In Switzerland, the level of subsidy provided for summer grazing of sheep differs between grazing systems. They are higher for rotational grazing than for permanent pasture systems. In this controlled alpine grazing experiment, fattening performance and meat quality were compared between these two grazing systems. Fifty-five castrated male lambs (36.2±4.2 kg live weight, 27±3 weeks of age) of the Swiss alpine breeds Engadine Sheep (ES) and Valaisian Black Nose Sheep (WS) were allocated to a nutrientrich Crepido aurea-Festucetum rubrae and a nutrient-poor Geo montani-Nardetum pasture. On each vegetation type, permanent and rotation pastures were established with groups of six to seven lambs from each breed. Daily gains, dressing percentage and, as a trend, meat conformation scores were higher for both breeds in the rotational compared to the permanent system. Nevertheless, the vegetation type had a stronger influence on daily gains and carcass weight than the grazing system. Meat from Engadine sheep had higher cooking losses and lower shear forces with rotation than with the permanent system. For the Valaisian Black Nose sheep, a corresponding trend was only obvious for shear force. Thus, the two breeds responded differently to the grazing system in terms of meat quality. With regard to fattening performance, the alpine rotational grazing system was superior to the permanent grazing system for both breeds.
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.