Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 845–850 | Cite as

Impact of crossbreeding Holstein and Brown Swiss cows on milk yield, composition, and fatty acid profiles in subtropics

  • Mahmoud S. El-Tarabany
  • Akram A. El-Tarabany
  • Sana S. Emara
Regular Articles


Milk yield (MY), composition, and fatty acid profiles of purebred Holstein (HO) cows, Brown Swiss (BS), and their F1 crossbreds (HS) were compared under subtropical climate in Egypt. Pure HO had significantly greater 305-MY, total-MY, and daily-MY (p < 0.05) than pure BS and crossbred HS. Furthermore, HO and HS had significantly higher peak-MY (44.2 and 43.3 kg, respectively) than BS (36.1 kg). In comparison with HO, BS had significantly higher milk fat, protein, total solids, and solid-not-fat % (p < 0.05); however, no significant differences were observed between BS and HS for milk fat %. The milk fat of BS had higher concentrations of saturated (C17:0 and C18:0) fatty acids (FA) than that of the HO and HS (p = 0.001 and 0.008, respectively). Content of C4:0, C6:0, C8:0, C12:0, and C15.0 FA did not differ between genotypes. Milk from HO and BS had significantly higher concentrations of unsaturated (C20:1 and C20:5) FA than that from HS (p < 0.05). C14:1 (myristoleic), C16:1 (palmitoleic), and C18:2 (linoleic) FA contents were similar for all genotypes. In conclusion, BS surpassed HO for all milk composition traits and some FA components; however, HS had comparable milk fat percentage with BS. There appears to be an opportunity to modify the concentration of certain FA by breeding.


Holstein Brown Swiss Crossbreeding Milk yield Fatty acids 



The authors express appreciation to the owner of EXPANDED herd, Ismailia—El-Sahrawi road, for permitting us to collect the data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

