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Animal production

Grob N., Altermath J., Boillat C., Frutschi V., Guy A., Roumet J.-P., Python P., Reidy B.

Advisory instruments for the improvement of profitability on dairy farms

An advisory method developed in France was adapted for the application in Canton Jura and Bernese Jura to improve the profitability of dairy farms. Using this newly developed advisory instrument, an interdisciplinary team aimed to offer comprehensive consultancy. Data from 64 dairy farms was collected regarding environmental factors, management practices and related economic performance. Multivariate…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Dettling T., Reidy B.

Silage qualities in the mountain area: a field study

Silage preparation is an important feed-conservation method in the mountain area of Switzerland. To determine the ensilability of various typical plant populations in the mountain area, four plant populations were investigated on a laboratory scale, and grass silages from 31 commercial farms from the Ybrig-Einsiedeln mountain region were collected and analysed. According to the fermentability…
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Animal production

Müller Richli M., Kaufman D., Scheeder M.

Prediction of the fatty acid composition in backfat of pigs as breeding tool

Pork fat is a major constituent of many meat products and its quality therefore of high relevance for meat processors. The most important fat quality characteristics – oxidative stability and consistency – are well described by the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and the iodine value. In Switzerland, these two traits are even part…
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Animal production

Manceau B., Martrou J.-L.

Economic approach of the LACTOBEEF project

Summering fattening cattle on alpine pastures has the advantage of utilising the whey and optimising the number of animals on said pastures. The LACTOBEEF project followed two mountain stockbreeders from the Gruyère Pays d’Enhaut Regional Nature Park. Traditionally, these stockbreeders fatten pigs on their whey and raise dairy heifers. The trial addresses the economic consequences…
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Animal production

Gallot M., Buchwalder G., Beuret B., Cecilio J.-M., Guinemer M., Marigo P., Frosini S., Charrière J.-D.

Autumn intermediate crops and development of honey-bee colonies

Establishing an autumn vegetation cover following the grain harvests is common practice in the farming community. Although certain beekeepers look forward to this foraging opportunity, others suspect a weakening of the bee colonies after they forage on these cover crops, and fear the premature exhaustion of the winter bees. The experiment presented here attempts to…
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Animal production

Morel I., Oberson J.-L., Guggiari S., Dufey P.-A.

Growth performance and feed intake behaviour of whey fed beef cattle on an alpine pasture

In alpine-cheese production areas, whey represents an important source of available energy which is both largely untapped and problematic for the environment if it is not properly disposed of. Its utilisation by beef cattle was studied in two trials, each comprising 48 heifers and steers belonging to different breeds or crosses of beef breeds, and…
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Animal production

Leiber F., Probst J.K., Zehner N., Spengler Neff A.

Feeding and rumination behaviour of dairy cows fed by varied feeding regimes

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…
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Animal production

Blättler Th., Durgiai B., Knapp L., Haller T.

Opti-Milk Project: economic efficiency of the full-grazing strategy – results from 2000 to 2010

In the project Opti-Milk (2000–2004), the technical feasibility of the fullgrazing strategy with seasonal calving in spring (low-cost strategy) for dairy farms on the Swiss Plateau was shown. The good economic prospects of the strategy based on budgets and predicted costs during the project could be verified with an analysis of the total costs on…
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Animal production

Blättler Th., Durgiai B., Knapp L., Haller T.

Opti-Milk Project: economic efficiency of the high-output strategy – results from 2000 to 2010

In the project Opti-Milk (2000–2004), the technical feasibility of the highoutput strategy for dairy farms on the Swiss Plateau was shown. The good economic prospects of the strategy based on budgets and predicted costs during the project could be verified with an analysis of the total costs on dairy farms from 1999 to 2011. The…
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Animal production

Arrigo Y., Henneberger S., Wyss U.

Digestibility and degradability of silages from whole-plant pea–cereal mixtures

Requiring few inputs, protein plant–immature cereal mixtures can guarantee forage stocks in times of shortage. In order to test whether and how the principle of additivity predicts nutritional value, we conducted in vivo digestibility tests and in sacco degradability tests (crude protein degradability, CPD) to evaluate silages from two mixtures with different protein-plant (i.e., pea)…
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Animal production

von Niederhäusern R., Schmidlin L., Sotoudeh A., Neuditschko M., Wägeli S.

The role of the Franches-Montagnes on the Swiss horse market

Like many other local breeds of European origin, the Franches-Montagnes (FM) must fight against a fall in population and number of births, as well as a lack of profitability at the production level. As part of preparing a strategy report for preserving the FM breed, Agroscope Swiss National Stud Farm SNSF investigated the market compliance…
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Animal production

Oehen B., Spengler-Neff A., Leiber F., Schmid O., Hoffmann F., Früh B.

Instruments for on-farm animal welfare assessments in beef production

Maximum animal welfare is a core concern in organic farming. With a view to improving animal welfare and making further progress in meeting animal welfare requirements, German and British organic farming associations have developed on-farm animal welfare assessment instruments. These instruments can be applied by the farmers themselves and in the context of organic inspections.…
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Animal production

Müller A., Burren A., Jörg H.

Identifying ideal beef and dairy crossbreeds to optimise slaughter yields

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…
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Effect of preservatives in moist hay

Field-dried hay must be sufficiently dry at harvest for problem-free storage. Alternatively, preservatives that prevent heating and spoilage may be added to the hay. In a trial, the efficacy of various microorganisms (lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and enzymes) as well as of a product containing various acids was tested in moist hay with a DM…
Animal production

Gutzwiller A., Reichenbach M., Hillmann E.

The presence of experienced piglets does not promote the growth of newl weaned piglets

In a feeding trial the hypothesis was tested that the presence of experienced piglets facilitates the adaptation of newly weaned piglets to solid food. The 72 four-week-old piglets in the experimental group were mixed at weaning with 12 piglets which had been weaned one week earlier, whereas their 72 siblings in the control group were…