The objective of the study was to compare, within pasture-based seasonal-calving systems, the production and reproduction performances of Swiss Holstein-Friesian (CH HF), Fleckvieh (CH FV) and Brown Swiss (CH BS) dairy cows with New Zealand Holstein-Friesian (NZ HF) dairy cows, taken as reference for such systems. From 2007 to 2009, NZ HF cows were paired with Swiss cows on 15 Swiss commercial farms, including in total 259 lactations from 134 cows. CH HF and NZ HF cows had better milk performance than CH FV and CH BS (50,2 and 52,1 kg ECM/kg LW0,75 versus 44,3 and 43,6 kg; P < 0,05). The CH FV cows had the best reproduction performance, tending to have more pregnant cows 6 weeks after the planned start of mating than the CH HF cows (81 % versus 46 %, P < 0,10), N cows compromised their suitability for pasturebased seasonal-calving systems. Conversely the dual-purpose CH FV were less efficient in term of milk production but seem to be suitable for these systems owing their good reproductive performance.
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.