“No two cows are alike in their behavioural characteristics. These individual differences become evident in the reactions and the sensitivity of cows towards environmental changes already in daily life situations. There is evidence that such behavioural characteristics predispose an animal’s stress responsiveness. We assessed two methods in order to quantify individual characteristics: (1) we asked farmers to judge the “”personality”” of their cows by a questionnaire, (2) we examined individual characteristics of dairy cows by behavioural tests and observations in their normal housing condition. Although we found consistent individual characteristics based on the questionnaire they are likely to be biased by selective attention of farmers. Specific behavioural tests and observations revealed consistent and reproducable individual differences, which may thus reflect consistent “”personality traits””. In further studies we will test whether and how individual behavioural characteristics are related to the stress responsiveness of dairy cows.”
Although milk-production oriented (MPO) cow breeds have also become established in the mountain region, farms with the dual-purpose ‘Original Simmental’ breed are proving to be economically viable, with lower costs and higher direct payments making up for lower revenues from milk.
High milk yields before drying-off increase the risk of udder infections during the dry period. An online survey highlights what drying-off methods are currently used and how farmers rate the ‘incomplete milking’ approach for reducing milk yield.
Herholz C., Siegwart J., Bruckmaier R.M., Rytz E., Lamon I., Muhr M. und Stirnimann R.
In both sport and alternative agriculture, horses are once again being used as draught animals. Efficient power transmission plays an important role in the wellbeing of draught horses.