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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…
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…
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…
Animal production

Wyss C., Gerster G., Zollinger A., Bachmann I.

Slow-feeding for horses

In a natural environment, equids spend over 16 hours a day grazing. Stabled horses are traditionally fed 2–3 times a day with limited amount of forage. This may lead to disturbances of the digestive system and/or behavioral problems. The aim of this study was to investigate whether intake decreases when using a net covering the…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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)…
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…
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.…
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…