Cross breeding for better grazing


The farm of Pixérécourt do cross breeding for a few years. The objective of this 5 breed crossing is to have small cows, adapted to a milk production based on grass.

The cross breeding is a way to be consistent with the exploitation system : maximize grazing to maximize economics results /ha with the resources present on the farm.

These breeds are using for the crossing :

  • Prim’holstein
  • Montbéliarde
  • Normande
  • Jersiaise
  • Rouge scandinave

Crossing are beginning since 2009 with good economic results and a better milk quality.

The crossing allows to go faster in the selection with the heterosis effect, and allows to select easily low-heritable caracters.

Reason for the innovation

  • Maximize economics results
  • Valorize grass with few concentrate
  • Increase milk production / kg alive weight for the dairy cows

Farm description


  • Soils: Superficial clay and limes-tone and sandy-loam
  • Climate: Oceanic to continental trend
  • Altitude: 220m

Grassland management

  • Grazing: Yes, cellular grazing
  • Grazing 6 months a year


  • Annual Work Unit: 2,5
  • Agricultural area: 280 ha UAA
    • Rangeland area: 140 ha
    • Temporary grassland: 110 ha
    • Permanent grassland: 20 ha
    • No corn silage
  • Breeds: 5 breeds crossing
  • Stocking rate: 1,17 LU / ha of grassland

Animal performance

  • Milk production per head: 5 300 L /year

Why it is working

This innovation works on this farm because it is included in the farm system evolution.

The will to increase exploitation profitability leads to a better grass use, which leads to a better grazing management. The old cattle couldn’t meet that goal. So the exploitation need to have smaller, lighter and more « rustic » cows, using cross-breeding.

Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

animal type (breed), farm system

Main types of animal

dairy cattle, meat sheep



Product type

Farmer portrait


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