If you have questions about HYVIG these frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers may be of help. For questions regarding the individual breeds, please look at the at the following link: norwegianred.com or absglobal.com for more information.
What is HYVIG?
HYVIG is the new dairy crossbreeding solution that gives you more. HYVIG does this by offering a tailor made breeding strategy based around the unique genetics of the Norwegian Red breed alongside the world leading genetics of Genus ABS Holsteins. Our experts can help you achieve your herds breeding goals using a two or three-way cross.When used on your Holstein cows, this unique combination will boost your herds performance – which means you can expect reduced workload and more profit, time and time again. In addition, we have a dedicated team of experts here to help you every step of the way. HYVIG complements other breeds as well and is a complete solution which fits into any farming system, delivering more.
What is the difference between the HYVIG crossbreeding programme compared to other crossbreeding programs?
HYVIG is the only proven crossbreeding programme that can provide you with monetary figures on what you can expect in terms of financial gains, based on data from trials and real world data. HYVIG is a planned programme that offers a tailor made solution to suit your particular situation, trained crossbreeding specialists and a process of continuous monitoring and improvement to ensure your goals are achieved.
Why have ABS and Geno (Norwegian Red) decided to partner together?
ABS has partnered with Geno (Norwegian Red) to create a new breeding collaboration based on the best genetics available. ABS Holstein and Norwegian Red are the foundation breeds of the programme and we combine these, as necessary, with top sires of other breeds to meet our customers’ needs. The combined history of the two companies totals more than 140 years of experience partnering with customers to help them succeed. Both companies share the vision of offering world leading genetics, innovative technology and focussing on the needs of our customers. Together we provide these benefits to the World’s dairy farmers.
How does the milk, fat and protein production of HYVIG crosses compare with purebred Holstein cows?
As in any breeding programme, milk, fat and protein production is dependent on the sires used. Your HYVIG advisor can help select the right programme to meet your goals.
What is heterosis (hybrid vigour)?
Heterosis or hybrid vigour is added performance that results when we cross two breeds that have different genetic origins. Geneticists believe that heterosis results primarily from having individuals that are more variable in their genetic material and are less inbred. Heterosis is measured as the difference in performance from the average performance of the parental breeds and usually it is expressed as a percentage of the parental breed average.
How would a producer who is not paid for protein or fat use HYVIG?
There are currently few modern dairy industries where producers are only paid based on fluid with no consideration for fat or protein. In these situations, HYVIG crosses are likely to be advantageous especially if the management of the herds is intensive.
HYVIG is all about breeding trouble free, profitable cows. Improved fertility, fewer vet treatments, healthy vigourous calves and good production of quality milk provides benefits to all producers; no matter what the milk payment system.
How can HYVIG give you more robust calves and cows?
HYVIG can result in more robust calves and cows because of heterosis for cow and calf health, survival and reproduction, and because some breeds have better health, survival and reproduction than other breeds. Heterosis is typically higher for health, survival and reproduction than for milk production traits, which means that crossbreeding will generally be more advantageous for health, survival and reproduction than for the production traits. In addition, breeds like the Norwegian Red have outstanding performance for health, survival and reproduction, so adding these breed to a crossbreeding program will improve these traits just because of the improved breed genetic contribution. It is also important to remember that this genetic contribution will be transmitted to future offspring.
How can HYVIG ensure lower replacement rates?
HYVIG will generally result in lower replacement rates because of improved cow health, survival and reproduction due to heterosis, and because some breeds have better health, survival and reproduction than other breeds. The Norwegian Red has outstanding performance for health, survival and reproduction so adding the Norwegian Red breed to a crossbreeding program will improve replacement rates and increase herd profitability.
How can HYVIG improve reproductive performance?
HYVIG will generally result in improved reproductive performance because heterosis for reproduction is very high, and because the Norwegian Red have much better reproduction than other breeds and will transmit this improved reproduction performance to their offspring. This is very important as this genetic improvement will be transmitted to succeeding generations.
How can HYVIG increase bull calf value?
HYVIG offers complementary breeds , that have excellent calf survival and produce high quality bull calves for meat. In some countries and locations, bull calf income can be a significant influence on herd profitability and in these herds bull calf survival is critical. HYVIG results in a hybrid calf that is very hardy and also results in cows that are great mothers at calving. Having great maternal calving traits will also increase bull calf survival rates.
Will HYVIG solve all problems?
No, HYVIG will not solve all herd management problems. However, HYVIG is one more tool that commercial dairy producers can use to improve their profitability and HYVIG will help with many modern dairy management challenges.
I am only interested in using 2 breeds in a breeding programme. How much hybrid vigour will I lose and is this a problem?
When deciding on the HYVIG programme it is important that breeds selected meet your needs. The minor loss of hybrid vigour (about 2% of fertility for example) is not as important as only using the best breeds for your herd.
It is well accepted that the first cross cows perform well, but where do I go next?
It is important to have a plan for your breeding programme. However, things change – so like all good plans, it must be flexible. Depending on your goals your HYVIG advisor may suggest a 2- or 3-way programme. The breeds selected will be chosen based on the traits they offer to improve your herd.
I want a consistent herd of cows as I find them easier to manage. Will my herd have a lot of variety when I introduce HYVIG?
It is important to consider the implications of using different breeds in your programme. Your HYVIG advisor can advise you on what to expect when considering various options. For example, Norwegian Red will lower stature about 2-3 inches when used on Holsteins and lower weight by 100-150 pounds resulting in a slightly shorter “chunkier” cow. However, introducing Jersey would drop size and stature dramatically producing a much different cow.