Climate change is leading to higher temperatures across Switzerland, increasing the risk of heat stress in livestock. Analyzing a «Temperature-Humidity Index» at various locations, it could be shown that the risk for dairy cows already grew substantially on a daily average over the past 30 years, whereas the maximum of the index did not change much. Future trends of the index were analyzed on the basis of two climate scenarios for the time period 2036–2065. These projections show that, at the warmer sites in particular, future risks could be substantial. Especially marked is the increase in the number of days with heat stress. The results emphasize the need for measures to be taken in order to adapt animal husbandry to future climate change.
Stable climate has an important impact on the respiratory health of horses. In a study on indoor climate quality, three different ventilation systems were tested.
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.