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South African Journal of Animal Science

Print version ISSN 0375-1589

Abstract

THERON, H.E.  and  MOSTERT, B.E.. Production and breeding performance of South African dairy herds. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.5, pp. 206-210. ISSN 0375-1589.

Comparisons between production and breeding potential of different feeding systems (Concentrates, Mixed and Pastures) in South Africa were made. Data of active cows participating in performance testing as at November 2007 were used. Holstein cows numbered 68280 in 254 herds and Jersey cows 51275 in 248 herds. Average milk production and lactation number were 8147 ± 2260 and 2.9 ± 1.8 for Holstein and 5347 ± 1156 and 3.1 ± 2.0 for Jersey, respectively. Most Holstein and Jersey herds (53%) were on Mixed rations, followed by Concentrates (28%) and Pastures (19%). Milk production was 9967 ± 2022; 6996 ± 1623 and 7143 ± 1549 kg for Holstein and 6385 ± 1233; 5155 ± 955 and 4753 ± 1022 kg for Jersey cows, respectively, for Concentrates, Mixed and Pasture systems. Most sires used were local (49% of Holstein sires and 68% of Jersey sires). Imported Holstein sires were mostly from USA (30%) and The Netherlands (17%), and foreign Jersey sires (26%) were mostly from the USA. Farmers seemed to select the same sires on the different feeding regimes. Differences between feeding regimes were significant.

Keywords : Concentrates; pasture systems; sire selection.

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