of the triumph in 1883 by Thomas Wales' imported cow, Mercedes, over the famous Jersey cow, Mary Ann of St. Lamberts, caught the attention of dairymen across the nation at a time when butter production was important and all dairy breeds were fighting for recognition.
Holstein breeders were quick to follow up on these trail-blazing successes, and the consistent victories in competition played a big part, especially in the Midwest, in the rapid expansion and popularizing of the Holstein breed.More detailed information on the history of the Holstein breed and Holstein Association USA can be found in the book Progress of the Breed by Richard H. Mansfield. Clothilde The silver cup resides in the Holstein Association USA office.
The artificial insemination (AI) industry has had a tremendous impact on genetic improvement of the breed. Since perfection of the semen freezing process in the late 1940's, AI has allowed the use of superior, proven bulls by Holstein breeders across the country. Today, AI accounts for 85 percent of Holstein births.AI made the development of reliable, unbiased methods to evaluate Holstein genetics possible.
With AI, a single Holstein bull can sire as many as 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 1960's, the AI industry, the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) and breed organizations, including the Holstein Association, worked together to develop genetic tools that 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 AI 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 Holstein genetics.
Live Holstein females and males and frozen embryos and semen are being exported to numerous countries worldwide and used extensively to improve foreign food supplies and dairy producer incomes. Bred and Owned by Selz-Pralle Dairy in Humbird, Wis.Record completed in September 20173X 365 days 78,170 lbs Bred and Owned by Thomas J. Kestell, Waldo, WIRecord completed in December 20163X 365 days 77,480 lbs Bred and Owned by Bur-Wall Holsteins, Brooklyn, WIRecord completed in November 20152X 365 days 74,650 lbs Bred and Owned by Thomas J.
Kestell, Waldo, WIRecord completed in February 20103X 365 days 72,170 lbs Bred by Thomas and Nancy Murray, Waterloo, NYOwned by Floyd & Lloyd Baumann & Fred Lang, Marathon, WIRecord completed in November 19972X 365 days 67,914 lbs Bred and Owned by Floyd & Lloyd Baumann, Marathon, WIRecord completed in August 19962X 365 days 63,444 lbs Bred and Owned by Raims Dairy, Cedaredge, CORecord completed in May 19953X 365 days 60,440 lbs Bred & Owned by Bell-Jr Group, Calhan, CORecord completed in January 19953X 365 days 60,380 lbs Bred & Owned by Robert M.
Thomson Jr., Springfield, MORecord completed in August 19932X 365 days 59,300 lbs Bred by Nancy Fleming, Orford, NHOwned by Tullando Farm, Inc., Orford, NHRecord completed in December 19923X 365 days 58,952 lbs Bred & Owned by Beecher Holsteins, Rochester, INRecord completed in October 19752X 365 days 55,661 lbs Bred & Owned by Clarence & Kenneth Mowry, Roaring Spring, PARecord completed in December 19742X 365 days 50,759 lbs Bred & Owned by Gelbke Brothers, Vienna, OHRecord completed in May 19742X 365 days 45,270 lbs Bred & Owned by Tenneson Bros.
, Sedro Woolley, WARecord completed in October 19712X 365 days 44,019 lbsSee Also: Who Invented Milking A Cow
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Cows produce the majority of milk in the world “The cow is the foster mother of the human race. From the time of the ancient Hindoo to this time have the thoughts of men turned to this kindly and beneficent creature as one of the chief sustaining forces of the human race” – W.D. Hoard Throughout history, cows have produced milk for human sustenance, (even before agriculture was developed).
Today cows produce the majority of milk consumed by people. The reason why cows are the number 1 milk source in the world is because they excel at producing milk. They are masters at converting feed sources (not fit for humans), and turning it into a highly nutritious product that we call milk. If you’ve ever wondered how much milk cows produce, you came to the right place. The Average Cow The United States is one of the leading dairy producing countries in the world, and American cows are among the most productive cows in world.
The average cow in the U.S. produces about 21,000 lbs. of milk per year, that’s nearly 2,500 gallons a year! On a daily basis, most cows average about 70 lbs. of milk per day, or about 8 gallons per day. 8 gallons is about 128 glasses of milk per day. Interestingly, a herd of 800 cows can produce a large tanker truckload of milk each day. Over a year, that would be about 20 million lbs. of milk or 2.
3 million gallons of milk. **Productivity of the average cow in select countries. Amount of pounds of milk produced in one year** Milk production records Cows are getting better at producing milk every year. Records are being broken all the time about how much milk cows can give. It’s really quite amazing how much cows have improved over the years. By the time you read this, there may be a new record.
But in order to illustrate how much milk the top cows can give, this is an interesting story. According to a news report, a cow in Wisconsin produced 72,000 lbs. of milk in a year, or about 8,000 gallons of milk in a year. To produce that much milk, it means that the cow had to produce about 23 gallons of milk each day. (source) **The average cow produces 70 lbs. of milk per day, or about 8 gallons.
Compare that to a top record holding cow that produces 23 gallons per day** Variables affecting milk production The amount of milk produced by dairy cows can be affected by a wide variety of variables. The key to dairy farming successfully is to minimize the impact of these variables. The following are some things that impact milk production: Feeding – What the cow eats is the largest factor affecting production.
If she isn’t eating enough energy or protein her milk production will decline. Changing feed sources will also affect the cow’s milk production. Any change in her daily meal will affect milk production until the cows re-adjusts to the new feed. Genetic Potential – The genetics of the cow plays a role in how much milk she can produce. If the cow is the daughter of a high producing cow, she will be more likely to produce a lot of milk due to her genetic predisposition towards milk production.
Weather – Sudden weather changes can stress the cows causing a decrease in milk production. Hot weather will also stress the cows out mostly because the cows will eat less. Eating less feed causes the cows to drop in milk production, so farmers emphasise keeping cows comfortable and cool during summer months Stage of Production – When the cow has her calf, she will begin to produce milk. Over time, the cow’s milk production will peak, then slowly drop off.
Eventually, the cow will dry up. Age of the cow – As a cow gets older, they become much better at producing milk. Most cows reach their maximum milk production after they finished growing. A cow will keep growing until she is 3-4 years old. Tracking Milk Production On our farm, we use technology to track our cow’s milk production daily. The milking machine will record each cow’s milk output in real-time.
Through the system, we can determine which cows are the top producers and which are the low producers. **The milk machines track milk production on a daily basis for each cow** This knowledge helps us feed the cows better. By understanding the cow’s milk output, we can group them accordingly and feed them according to their dietary needs. If a cow is producing a large amount of milk, we can feed her more energy and nutrients to support that milk production.
If a cow is not producing much milk, we can feed her less energy or she will gain too much weight. Knowing the cow’s milk production allows us to take better care of the cows. Breeding a better cow Through breeding, dairy farmers have been able to greatly improve the amount of milk that cows give. A cow today is 10 times more productive than a cow in the past. **9 million cows today produce more milk than 25 million cows in 1944** In 1944, there were 25.
6 million cows in the United States, while today there are only 9.3 million cows in the U.S. that produce 59% more milk than in 1944. Cows have increased in production so significantly, that it has allowed there to be a reduction of animals to support the milk needs of the U.S. Cows have also gotten better at converting feed to milk. The modern dairy cow needs less feed to produce milk. **Cows today produce more milk with less feed** This obviously has allowed the dairy industry to reduce its environmental footprint.
According to Dairy Cares, the dairy industry has reduced its carbon footprint by 63% in 65 years. While dairy cows have gotten very good at producing milk, dairies are also breeding their cows to last longer. Dairy farmers want cows that not only produce a lot of milk but a cow that will last a long time. It’s interesting, but when you breed for a balanced cow – with a strong frame and good feet and legs – milk production tends to follow.
Dairy farmers realize this, that’s why one of the most important criteria for selecting bulls is longevity. Do you have more questions? Did I answer your question about milk production. Let me know in the comments below Other posts you might Like!