THE MONTBELIARDE BREED INFORMATION
The Montbeliarde originated in the mountains of eastern France, and was officially registered as a pure breed in 1888. The tough climate of the mountains have shaped the Montbelirde as a very hardy cow, able to cope with the coldest and hottest weather conditions, and with an excellent adaptation to all sorts of rearing systems. For centuries Montbeliarde breeders have also been cheese makers, and therefore always paid special attention to milk solids and udder health.
Montbeliarde Selection Program
Future A.I. sire selected long before their birth, when the bull dams are themselves selected and mated with chosen sires. Each year, over 360 bull calves enter the testing station. Almost half of them will be eliminated before progeny testing according to their results in growth, feed conversion, morphology, male fertility, quality of frozen semen, and updated breeding values of their parents. Montbeliarde breeding values are published 3 times a year, with a change of index base once a year.
"I started 4 years ago crossing with Monbeliarde genetics on my 1500 Holstein cow herd. Today these " Monty" crosses are milking in my barn, I can tell you that my vet costs have lowered a lot, and the crosses don't need as much feed as the pure Holsteins to grow the same way. The "Monty" crosses might start a little slower than pure Holsteins but they get pregnant a lot quicker and persistency is amazing. I didn't see any change in their size and stature compared to the Holstein and their locomotion and overall health really simplify my management. Production is also impressive, as we thought that the Montbeliarde genetics were lower than U.S. genetics, but it's not the case. Differences in milk price and feed cost make them produce less in Europe, but here we are seeing that they work very well in our conditions." - Willem Postma (1500 cow dairy, Modesto, CA)
"Our bankers love them, just as we do!" John & Bill Bergwerff Dairymen from Oakdale and Modesto, California started crossbreeding 6 years ago with Montbeliarde genetics. "For us, pregnant cows are the greatest economic driver on a dairy, and each pregnancy obtained, further ensures the success of the entire dairy operation. Our Montbeliarde-Holstein are high producers and consistent breeders, just what we needed. In addition, they have so much strengh," say John and Bill Bergwerff, Oakdale CA.
John Kruston's opinion:
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