By their distinctive colour markings and excellent milk quality, Holstein cattle are recognised most easily.
Big, stylish animals with colour patterns of black and white or red and white are Holsteins. At birth, a healthy Holstein calf weighs 90 pounds or more. A mature Holstein cow weighs about 1,500 pounds and has a shoulder height of 58 inches. At 13 months of age, Holstein heifers can be bred when they weigh around 800 pounds. It is ideal to have Holstein females calve between the ages of 23 and 26 months for the first time. The gestation period in Holstein is around nine months. Although some cows may live slightly longer, a Holstein’s average productive life is approximately four years.
The Production of Milk
The total real production in 2017 for all U.S. 25,676 pounds of milk, 963 pounds of butterfat and 799 pounds of protein per year were Holstein herds that were participating in production testing programmes and eligible for genetic evaluations.
It is known that top milked Holsteins raised three times a day produce over 72,000 pounds of milk in 365 days.
Holstein dairy cattle dominate the milk production industry in this country. There is a simple explanation for their popularity: unexcelled production, higher feed cost revenues, unequalled genetic merit, and adaptability to a wide range of environmental conditions. In addition, for the dairy producer that milks Holsteins, this means more benefit. This argument becomes even clearer when you remember that Holsteins are actually milked by nine of every 10 dairy farmers.
Twenty-two Million Holsteins Registered
About 22 million animals are registered in the Herd Book of the Holstein Association. It is possible to trace the ancestors of most of these species to animals originally introduced from the Netherlands.
Nearly 20 percent of all U.S. dairy cattle are associated with the Affiliation by Holstein. As a source of superior breeding stock, the upper end of this population is known to provide genetics for the dairy industry worldwide.