Should we breed cows like pigs? A new organisation of dairy cattle breeding

Morten Kargo*, Hanne Marie Nielsen, Søren Østergaard, R. D. Kring, Margot Slagboom, Julie Brastrup Clasen, Jørn Rind Thomasen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Crossbreeding is the most common breeding system for pigs and poultry, but not for dairy cattle. When selecting purebred lines for crossbred performance, it becomes possible to take advantage of both breed complementarity and heterosis. In this paper, we present a new structure of dairy cattle breeding with the aim to improve crossbred performance in production cows. The structure
of the dairy sector can be organised like a pyramid with nucleus herds, multiplier herds, and production herds. Genetic improvement of purebreds takes place in the nucleus. Surplus females from the breeding nucleus are transferred to the multiplier level, where they are used as dams of crossbred animals for production herds. In addition, we hypothesise that joint breeding planning and formulation of breeding goals for each parental breed are necessary in order to optimise
crossbred performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWCGALP 2022 Programme book
Number of pages4
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Publication dateJul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
EventWorld Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3 Jul 20228 Jul 2022
Conference number: 12


ConferenceWorld Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production
Internet address

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