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Animal production

Häller B., Van der Maas J., Moser S., Kempter A., Mulser E., Hofstetter P.

System comparison Hohenrain II: Research combined with knowledge exchange enhances impact on practice

Transferring knowledge between practitioners, researchers, educators and extensionists was a key concern of the ’Optimisation of milk production with fresh grass feeding’ project. The study groups of the participating farms were particularly important. They provided the foundations and data necessary for establishing research questions and worked intensively to implement the new work practices. This triggered…
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Animal production

Münger A., Denninger Th., Martin C., Eggerschwiler L., Dohme-Meier F.

Methane emission from grazing dairy cows: comparison of methods

Methane emission from free-ranging ruminants can be measured in different ways. In a study with 13 grazing dairy cows, Agroscope compared two methods. The sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer technique is an established method, but its application is challenging and laborious. Before the measurements started, the cows were equipped with a calibrated permeation tube releasing SF6…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Schlegel P., Frey H., Akert F., Mulser E., Reidy B.

System comparison Hohenrain II: Nutrient and mineral content of conserved forage

From 2014 to 2016, the Hohenrain II Project compared three different grassland-based milk production systems with either full grazing, or with partial grazing with indoor feeding of fresh herbage and reduced or increased concentrate supplementation. From 2013 to 2015, the nutrient and mineral content of the conserved forage (hay, grass silage and artificially dried herbage)…
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Animal production

Mulser E., Ineichen S., Sutter M., Hofstetter P., Probst St.

Animal performance with fresh grass feeding

Partial grazing with indoor feeding of fresh grass is an important feeding system for Swiss dairy farms. From 2014 to 2016, three production systems – partial grazing with indoor feeding of fresh grass with reduced (EGKF; 418 kg), and increased concentrate supplementation (EGKFplus; 1161 kg) was compared with full-time grazing with reduced concentrate supplementation (FG;…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Schlegel P., Frey H., Reidy B.

Mineral content of herbage

Full grazing or indoor feeding of fresh herbage and partial grazing are common feeding systems for dairy cows in Switzerland. Project Hohenrain II investigated a comparison of three different grassland-based milk production systems, a partial grazing with indoor feeding of fresh grass with reduced and increased concentrate supplementation was compared with the full grazing system…
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Animal production

Ineichen S., Akert F., Frey H., Wyss U., Hofstetter P., Schmid H., Gut W., Reidy B.

Project description and quality of fresh grass

Partial grazing with indoor feeding of fresh grass is an important feeding system for Swiss dairy farms. From 2014 to 2016, three production systems – ’partial grazing with indoor feeding of fresh grass with reduced (EGKF, 418 kg) and increased concentrate supplementation (EGKFplus; 1161 kg) was compared with full-time grazing (FG) with reduced concentrate supplementation…
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Animal production

Pacheco A. J., Pittet A., Ampuero Kragten S., Arrigo Y.

In vivo and in vitro organic matter digestibility determined with the Ankom DaisyII Incubator

A comparison of organic matter digestibility (OMd) determined in vivo and in vitro was conducted with samples of grass, grass silage, hay, and maize silage (n = 20 per feed) from the Agroscope Posieux collection. The in vitro method was carried out with the Ankom «DaisyII» Incubator (Ankom Technology Corp., Fairport, NY, USA). The coefficients…
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Animal production

Frutschi Mascher V., Altermath J., Notz Ch.

Reduction of antibiotic use and increase in feeding autonomy in milk production

In dairy farming, the use of antibiotics and the feeding with concentrates are challenged by public opinion and by economic considerations. Antibiotics are used to preserve the health of cattle and the quality of milk, however their use is expensive and can result in antibiotic resistances in human and animal pathogens. It is now urgent…
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Animal production

Scheurer A., Locher E., Herholz C., Vervuert I.

Effect of complementary feeds on the chewing activity of horses

Originally a grassland animal, horses are adapted to a continuous intake of small amounts of feed. Today, horses are primarily kept in box-housing systems and feed intake duration has gained importance. In this study, four complementary feeds with crude fiber content of 10%, 12%, 14.5% and 18% and differently processed (muesli, structured muesli or pellet)…
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Animal production

Mettler D., Hilfiker D.

”Change management” using the example of sheep summer grazing and the return of the wolf

Designing and supporting change processes in agriculture is a challenge for management, science and advisory services. In regions where large predators were eradicated and, thanks to stricter European protective provisions, make a comeback, livestock owners are faced with major changes. The ”Summer grazing of sheep in the canton of Valais“ project shows how extension and…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Pradervand N.

Influence of storage period on the quality of a maize silage

On farms, sometimes maize is ensiled after harvest and the removal (feed-out) and feeding of the maize silage begun immediately. An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of this approach on fermentation quality, microbiological quality and aerobic stability. For this, six 700-litre containers were filled with maize having an average dry-matter content of 37…
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Animal production

Pfammatter M., Huwiler S., Kägi F., Kopp Ch., Krüger K., Herholz C.

