The effects of varying feeding regimes on chewing behaviour and faecal particle size distribution were investigated in an experiment with 23 lactating Swiss Fleckvieh cows. The herd was located at an organic dairy farm with a low concentrate feeding regime as required by the regulations of the organic association Bio Suisse. In a two factorial experiment we tested the complete omission of individually fed concentrates as well as the separate supply of the cows with hay (second cut) in the morning as opposed to complete TMR (total mixed ration) feeding. The omission of concentrates did not affect the above mentioned parameters. The sequential offer of roughages (second-cut hay and TMR) led to prolonged feeding activity during daytime and to shorter feeding activity combined with a tendency for longer rumination times during the night. Further, cows made significantly less changes between different activities when fed hay separately, in particular during the night. Faecal particle size distribution was barely affected by the experimental factors. The results show that feeding roughages in sequence leads to potentially positive effects: feeding time was longer during daytime, ruminating time tended to be longer during the night and activity changes occurred less frequently. Moreover, the applied chewing sensors proved to be suitable for the detection of feeding effects on cows’ behaviour.
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.