Date of Award
Senior Honors Thesis
College or School
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems
Program or Major
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
Bachelor of Science
Recent years had seen a significant rise in the use of beef semen on dairy cows in the United States. This trend was not widely understood, especially as it related to dairy farmers in New Hampshire. A survey was sent out by mail to the ninety-seven dairy farms in New Hampshire. There were thirty-seven responses to the survey. Thirty-two out of thirty-seven respondents bred beef semen to their dairy cows. Twenty-one of these respondents raised dairy x beef on their farms and twenty-six planned to continue breeding dairy x beef. The most common breeds used in dairy x beef crosses were Holstein and Angus. 24% of respondents began breeding dairy x beef in 2000 or before, 8% began between 2001 and 2013, and 68% began between 2014 and 2023. The average size of dairies surveyed was 101 - 200 dairy cattle. The three most common reasons cited for breeding dairy x beef were increased income, consumer demand, and easier conception. Dairy farmers received a higher price on average for a dairy x beef calf than for a conventional bull calf. Farmers weaned dairy x beef calves at an average of 12 weeks. Farmers did not seem to finish their dairy x beef cattle on different feed than they were grown on. The average slaughter age was 18 - 20 months. Most dairy x beef meat was marketed direct to the consumer by the whole carcass, half carcass, or by the piece.
Braun, Eleanor J., "The Prevalence and Impact of Dairy/Beef Crosses on Cattle Producers in New Hampshire" (2023). Honors Theses and Capstones. 771.