25 years of crossbreeding success in the home of the Holstein

A quarter of a century ago crossbreeding of dairy breeds was practically unknown Read more


Richard Lovatt,

My reason for using Fleckvieh on my 270 Jersey cows is that I need an uncomplicated cow able to produce a reliable quantity of milk on mainly pasture and low input managment and where I can create additional good income by selling bull calves. My criteria for profitable cow is having an intercalving period of around one year, low vet costs and at least 5 years of productive life,  which is garanteed by using the Fleckvieh x Jersey crossbreeds. What I have seen with Fleckvieh now this breed corresponds absolutely to my requirements.

Here at Fleckvieh UK we believe that crossbreeding should be an essential for farmers. (Well farmers not using Fleckvieh!)  With the current price of milk, what farmers are looking for is changing. Dairy farmers are now looking for stronger and healthier cows that are more fertile with great longevity. Fleckvieh covers all these basis with limited loss in production. 

With the Holstein market becoming over saturated with the Oman, Goldwyn and Shottle bloodlines, Rather than using new bloodlines all together some breeders are being told that genetic gain is more important than inbreeding, This leading to the bulls mentioned above often showing up in pedigrees more than once! The critical point for inbreeding is 6.25% which is seen as the point where it will impact the cows health and production. As a breed Holstein Friesians are at 5.2%. However for Fleckvieh this is not the case as for the Breed it is 0.61% which is negligible in comparison. 

Putting your cows to beef?

The biggest problem with putting your cows to beef breeds like British Blue or Angus is having a heifer calf and feeling as if you have lost out on a cow for the herd. Using Fleckvieh this isn't going to be a problem, All of the benefits of putting cows to a beef sire without the risk of losing out on a heifer for the herd

By Crossing in breeds like Fleckvieh in most cases there is only profit to be had by adding in:

  • High lifetime production
  • Extremely fertile animals
  • Excellent cell counts
  • Strong feet and legs
  • Better return on the bull calves

Hybrid Vigor is the other important benefit of crossbreeding with some fantastic examples of  Fleckvieh x Holsteins which haven't lost a great deal of milk production but have massively increased in Fertility, strength and longevity

The real question that should be asked: 

Why search for the Healthiest and strongest trait Holstein bulls when there are stronger and Healthier bulls in Fleckvieh? 

Black and white is old news Cross into full Colour

An Independent look at Fleckvieh in the UK