"In 2008 we started using Norwegian Red genetics and thanks to this we improved our herd performances". Today, after 12 years, Stefano is keeping on using Norwegian Red, selecting the top available sires of the breed and preferably with polled gene. "The Norwegian Red/Holstein are excellent cows with truly remarkable performances. The oldest we milk are now in their seventh lactation, still doing a great job every day.
Poor fertility and general poor health are still the main reasons for involuntary culling in the Holstein, so if you are able to improve those traits, you'll fix the problems, and cows will last longer in the herd. This will positively impact the overall financial results of the business since costs for rearing heifers for replacement is a relevant variable cost in the operations of a dairy herd. Also, as everybody knows, the most profitable cows are not the ones in their 1st or 2nd lactation. Of course, it's not only a matter of genetics when it comes to fertility and health since management and feeding are also extremely critical factors but using the best genetics for these traits is a good step toward achieving positive results in this area. This is why Norwegian Red has been so important for us.
The herd is now made of 195 milking cows with 38% of pure Holstein and 62% crossbred cows. The Holstein is doing a better job in terms of milk volume while the crossbreds have better performance for milk quality, fertility, disease frequency, and thus longevity. I noticed that they also have fewer leg injuries".
Stefano had conducted in the past, supported by his feeding consultant, an interesting trial on the dry matter intake of his cows. The study showed that his crossbred cows had a lower dry matter intake equal to 2 Kg/day/cow compared to his pure Holsteins. This is why he's very pleased to know that Geno has launched its FeedSaved index to help him make an even more accurate selection of Norwegian Red bulls.
"Norwegian Red is the ideal genetics for dairy farmers that need efficient cows with great health conditions, excellent fertility, high milk quality and cows that last for many lactations in the herd".