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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Conservation of a native dairy cattle breed through terminal crossbreeding with commercial dairy breeds

Clasen, J. B.; Kargo, M.; Fikse, W. F.; Strandberg, E.; Wallenbeck, A.; Ostergaard, S.; Rydhmer, L.


Farmers play a key role in conserving native livestock breeds, but without economic support, farms with native breeds may not be viable. We hypothesized that terminal crossbreeding can improve herd economy and decrease the economic support needed from society. Three scenarios were simulated using SimHerd Crossbred: a herd of purebred Swedish Polled Cattle, a herd of purebred Swedish Red, and a herd of 75% Swedish Polled Cattle and 25% F1 crossbreds. The results showed annual contribution margin per cow in the herd can be increased by euro181 by crossbreeding compared with pure-breeding with the native breed, giving a 13.6% growth in contribution margin. However, the needed cost in subsidies paid by the government will remain unchanged if the population size of the native breed is to be maintained. Combining a crossbreeding strategy with the marketing of niche products may facilitate the conservation of native cattle.


Crossbreeding; native breeds; dairy cattle; conservation

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
2021, Volume: 70, number: 1, pages: 1-12