Making headway with Milking Fleckvieh registry in North America

Making headway with Milking Fleckvieh registry in North America

IMG_1318Many farms want to register Fleckvieh cattle and track performance while doing dairy crossbreeding. There are publications out there that demonstrate the viability of Fleckvieh use and their use in dairy production. Nothing beats having your own system though. Recently, the Composite Dairy cattle registry has made a place for milking Fleckvieh. Read on to see current developments:

An endorsement by the Dairy Crossbred Blog (www.dairyxbred.com):

The Composite Dairy cattle registry has nice potential with this Registry for information gathering purposes on crossbred animals. Already, efforts have succeeded in getting the Milking Fleckvieh its own breed code (FL). CDCB has changed its databases to reflect this addition and currently efforts are being made for DHI processing centers to modify their databases. 57 Fleckvieh bulls have been added to the NAAB cross referencing program and soon CDCR will have a list for all of us with Fleckvieh sired animals to correct sire information on them.

Please see following below the home page content discussing the Fleckvieh cow as a milking dairy animal and its advantages to farmers at  dairycattleregistry.com:

Milking Fleckvieh

The Fleckvieh breed dates back to the early 19th century. From 1900 onward the breeding work was entirely characterized by pure breeding.
The herd-book in Southern Germany was closed and Fleckvieh continued to develop as an independent breed with triple purpose as the breeding aim: medium-framed cattle with a balanced emphasis on muscling, milk production and high work performance.

The Simmentaler/Fleckvieh breed is one of Europe’s oldest breeds and, with its total population numbering over 42 Million , it is the second largest breed in the world. The Milking Fleckvieh are a proponent of that population, with the highest quantity of Milking Fleckvieh concentrated in portions of Germany, Austria, Italy, France and the Czech Republic. They were developed in the highland regions of Germany and Austria. They are a very popular breed for this part of the world, because of their adaptability to these harsher climatic conditions. They were developed to be highly productive on a mostly grass based diets and yet produce higher amounts of fat and protein for cheese making. In addition they had to be durable, hardy and be easy handling to work within a small family farm. They also needed excellent feet and legs to handle the mountainous regions they were asked to graze.

The Milking Fleckvieh cow in milk production shows a strong forehand and maintains sufficient muscling on back and hind legs to keep stability and health even during peak lactation. The body proportions are harmonious both when standing still and in motion. Milking Fleckvieh cattle are well characterized by their sound feet and legs.

Crossbreeding with Dairy cattle Breeds – different types of cows

Fleckvieh can particularly score as breeding partner in regions and countries with a high proportion of dedicated dairy breeds. Many dairy producers are fighting health problems in their herds and have recognized that, given falling returns from milk, a supplementary income is required to keep their operations profitable.

The experience gathered over several years from operations with rotational or upgrading crossbreeding programs have resulted in advantages due in particular to:

  • Improved Fertility
  • Higher Fat and Protein percentages in the milk
  • Reduced Mastitis and Somatic Cell Counts
  • More hardiness and stronger cows are easy keepers
  • Increase longevity in the offspring
  • Possess good udder quality
  • Excellent milking persistence during lactation
  • Higher percent ratios of components for cheese production
  • Lower veterinary costs that other breeds
  • Improved fattening traits of calves
  • Cull cows have higher carcass values than other breeds
  • Perfect cross with Holstein in a 3-way composite

Milking Fleckvieh Strengths

Milking Fleckvieh cows are healthy, hardy and very adaptable to different geographical and climatic conditions. Easy calving, good fertility and a long productive life are, besides the high performance potential for milk and beef, the basis for efficient production. Very good conformation of udders and feet and legs together with the medium body size of animals is ideal with respect to longevity and feed efficiency. No other breed combines both milk and beef traits in such a strong way as the Milking Fleckvieh:

  • Strong  dairy qualities
  • Good Milkability
  • Strong Feet and Legs
  • Healthy udders with low somatic cell count
  • Strong and Functional Type

The idea of having one calf per year, a short inter calving period of 12 months and return to pregnancy, the lower somatic cell counts, better health and sellable male calves (steers can become feedlot animals) and better longevity make this breed a good choice