Agroscope FAT Tänikon, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agricultural Economics and Engineering,CH- 8356 Ettenhausen

Ecology and profitability in Milk production

An in-depth economic comparison was carried out with different housing systems for dairy cows. Differences between the systems in terms of animal health, work quality, environmental impacts and product quality were also taken into account. The comparison involved tie-stall systems and cubicle housing systems.The results of the economic comparison show that average milk production is higher and rearing costs are lower in cubicle housing systems. With a herd size of 40 cows, cubicle housing systems are considerable more profitable than tie-stall systems. The environmental impact of milk production is determined mainly by feedstuff production. The use of feedstuffs produced by environmentally sound methods is therefore of primary importance in reducing environmental impacts. The study shows that animal welfare and profitability are not contradictory. Cubicle housing systems with larger herds are both more profitable and more animal-friendly.

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