How to get started crossbreeding with HYVIG
Crossbreeding is all about improving the performance of your overall herd, rather than individual cows. HYVIG will work for high input/high output systems or low input/low output systems and everything in between.
1. Setting priorities
Make a list of what it is you want to achieve from your HYVIG herd in order of importance. Crossbreeding is a commitment and will be very different from a pure bred herd. So it is important to always refer to your priorities when establishing your changing herd. Remember your plan doesn’t have to be set in concrete but does have to help your direction of travel.
2. Make a HYVIG plan
• HYVIG is based upon Norwegian Red and Holstein Genetics, but should you wish to pursue a three way cross, you will need to consider which third breed will complement your herd and help you achieve your goals.
• Identify which cows in your herd to cross breed, you do not have to commit your whole herd to cross breeding, although doing so will show maximum benefit.
• Discuss your options with our HYVIG crossbreeding specialists who will combine a thorough understanding of the herd’s needs with expert knowledge on breeds and bulls relevant for crossbreeding.
3. Choose your HYVIG system
One of the key benefits of crossbreeding is the hybrid vigour effect which boosts herd health and reproduction. Your HYVIG cross breeding system will exploit this benefit but this does differ. A two-way crossing system or a three-way crossing system maintains differing levels of hybrid vigour over time (see tables 1.1 & 1.2). You may wish to consider this when identifying your herd’s priorities. Whatever you choose, your plan should be simple and work for you! Read more about the benefits of crossbreeding with HYVIG.
4. Choose your additional HYVIG breeds
If you are choosing a three-way cross, which breed characteristics have higher priority for your herd? i.e are you looking for stronger cows, higher value bulls calves etc. To do this you need to identify which breeds are most relevant or complementary to your herd. Our HYVIG specialists can help you to identify which breeds might suit your herd best and how a two or three-way cross might work for you, contact us for more information or take a look at table 1.3 below in which additional third breed options are highlighted in red.
5. Choose your HYVIG bulls
Once you have decided which HYVIG system suits you, the final step is to select the HYVIG bulls which match your herd’s priorities. Our HYVIG specialist can help you to make the right choice for your herd. Take a look at our HYVIG bulls…