Not every beef and dairy breed cross results in equally high slaughter yields. In Switzerland, however, no recommendations on the ideal pairings of beef and dairy breeds are available. This study aims to demonstrate which crossbreeds produce the best returns in terms of carcass weight, conformation and fat cover. The data set consisted of 601 669 crossbreeds drawn from the Swiss TVD AG Database on Animal Movements, with the individuals in question being born between 2000 and 2012 and resulting from a cross (dairy breed x beef breed or dairy breed 1 x dairy breed 2). Results showed that Blonde d’Aquitaine and Charolais are suitable breeding partners for Braunvieh in all slaughter categories, while Belgian Blue crosses with Braunvieh are characterised by high carcass weights and excellent conformation in the fattening calf and bull slaughter categories. Fleckvieh and Holstein Friesian crosses with Blonde d’Aquitaine and Charolais individuals produce good results across all slaughter categories. Fleckvieh crosses with Montbéliarde are particularly well suited for producing fattening calves and bulls. Simmental crosses with Braunvieh, Fleckvieh and Holstein Friesian dairy breeds show good potential for producing fattening calves. For bull, oxen and cattle fattening, it is recommended to cross Simmental with Charolais.
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.