As many of you might know, Global is also a dealer of Spermex Semen. This is where we get all of the German Fleckvieh we sell. German Fleckvieh is a dual purpose breed of cattle that has grown in great popularity in the past years. Today, Fleckvieh cattle are the second most populous breed of cattle worldwide, with more than 42 million cows. Fleckvieh find themselves well-liked in dairy herds as a crossbreeding option as well as a purebred milker.
The biggest question that I hear when introducing Fleckvieh to new farmers is why?
Why use Fleckvieh, what makes them special? To be honest, there are quite a few good reasons; here is a list of just a few:
- Fleckvieh are bred to be “middle-of-the-road” animals:
Fleckvieh are a dual purpose breed, so they need to be able o perform well as a dairy cow and as a beef cow. Sure, they split in the middle, with dairy bulls that are better for milk production, but the dairy cows are still well muscled and carry a good amount of strength. This gives the Fleckvieh or Fleck cross a higher cull value and gives a higher market price to bull calves.
- They have strong health traits:
Fleckvieh cows have lower Somatic cell counts on average and exhibit fewer cases of mastitis on average. They also have fewer metabolic issues after calving than typical dairy breeds, with milk fever being a non-issue for the breed. This adds peace of mind to the farmer around calving time and also allows that cow to get on top of her production a lot faster than any cow that gets sick. On top of that, Fleckvieh cows have more longevity than most typical dairy breeds and will stay in the herd longer.
- They are bred to pass along maternal traits well:
The Fleckvieh dairy breed is focused on strong udder attachments that will last as long as the cow. They were bred to be easily milked and milk for many lactations. In addition to the strong udder, Fleckvieh cows have higher components in their milk, with the breed averaging a 4.2% fat and 3.5-3.8% protein content. Add that to the fact that they only produce 1-3% less volume of milk than a Holstein on average and you’ve got a good deal .
- They are calm!
For the most part, Fleckvieh cattle are mild-mannered animals. They are calm to milk, move, and generally be around. If you have liked our Facebook page, you have seen the picture of Logan and his friend, the fleckvieh calf, but if not here it is again. Granted, most calves will do that, but even as older animals, Fleckvieh are calm and sedated. They make great additions to freestalls where you do not want a cow to run you down.
Fleckvieh cows are only going to get more popular, and for good reason. Fleckvieh are a great addition to a crossbreeding program and cross well with many breeds. If you have any questions, call us, or check out the website. Also, Fleckvieh have a rich history, if you are interested, check out these links: