Crossbred steers of the Limousin x Swiss Fleckvieh breed were summered on low input mountain pastures with varying stocking rates. During the subsequent finishing period, the effect of feeding intensity on fattening performance was investigated. Three intensity levels were compared whereby expected total energy supplies were calculated to correspond to 1,5 (int150), 1,75 (int175) or 2 times (int200) maintenance requirements. The basic ration consisted of a mixture of grass and maize silage which was fed in all groups in quantities to correspond to the energy supply level of int150. The basic ration was supplemented with concentrates to reach the higher feeding intensities for steers of the groups int175 and int200.Feeding intensity, i.e. concentrate supplementation did not significantly affect growth. On average, a growth rate of 1,2 kg/day was realized. Feed energy was converted less efficiently along with raising feeding intensities. The finishing period markedly improved carcass conformation and completely restored the lacking subcutaneous adipose tissue to attain the desired finishing degree independently of the chosen feeding intensities. Even though high slaughter weights were reached, not a single overfat carcass was observed. This trial confirms the advantages of a short finishing following a pasture period.
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Agriculture is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. Agroscope showed that for dairy cattle housing, feed composition plays a role in these emissions as well as wind and temperature.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Eggerschwiler L., Borda-Molina D., Seifert J., Camarinha-Silva A., Schrade S., Zähner M., Zeyer K., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
Tannin-containing feedstuffs like Acacia mearnsii and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) have a measurable impact in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows. However, since these feedstuffs in some cases lead to productivity losses, careful consideration must be given to their use.