The digestibility of the organic matter (DOM) of a forage, whether estimated in vitro via modelling or determined in vivo via experimentation, is a nutritive value considered in isolation. A ration, however, generally consists of a mixture of different forages and concentrates. This trial – consisting of an in vivo study with wethers – studies the changes in DOM of different forages (herbage, grass silage, hay, and maize silage) distributed in different proportions (100–0, 80– 20, 50–50, 20–80, and 0–100 %, respectively) in two-component combinations. The DOM of the forage types changed (without statistically significant differences) as a function of the proportions in the mixture and the associated feed; the mean DOM deviation of the mixtures was 2.7 ± 1.1 percentage points. The greatest differences in DOM (4.3 percentage points) were found for mixtures of hay from different cuts or hay combined with maize silage. In 42 % of the cases the highest DOM was identified when the forage in question accounted for 80 % of a mixture. The DOM of the combinations obtained by adding the in vivo DMO of the individual components is slightly underestimated (r = 0.92). Taking into account the estimated DOM scores of the forages, the DOM scores of the combinations move further away from the in vivo values (r = 0.56). The experiment shows that each forage interacts differently in the combinations and as a function its proportions in the mixture.
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.