There is a lack of information on how calves are dealt with in mountain regions. Livestock production is important in this agricultural zone and predominantly takes the form of Alpine transhumance. As part of this study, eleven managers of dairy and beef rearing enterprises in the Canton Grisons were interviewed on the issue of calf health. Their answers were analysed using Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). The interviewees predominantly trade in calves at a regional level. Due to the system of summer pasturage the trade in calves is seasonal. Some of the interviewees describe a close cooperation between the dairy farms and beef producers. This involves the careful handling of artificially reared calves, thus supporting the calves’ health and limiting antibiotics use to individual animals. There is some room for improvement when it comes to individual management measures such as ad-libitum milk feeding or vaccinations of dams and calves. On the part of the dairy farmers there is weak implementation of these measures, due in part to the fact that there are hardly any incentives to do so. Knowledge alone is not the only decisive factor in this regard but also the farmers’ environment (colleagues, veterinarians, training). This is where changes in behaviour can either be fostered and supported or impeded.
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.