A total of 2,484 lactations in 760 Polish Holstein-Friesian cows were analysed. Calculations were made of length of life, length of productive life, total number of days in milk, number of calvings, ratio of days in milk to length of productive life, lifetime milk yield (kg), daily yield at the peak of lactation (kg) and lactation persistency as the percentage difference between daily milk production in the 2nd and 10th month in milk. The cows were divided into three groups according to lactation persistency (decrease in production): group I – up to 30%, group II – 30.1–50% and group III – over 50%. Lactation persistency significantly influenced (P≤0.01) length of life and efficiency of milk production in the analysed cow population. Cows with yield over 30 kg at the peak of lactation followed by a moderate decrease (40%) lived longest (over 6 years) and produced the most milk (nearly 28,000 kg). Yield of primiparous cows at the peak of lactation and its course were found to have a significant effect on length of life and lifetime milk production. The long period of high peak yield (over 30 kg of milk) in the primiparous cows in group I (with the best lactation persistency) in the long term proved to be detrimental, as these cows had the shortest productive life (2.3 lactations on average) and lifetime milk yield about 4,000 kg lower than in the cows in groups II and II (with the poorer lactation persistency).
An evaluation was conducted of the suitability for fattening in a semi-intensive system (mainly with fodders from permanent grassland) and the slaughter value of 15 young bulls of the Polish Red (PR) breed and 10 each of the White-Backed (WB) and Polish Black-and-White (BW) breeds. The reference group consisted of young bulls of the Black-and-White variety of the Polish Holstein- Friesian (HF) breed and the Simmental (SIM) breed, fattened on the same farms. Control fattening was carried out until the age of 18 months. Mean daily weight gain in the bulls of the native breeds during the control fattening period (which lasted 314-358 days) was 0.9 kg, similarly to HF, but significantly lower (P≤0.05) than in the Simmentals (986 g). During the entire fattening period, i.e. from birth to the age of 18 months, daily weight gain was 832 g in PR and 889-919 g in WB and BW. Dressing percentage was lowest in PR bulls (51.69%), and higher in WB (53.1%) and BW (53.49%), with values similar to the reference group, i.e. young bulls of the Simmental (52.97%) and HF (53.29%) breeds. The difference between PR and BW (1.8%) and HF (1.6%) was statistically significant (P≤0.05). In the EUROP classification system, the carcasses of the young bulls of the native breeds were most often placed in classes R- and O+ (conformation) and 2+ and 3- (fat cover), as in the case of young HF bulls. Carcasses of young Simmental bulls were assigned to much higher classes. The young bulls of the three Polish native breeds evaluated are good material for fattening in a semi-intensive system (mainly with fodder from permanent grasslands), while the young PR bulls were the least suitable
The material for the study consisted of 80 samples taken from the longissimus lumborum (LL) and semitendinosus (ST) muscles of young bulls of five breeds (8 samples of each muscle per breed), including three native breeds included in the genetic resources conservation programme, i.e. Polish Red, White-Backed and Polish Black-and-White, which together with the Simmental and Polish Holstein-Friesian breeds. The content of the elements (K, Na, Mg, Ca, Zn, Fe, Mn, and Cu) analysed in the meat of the young bulls (fattened in a semi-intensive system on fodder from permanent grassland) was found to depend (in varying degrees) on the breed of cattle. The greatest differences (P<0.01 and P<0.05) were noted between the Polish Holstein-Friesians (PHF) and the remaining breeds, mainly in the content of Mg, Ca, Zn and Mn. The results obtained in the four other breeds for most of the macro- and microelements were more uniform, with the highest content noted in the muscles of the young bulls of the native breeds.