Dairy products are a staple in the typical American’s diet; the average American drinks 17 gallons of milk per year. However, few people think about where these products come from. The dairy industry in the United States is immense, with 9.39 dairy cows reported in 2018. There are many breeds that are a part of the dairy industry, with Brown Swiss and Holstein-Friesian cattle among the most popular in the United States, but are often used for different types of dairy operations. This stems from breed differences in milk production as well as milk fat and milk protein percentages. The Brown Swiss and Holstein-Friesian herds at Eastern Kentucky University’s Stateland Dairy follow the typical breed trends. Between the months of August 2017 to March 2018, The Holstein-Friesian herd was higher at 79.75 milk pounds on average, while the Brown Swiss was 55.16 milk pounds on average. The Brown Swiss herd, though, has higher percentages of milk fat and milk protein (5.21% and 3.4% respectively) than the Holstein-Friesian herd (3.87% and 3.12% respectively). . This could be explained by the higher somatic cell score also found in the Brown Swiss herd (3.03 compared to the Holstein-Friesian herd at 1.9), or by the limitations of the data in terms of the number of observations for each herd.
Semester/Year of Award
Dr. Andrea Sexten
Department of Agriculture
Restricted Access Thesis
Campbell, Jennifer S., "Breed Specific: A Comparison of Milk Production and Components of Brown Swiss and Holstein-Friesian Dairy Cows Over an Eight Month Period at Eastern Kentucky University’s Meadowbrook Farm" (2019). Honors Theses. 631.