HF Cow Facts, Profile, and Characteristics:
Today, let us discuss HF cow facts including their breed profile, and characteristics.
Introduction of HF (Holstein Friesian):
Holstein Friesian cattle originated from the Friesland area of Holland. Now, this cattle breed is available all over the world. The most Holstein Friesian is the black and white color. This color pattern is always patchy, with big, black, rounded white patches over the animal’s body. Its characteristics are a large size and black and white spotted markings, sharply defined rather than blended. These cows are believed to have been selected for dairy qualities for about 2,000 years. They have long been widely distributed over the more fertile lowlands of continental Europe, where they are valued highly for their milk-producing capacity. In the US the Holstein-Friesians outnumber all other dairy breeds and produce nine-tenths of the milk supply. The milk has relatively low butterfat content. HF 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 Holsteins, hence the regularly hyphenated name.
Physical Characteristics HF Cows:
- The cow produces a calf for the first time at the age of 2.5 years.
- Cow Produce calf every year.
- The cow produces about 40 kg of milk daily and 4500-9000 kg annually.
- Calf weights 30-40 kg when they born.
Holsteins are large, stylish animals with color patterns of red and white or black and white. Friesians are suitable for variable Irish climate, with the ability to adapt to continental seasonal changes as well as thrive in hotter North American regions. A healthy Holstein calf weighs 90 pounds at birth. A full-grown Holstein cow weighs about 1500 pounds and stands 58 inches tall at the shoulder. Holstein Friesian heifers can be bred at 15 months of age when they weigh about 800 pounds. It is desirable to have HF females calve for the first time between 24 and 27 months of age. Holstein gestation is about nine months. While some cows may live longer, the normal productive life of a Holstein is six years.
Read: Quail Bird Farming.
Average production for all HF’s enrolled in official U.S. production testing programs in 1987 was 17,408 pounds of milk, 633 pounds of butterfat and 550 pounds of protein per year.
There is growing attention in the polled factor in dairy cattle. All breeds have some polled cattle. A number of Red and White breeders have shown a special interest in developing polled cattle. The cattle have a great long life, making them good for farmers who worry about the cost of herd replacements. The average weight of a Friesian cow is 580kg at full maturity, reaching the same frame-size and weight as pure Holsteins. Historical records show that some Friesian beef cattle actually reached over 1.3 tones in finishing weight.
Milk Production / Yield of HF Cows:
Usually, HF cows give milk 3 times per day. It can give up to 72,000 lbs of milk in 365 days. On average it produces 23,385 lbs of milk, 858 lbs of butterfat and 719 lbs of protein per year. Dominate the country’s milk production industry. The 2017 average actual production for all U.S. Holstein herds that were enrolled in production-testing programs and eligible for genetic evaluations were 963 pounds of butterfat, 25,676 pounds of milk, and 799 pounds of protein per year.
Cost of HF Cow:
Usually, HF cow costs depending on milk production, age, lactation status, and pregnancy status.
If the Holstein cow has two teeth and at first calving with a milk yield of 10 to 15 liters per day then the price of the cow may be between Rs. 40,000-Rs. 60,000.
If the Holstein cow has four teeth and the milk yield is 20 liters then the price of the cow is above Rs. 60,000.
Read: Small Scale Dairy Farming.
Typical breed characteristics of HF Cow:
- They are very big size.
- They have no hunchback.
- The color of their body generally becomes mixed with black and white.
- Head is very long and comparatively thin.
- Their backside becomes very heavy.
- Backside legs are straight.
- The body of Holstein Friesian cow become nourished
Body type and characteristics:
HF cows are a dairy breed. Dairy cattle are thin and more angular than beef cattle. HF cows like all dairy breeds have more angles over the hips, tail-head, and shoulders than beef breeds. A group of Holsteins will look finer-boned than other beef breeds like Herefords because they lack the muscling ability of your typical beef cow. HF’s show more bone and less fat and muscle because they have been specifically selected to produce milk, not beef. Holsteins have what are called “funnel-butts;” this means that from the pin bones to the hocks, the hindquarters form a funnel-type angle of the pelvis to the legs; this is somewhat evident when looking at an animal from the side. Being “funnel-butted” means that these cows, as was mentioned before, lack muscling over the hindquarters. The other characteristic that is typical of all dairy breeds is the huge udder between their back legs.
Head characteristics: An HF cow’s head is quite long. The long nose bridge gives this look and is quite unmistakable when comparing to other breeds like Jersey. Holsteins are a naturally horned breed, so you will often see as many horned as polled cows.
Other characteristics: HF’s are originally from the Netherlands, a country that is known for producing large quantities of milk, much more than any country in Europe. HF’s are the highest-quantity producing dairy cow in the world, and are thus far more commonly sought-after and used in commercial dairy operations across the world. It is known that HF’s are capable of producing as much as 50 gallons (189.3 L) of milk per day. HF’s are actually the largest dairy breed used in dairy operations, a little bigger than Brown Swiss, and more so than Jersey, Guernsey, Randall, and Canadian breeds. A mature cow can weigh around 1500 lbs.
Advantages of HF Cows:
- Best production
- Milk of Holstein Cow contains 3.5 % fat
- Greater income over feed costs
- Unequaled genetic abilities
- Adaptable for a wide range of environments
Disadvantages of HF Cows:
- Because they produce more amount of food and produce so much milk, Holstein has a disadvantage in reproductive efficiency.
- Holstein’s temperament is in direct correlation to how the animal was treated in its younger years, so if it was not treated very well it can act up.