Holstein Friesian Cattle Breed Profile and Farming Feasibility

Breed Name: Holstein Friesian Cattle
Other Name: Friesian Cow, Dutch Cattle
Origin: Holland, Germany. Presently cows of US and UK origin also available.
Family: Cattle
Scientific Name: Bos Taurus
Breed Overview: Holstein Friesians 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
Lifespan: 20 years
Milk Production
Average production for all Holsteins enrolled in official U.S. production-testing programs in 1987 was 17,408 pounds of milk, 632 pounds of butterfat and 550 pounds of protein per year or almost 9 gallons or 255 liters of milk per cow per day
With the emphasis on the production of lean beef, the Friesian either as a purebred or crossed with a beef bull is also playing an increasingly important part in beef production in Great Britain and the United States
As the Friesian is mainly a dairy breed, surplus male animals are highly regarded, as they are producers of high quality lean meat
Holsteins, compared to natural breeds, are not as resistant to heat and diseases when in difficult agro-ecological areas.
Their reaction to such conditions is a reduced production capacity
In the case of cross-breeding with natural breeds the calves show a higher heat tolerance and higher production figures are achieved
Height Female: 1.5 m (Large Adult, At the withers)
Weight Female : 580 kg
Coat : Black and white patched
Reproduction & Milking Facts
Reproduction Age: Holstein heifers can be bred at 15 months of age, when they weigh about 800 pounds. It is desirable to have Holstein females calve for the first time between 24 and 27 months of age
Gestation Period : The length of gestation periods varied from 262 to 296 days (9 months)
Calves can be born throughout the year
When the calf has been born, the mother licks it to remove the birth fluids. The calf is normally able to stand within a few hours of birth and will drink Colostrum from the cow’s udder
 Colostrum is a type of milk which the cow produces for the first 24 hours or so after giving birth; it protects the new-born calf from disease and provides vital anti-bodies
n modern farming systems the calf is taken from its mother within a couple of days as she is needed to produce milk for sale. The farmer feeds the calf milk from a bucket for the next 6-8 weeks until it is weaned
The calf must, by law, be identified with two tags which are inserted into each ear shortly after birth. Calves may be dehorned when they are a few weeks old. This procedure does not hurt the calf but stops the horns from developing and causing possible injury to other animals or humans
Heifer (female) calves usually stay on the farm and are reared for entry into the milking portion of the herd whereas bull (male) calves are usually reared for beef. In exceptional cases where the bull is of superior genetic merit, it may be used for breeding
Before a heifer can produce milk she must have a calf
Heifers are mated at 15-21 months old. Artificial insemination is the usual method although natural service may be used
Usually, the heifer will be pregnant for nine months before giving birth
Once the heifer has given birth she will begin to produce milk. She will be called a heifer until she has her second calf when she will be called a cow
Milk of holstein friesian contain 3.5 % fat
An average, give birth to 2-4 calves in a lifetime
Breed History
The first ancestors of the Friesian or ‘Holstein-Friesian’ breed appeared over 2,000 years ago
In 1750, the cattle plague hit the Netherlands and three-quarters of the livestock died. To compensate this loss, black-pied cows were imported from Denmark and Germany. These animals formed the ancestors of Friesian-Dutch cattle
Holstein cows come from a region in northern Germany, while Friesians originally came from the Netherlands. The two breeds have been so commonly crossbred that the majority of Friesians today are between ¼ to ¾ Holstein, hence the regularly hyphenated name
Daily Feed Requirements
For milk production, the cow must eat large quantities of food and drink large volumes of water to obtain the nutrients that she needs. The cow is a ruminant which means that, unlike humans, she can make use of fibrous foods such as grass. In the UK, most grass grows in the months between March and November. The herd grazes outside during this period. Surplus grass is preserved for the winter months. The most common form of preservation is in the form of silage which is fermented grass. Drying grass in the sun is another method of preservation which produces hay. In recent years, farmers in central and southern Britain have started growing maize (the same plant as sweet corn) to make into silage as well, providing extra protein to the cows’ diet. Cows will eat silage or hay in the period between October and April when they are kept indoors. 
Expectations of the modern dairy cow is a high milk production level, therefore, her grass-based diet needs to be supplemented with extra energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Concentrates are used for this purpose. Concentrates are mixtures of cereals, rape meal, sunflower meal, peas, soya, vitamins, and minerals etc which are ground and pressed in animal feed manufacturing mills to produce small, brown pellets