Performance and stress level in mules during a five days Gotthard trek

In the summer of 2016, three pack mules, each carrying a load weighing 80kg, accompanied a 94.46km trek across the Gotthard Pass with a total altitude difference of 3,364m. The mules’ performances were evaluated by measuring vital recovery parameters such as heart- and respiratory rates and body temperature, and by continuous heartrate monitoring during the…
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Animal production

Dufey P.-A., Silacci P., Dougoud B., Biolley C., Messadene J.

Validation of the standards used for the instrumental measurement of beef tenderness

The tenderness of meat is determined instrumentally by measuring Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF). This measurement is performed according to different standards established outside of Switzerland. The aim of the present study was twofold: firstly, to check whether the perception of Swiss consumers vis-à-vis tenderness matched the WBSF categories commonly used; secondly, to define satisfaction categories…
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Animal production

Dufey P.-A., Dougoud B., Silacci P.

Surveys on the tenderness of Swiss beef: 2009 and 2014

The tenderness of beef in nine different muscles sold as steaks was investigated in two studies (2009 and 2014) by measuring shear force according to Warner-Bratzler (WBSF).The meat in each survey originated from 39 artisanal butcher shops (ABs) or hyper-/supermarkets butcher shop (HSMs) in 14 different Swiss cities. Overall, the 466 steaks examined had average…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Girard M., Grosse Brinkhaus A., Dohme-Meier F.

Protein fractions in three legume species

During the forage wilting and ensiling process, a protein degradation takes place that affects the different protein fractions. In addition to the silage conditions, secondary plant ingredients also affect the different protein fractions. In an experiment, the influence of the wilting and ensiling process on the protein fractions of the first and third cuts of…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Latsch A., Nyfeler D.

Influence of different slurry application methods on grass silage quality

When slurry is applied, a great number of bacteria (e. g. clostridial spores) are spread on both the soil and forage. An experiment conducted at Agroscope Tänikon in 2013 and 2014 investigated the influence of three different slurry application techniques (broadcast, band-spread and trailing-shoe) on silage quality. In both years, samples were taken of three…
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Animal production

Ammer St., Quander N., Posch J., Maurer V., Leiber F.

Fattening performance of male layer hybrids fed different protein sources

The growth performance of male layer hybrids fed diets containing different protein sources and protein contents was examined in three fattening trials. As expected, the comparison of the Lohmann Brown (LB) and Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) genotypes with Hubbard JA 757 (HUB) broiler hybrids demonstrated that the male layer hybrids showed a lower fattening performance.…
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Animal production

Wyss Ch., Gerster G., Zollinger A., Schneider L., Bachmann I.

Slow feeding systems for horses: feeding times and lying behaviour

Free-living equids spend the greater part of the day grazing – roughly sixteen hours out of every twenty four. With two to three rationed portions of roughage a day, the behaviour of conventionally fed domestic horses is strongly affected. The aim of the present paper was to examine whether a different number of feeds influenced…
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Animal production

Steinwidder A., Hofstetter P., Frey H., Gazzarin C.

Analysis of pasture-based- or indoor-feeding-dairy production on the net contribution to human food supply

In a whole-system study in lowland of Central Switzerland from 2007 to 2010 compared the performance, efficiency, land productivity and profitability of indoor-feeding (SH) dairy production with that of pasture-based feeding (VW) dairy production. In the present study the net contribution of these systems to human food protein and energy supply was analysed. Depending on…
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Animal production

Keck M., Frei M., Steiner B.

Comparison of the odour impact of cattle housing with and without an outdoor exercise area

Outdoor exercise areas in loose cattle housing systems represent close-to-the-ground emission sources. Previously, outdoor exercise areas were not taken into account when calculating the minimum distance to residential zones. The aim of these studies was to highlight any possible effect of outdoor exercise areas with solid flooring on odour impact. For this, the odour impact…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Mosimann E.

Silage quality of catch crops

Although catch crops contribute to additional feed production, they are also considered to be difficult to ensile. In a trial, the ensilability and silage quality of the two standard mixtures 101 and 106 as well as mixtures with black oats, sorghum and foxtail millet were investigated. In addition to variants without an additive, we also…
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Animal production

Menzi H., Arrigo Y., Münger A., Schori F., Wyss U., Schlegel P.

New guide values for the nutrient excretions of dairy cows

In the framework of the current revision of the Swiss Fertilizer Guidelines (SFG) the guide values for nutrient excretion and forage consumption of dairy cows were checked and adapted to current production practice. The principle used for calculating excretions is input in feed minus retention in milk, calf and growth. A model based on the…
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Animal production

Spengler Neff A., Ivemeyer S.

Differences between organic dairy cows sired by artificial insemination and natural service

This study investigated differences between phenotypes of daughters of artificial insemination (AI)-bulls and daughters of natural service (NS)- bulls, respectively, on organic dairy farms in Switzerland. Organic rules recommend the use of natural mating. Therefore it is of interest whether those two groups of phenotypes show different characteristics on organic farms. Only farms using both…
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Animal production

Arrigo Y., Wyss U., Morel I.

Digestibility of power maize silage fed alone or in mixed rations

Power maize silage (WPMC) – a mixture of whole-plant maize and cobs used in cattle fattening – has different characteristics from whole-plant maize (WPM). A digestibility test was carried out to determine the nutritional value of WPMC, study the influence of the composition of the ration and verify the application of equations predicting digestibility. Four…