A: The ProCross is the only proven crossbreeding program utilizing the most elite sires from the VikingRed, Montbeliarde and Holstein breeds, to make a 3-way crossbred cow.
• Q: WHY 3 BREEDS?
A: Capturing and sustaining heterosis is a key part to an efficient crossbreeding program. Once you have gotten used to the extra bonus of heterosis, you do not want to drop below 75%. For the 2-breed crossing, the extent of heterosis drops to 50% in the second generation, leveling off at 67%. A system of 4 breeds results in a high heterosis on average, but contribution of each individual breed is too diluted. A 3-breed rotation is the optimum and results in an average heterosis of 86%.
• Q: WHICH BREED CAN I USE ON MY HEIFERS?
A: On your heifers you can use VikingRed or a very easy calving Montbeliarde sire.
• Q: WHAT BREED DO I USE ONCE I HAVE MY VIKINGRED X HOLSTEIN CROSSES?
A: We recommend to use the Montbeliarde because it is a proven cross and has been very successful when used on a VikingRed x Holstein cross. When you use the ProCross system, you maintain a more uniform herd for stature and body size.
• Q: HOW DO I START A PROCROSS BREEDING PROGRAM?
A: If you want to start your crossbreeding program with confidence, we have people in our office that you can talk to and guide you through your crossbreeding experience.
• Q: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU START A CROSSBREEDING PROGRAM?
A: It is always important to follow the plan when you are starting your own ProCross breeding program. Once you have made up your mind, stick to the plan.
• Q: HOW BIG IS THE MONTBELIARDE COMPARED TO A HOLSTEIN?
A: The Montbeliarde cross will take up the same space as your Holstein does in her free stall, however she will be stronger and slightly wider and will weigh 150-300 lbs more than your pure Holstein at peak production. The Montbeliarde gives a genetic body condition, and does not come from over feeding.
• Q: WILL CROSSBREEDING WITH SWEDISH RED AND MONTBELIARDE GIVE YOU HIGHER COMPONENTS?
A: Most of the time yes, the VikingRed’s Fat 4.30% and Protein 3.50%
The Montbeliarde has a Fat 3.91% and Protein 3.28%.
• Q: HOW IS THE TEMPERAMENT ON THE MONTBELIARDE'S?
A: The Montbeliarde cross is very calm and docile to work with.
• Q: IS THE PROCROSS COW A BETTER GRAZER?
A: Yes, the ProCross is a much better grazer than the pure Holstein; it will maintain body condition while in heavy production.
• Q: HOW IS THE CALVING ON THE CROSSES?
A: The numbers of cows that require assistance has significantly dropped, along with the stillborn rate. The crossbred cow has an overall easy calving most of the time.
• Q: WILL I LOSE MILK PRODUCTION IF I START A PROCROSS BREEDING PROGRAM?
A: With our experience there was little if any loss of milk production, some had slightly higher and some had slightly lower, however fat and protein % tend to be higher.
• Q: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CROSSBREEDING?
A: Hybrid vigor or heterosis is one of the primary benefits in crossbreeding. Crossbreeding offspring inherit favorable genes from both parents that improves health traits, milk production, fertility, longevity, and calf survival.
• Q: IS THE SCC LOWER ON THE CROSSES?
A: Definitely has improved-- Data shows that the reduction in SCC is significant in just two generations. We have seen fewer cases of mastitis, and crossbred cows seem to respond better to treatment.
• Q: IS THE PROCROSS COW HEALTHIER?
A: Definitely healthier! We think this is true due to the hybrid vigor and the fact that these breeds maintain better body condition.
• Q: HOW IS THE REPRODUCTION ON THE PROCROSS?
A: EXCELLENT! We believe this is due to the hybrid vigor and that the crossbreds maintain body condition through the first 100 days therefore it is easier for them to become pregnant.
• Q: HOW DO I SELECT THE BEST BULLS WITHIN THE MONTBELIARDE AND SWEDISH RED BREEDS?
A: We import bulls that are found in the top 1/3 of each breed only, and we would select bulls that are in the top from these lists. You can always call us if you have specific question in mind.
• Q: WILL ANIMALS THAT GO TO SLAUGHTER BE WORTH MORE?
A: Yes, The ProCross has genetic body condition, there for they yield more when they go to slaughter. This is a HUGE advantage.
• Q: ARE THE PROCROSS BULL CALVES WORTH MORE?
A: Yes, The bull calves are bigger than a Holstein or Jersey bull calf, there fore feedlots are paying a lot more to the dairy producers for these calves. They also are feeding out better at these feedlots than a pure Holstein or Jersey, they gain weight faster than these other two breeds.
• Q: WILL I LOSE THE UNIFORMITY IN MY HERD BY CROSSBREEDING?
A: No, if you follow the ProCross rotation using VikingRed, Montbeliarde and Holstein you will have a very uniform herd by using these 3 breeds.
• Q: WILL I HAVE REPLACEMENT HEIFERS TO SELL?
A: After a following the ProCross program you will definitely have surplus heifers.
• Q: HAS CROSSBREEDING IMPROVED FEET AND LEGS?
A: Yes, due to the heavier bone structure, and the red breeds putting a higher emphasis on the black hoof, this helps with better feet and legs.