Dry forages are pasture (fresh forage) or high quality alfalfa hay, alfalfa-grass mix hay, grass hay or straw. Some dairy farmers will feed a mix of both silage and hay, while others might only feed silage or only feed hay, depending on the farm. The other half of the diet is called the concentrate
Actually, lush, protein-rich alfalfa hay make beef cattle sick. Some signs that your beef herd has consumed too much fresh pasture include bloat, diarrhea and other digestive problems. Your cattle will do best on a pasture grass mix of hay. This hay includes legumes as well as grass
Alternatively you can try “Premium Concentrates for Cattle” made through the ‘Secret Recipe’ of Nadia Pets Cross. It contains essential dietary requirements, minerals, vitamins, preventive medicines and a branded breeding formula to enhance fertility in your Cattle.
Feed Calculations
As an example, if it were determined the daily dry matter intake of a group of 1,200 pound cow eating an average quality hay is 24 pounds per head and the hay that they are consuming is 88% dry matter, these cows would consume about 27 (24 pounds/.88) pounds per head per day on an as-fed basis
As a thumb rule, a cow will eat 2 to 2.5 pounds of hay per day for each 100 pounds of body weight (about one 30- to 40-lb. bale per day). If you feed grain, the usual is 16% dairy ration, which will balance well with most pasture or hay. Another rule of thumb is to give 1 lb. of grain for every 3 lbs. of milk
A cow can eat about 55-60 lbs of corn silage per day (33% moisture. To grow cattlefrom 300 to 1000 pounds on only corn silage would require about 7 tons of silage. Generally you could expect between 20 and 24 tons of corn silage per acre
Water Consumption As a thumb rule, consumption will range from 1 gallon per 100 pounds of body weight during cold weather to nearly 2 gallons per 100 pounds of body during the hottest weather. Lactating cows require nearly twice as much water compared to dry cows
Common Cattle Diseases
Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC) or “Shipping Fever”, is a formof pneumonia commonly seen in shipped or stressed calves. Stress, such as weaning, dehorning, shipping and weather changes can make the animal susceptible to disease-causing viruses and bacteria. The best way to reduce the risk of BRDC is through routine vaccination. Vaccinating early in life is important, because calves that survive respiratory disease often don’t grow as fast or as large as calves, which have never been infected. A vaccine program should include protection against the following respiratory diseases, all of which contribute to BRDC.
Clostridial Disease, or “Blackleg” is a common name for a class of bacterial infections called clostridial. There are over 60 different types of clostridial bacteria, but not all of them cause the disease. Clostridial usually occurs in calves or young cattle less than 2 years old and is caused by gangrene that forms in the muscles. Clostridial normally results from young calves not getting the proper amount of colostrum. Clostridial can appear in older cattle and is usually the result of vaccine needle contamination.
BRSV (Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus) This is a sometimes fatal, stress-related infection that can cause mild to severe respiratory disease and reduce the animal’s resistance to other diseases. Signs include coughing, high fever, and runny eyes and nose.
BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhea) This is one of the most costly diseases of cattle. Signs include scours, nasal discharge, coughing, and fever. Type 2 BVD is a severe form of this virus that can cause hemorrhaging in young calves, as well as adults.
Haemophilus Somnus is a bacterial infection implicated in a variety of respiratory, neurological and reproductive disorders. H. Somnus can be the primary cause of respiratory disease, or it can be an underlying infection that is masked by other disease-causing agents. Signs of H. Somnus include fever, coughing, nasal discharge and labored breathing. Death without symptoms can occur.
IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis) Aka.‘Red nose,’ this highly contagious virus causes respiratory disease. Signs include inflamed nasal passages, fever, rapid breathing, deep cough, and loss of appetite.
PI3 (Parainfluenza Type 3) This is a common, mild respiratory disease that suppresses the animal’s immune system, allowing other diseases and infections to develop. The virus is shed in nasal and eye secretions, and infects non-vaccinated animals through the mouth and nasal passages.
Pasteurella Haemolytica and Pasteurella Multocida These highly infectious bacteria are the major cause of pneumonia, and the most commonly found pathogens in cattle dying of respiratory disease. P. Haemolytica and P. Multocida multiply quickly in the presence of stress, poor weather, or primary viral infections. Signs include depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, and high fever. Death can occur suddenly with few signs of disease, or the animal can survive only to become a “‘poor doer” due to the lung damage caused by this disease.
Rabies Rabies can infect all warm blooded animals, including humans. It attacks the central nervous system, causing death. Rabies vaccinations are only available from a veterinarian

Holstein Friesian Cow

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