In total, there are 11 farms participating, and the 100% Holstein herd at Jongbloed Dairy started using Norwegian Red in 2019.
Jongbloed Dairy is located in the beautiful surroundings of Friesland, the Netherlands, where green fields can be seen as far as the eyes can see. The farm has around 150 dairy cows and it is run by Jelle Jongbloed, his father, and his two brothers. Jelle and his brothers are the 4th generations on the farm which was built in 1917.
Trial and expectations
It is an exciting time now on the farm as the first Holstein x Norwegian Red crossbreds started their first lactation in November 2021. Of all the crossbreds, there are particularly two cows that Jelle pays extra close attention to, they are a pair of twins sired by one of our most popular bulls ever, 11039 Skjelvan. When we visited the farm these were approximately 25 and 40 days in their first lactation.
The reason why this farm wanted to join the trial is because of the Norwegian Red's strength, robustness, and size compared to pure Holstein.
“The cows are smaller, they have more muscles and better fertility.”
Another thing he brings up is particularly the claw health and the health traits in general.
Profit brought by increased health
As for all milk producers, milk is what brings the farm profit. Even though the Norwegian Red crossbreds are showing a little less production compared to the purebred Holsteins, Jelle sees an increase in fat and protein as well as better fertility from the crossbreds. The crossbreds have so far had shorter lactations, but their productions these days are very good. The total of all these factors makes the Norwegian Red crossbreds very profitable for them.
Bright future and anticipation
Jelle pays extra close attention to the twins sired by 11039 Skjelvan, he thinks it’s interesting to compare them to each other. One of them was 40 days in her first lactation when we visited them back in November 2021 and she has a great udder, good claws and legs, and her productions were around 30 liters per day. Her twin sister was 25 days in milk and is also a great cow producing around 25 liters a day. The twins, and the other F1-crosses in general, are all robust, with great body condition and easy calvings!
One of the twins sired by 11039 Sjelvan. Photo: Turi Nordengen
“I am very curious for what to come and how long they will last on our farm. ”
He's also curious to see what production they will average on and their health and fertility over time.