Experimental procedures were conducted in accordance with the Zagazig University Animal Ethics Committee guidelines (ANWD-215).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Ahlborn-Breier, G., Hohenboken, W.D., 1991. Additive and nonadditive genetic effects on milk production in dairy cattle: Evidence for major individual heterosis. J. Dairy Sci. 74, 592–602.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bassiri, S., Taghizadeh, A., Angadji, L., Dusti Fard, M., Tofigi, A., 2012. The comparison of lactation performance and milk fatty acid composition of Sarabi indigenous and Holstein cows. J Cell Animal Biology 6, 182–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bauman, D.E., Griinari, J.M., 2003. Nutritional regulation of milk fat synthesis. Annual Rev Nutrition 23, 203–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bjelland, D.W., Weigel, K.A., Hoffman, P.C., Esser, N.M., Coblentz, W.K., Halbach, T.J., 2011. Production, reproduction, health, and growth traits in backcross Holstein × Jersey cows and their Holstein contemporaries. J Dairy Sci 94, 5194–5203.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Dechow, C.D., Rogers, G.W., Cooper, J.B., Phelps, M.I., Mosholder, A.L., 2007. Milk, fat, protein, somatic cell score, and days open among Holstein, Brown Swiss, and Their Crosses. J. Dairy Sci. 90, 3542–3549.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. DePeters, E.J., Medrano, J.F., Reed, B.A., 1995. Fatty acid composition of milk fat from three breeds of dairy cattle. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 75, 267–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dezetter, C., Bareille, N., Billon, D., Côrtes, C., Lechartier, C., Seeger, H., 2017. Changes in animal performance and profitability of Holstein dairy operations after introduction of crossbreeding with Montbéliarde, Normande, and Scandinavian Red. J. Dairy Sci. 100, 8239–8264.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Dezetter, C., Leclerc, H., Mattalia, S., Barbat, A., Boichard, D., Ducrocq, V., 2015. Inbreeding and crossbreeding parameters for production and fertility traits in Holstein, Montbéliarde, and Normande cows. J. Dairy Sci. 98, 4904–4913.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Dijkstra, J., Van Zijderveld, S.M., Apajalahti, J.A., Bannink, A., Gerrits, W.J.J., Newbold, J.R., Perdok, H.B., Berends, H., 2011. Relationships between methane production and milk fatty acid profiles in dairy cattle. Animal Feed Sci Technol 166–167, 590–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. El-Tarabany, M.S., El-Tarabany, A.A., Roushdy, E.M., 2017. Production and health performance of Holstein, Brown Swiss and their crosses under subtropical environmental conditions. Anim. Prod. Sci. 57, 1137–1143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. El-Tarabany, M.S., Nasr, M.A.F., 2015. Reproductive performance of Brown Swiss, Holstein and their crosses under subtropical environmental conditions. Theriogenology 84, 559–565.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. German, J.B., Dillard, C.J., 2006. Composition, structure and absorption of milk lipids: A source of energy, fat-soluble nutrients and bioactive molecules. Critical Reviews Food Sci Nutrition 46, 57–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Glasser, F., Ferlay, A., Chilliard, Y., 2008. Oilseed lipid supplements and fatty Acid composition of cow milk: A meta-analysis. J. Dairy Sci. 91, 4687–4703.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Harfoot, C.G., 1978. Lipid metabolism in the rumen. Prog. Lipid Res. 17, 21–54.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Heins, B.J., Hansen, L.B., 2012. Short communication: Fertility, somatic cell score, and production of Normande×Holstein, Montbéliarde×Holstein, and Scandinavian Red × Holstein crossbreds versus pure Holsteins during their first 5 lactations. J. Dairy Sci. 95, 918–924.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Heins, B.J., Hansen, L.B., Seykora, A.J., 2006. Production of pure Holsteins versus crossbreds of Holstein with Normande, Montbeliarde, and Scandinavian Red. J. Dairy Sci. 89, 2799–2804.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kelsey, J.A., Corl, B.A., Collier, R.J., Baumand, E., 2003. The effect of breed, parity, and stage of lactation on conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in Milk Fat from Dairy Cows. J. Dairy Sci. 86, 2588–2597.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Mensink, R.P., Zock, P.L., Kester, A.D., Katan, M.B., 2003. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. Am J Clinical Nutrition 77, 1146–1155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Němečková, D., Stádník, L., Čítek, J., 2015. Associations between milk production level, calving interval length, lactation curve parameters and economic results in Holstein cows. Mljekarstvo 65, 243–250.Google Scholar
  20. Palladino, R. A., F. Buckley, R. Prendiville, J. J. Murphy, J. Callan, and D. A. Kenny. 2010. A comparison between Holstein-Friesian and Jersey dairy cows and their F1 hybrid on milk fatty acid composition under grazing conditions. J. Dairy Sci. 93, 2176–2184.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Palmquist, D.L., Stelwagen, K., Robinson, P.H., 2006. Modifying milk composition to increase use of dairy products in healthy diets—Preface. Animal Feed Sci Technol 131, 149–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Penasa, M., López-Villalobos, N., Evans, R.D., Cromie, A.R., Dal Zotto, R., Cassandro, M., 2010. Crossbreeding effects on milk yield traits and calving interval in spring-calving dairy cows. J. Anim. Breed. Genet. 127, 300–307.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Ren, J., Mozurkewich, E.L., Sen, A., Vahratian, A.M., Ferreri, T.G., Morse, A.N., Djuric, Z., 2013. Total Serum Fatty Acid Analysis by GC-MS: Assay Validation and Serum Sample Stability. Curr. Pharm. Anal. 9, 331–39.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Rincon, E.J., Schermerhorn, E.C., McDowell, R.E., McDaniel, B.T., 1982. Estimation of genetic effects on milk yield and constituent traits in crossbred dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 65, 848–856.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. SAS, 2003. SAS/STAT users guide. SAS Institute INC, Cary.Google Scholar
  26. Soyeurt, H., Dardenne, P., Gillon, A., Croquet, C., Vanderick, S., Mayeres, P., Bertozzi, C., Gengler, N., 2006. Variation in fatty acid contents of milk and milk-fat within and across breeds. J. Dairy Sci. 89, 4858–4865.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Sterk, A., Johansson, B.E.O., Taweel, H.Z.H., Murphy, M., van Vuuren, A.M., Hendriks, W.H., Dijkstra, J., 2011. Effects of forage type, forage to concentrate ratio, and crushed linseed supplementation on milk fatty acid profile in lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 94, 6078–6091.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Stoop, W.M., Bovenhuis, H., Heck, J.M.L., van Arendonk, J.A.M., 2009. Effect of lactation stage and energy status on milk fat composition of Holstein–Friesian cows. J. Dairy Sci. 92, 1469–1478.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Stoop, W.M., van Arendonk, J.A.M., Heck, J.M.L., van Valenberg, H.J.F., Bovenhuis, H., 2008. Genetic parameters for major milk fatty acids and milk production traits of Dutch Holstein-Friesians. J Dairy Sci 91, 385–394.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Thorning, T.K., Raben, A., Tholstrup, T., Soedamah-Muthu, S.S., Givens, I., Astrup, A., 2016. Milk and dairy products: Good or bad for human health? An assessment of the totality of scientifc evidence. Food Nutr Res. 60, 32527.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. VanRaden, P.M., Sanders, A.H., 2003. Economic merit of crossbred and purebred US dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 86, 1036–1044.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Vlaeminck, B., Fievez, V., Cabrita, A.R.J., Fonseca, A.J.M., Dewhurst, R.J., 2006. Factors affecting odd- and branched-chain fatty acids in milk: a review. Animal Feed Sci Technol 131, 389–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmoud S. El-Tarabany
    • 1
  • Akram A. El-Tarabany
    • 2
  • Sana S. Emara
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Animal Wealth Development, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  2. 2.Biological Applications Department, Radioisotopes Applications DivisionNRC, Atomic Energy AuthorityCairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations