Other common names: Schweizer Braunviehschau
Brown Swiss cattle are native to the Swiss Alps. They are known to be resilient against extreme conditions of heat, cold, and sparse vegetation. They were introduced to the United States in the late 1800s (declared a dairy breed in 1906) and have since become a prominent dairy breed nationwide. Brown Swiss Cattle are also common in Europe, New Zealand, and other countries, making it the second largest dairy breed in the world after Holstein Cattle.
Appearance / health:
Brown Swiss cows are large cattle, typically grayish brown to dark brown in color, with big furry ears. The cow boasts a high production of milk that has an average of 4% butterfat and 3.5% protein, a fat/protein ratio that makes for healthy milk and good cheese.
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.
Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.
Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.
Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.
Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).
A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.
Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.
dairy farming, docile breed, healthy cattle, good butterfat, excellent milk producers
artificial insemination, small acreage situation, lower beef prices
big brown eyes, general goofy personalities
Brown Swiss are big lovable babies
Brown Swiss are some of the strongest dairy cows. We have had them on our farm, and found that they are very hardy and strong. They last a long time and have few health problems. They are lower milk than some of the other dairy breeds. They are gentle and calm for the most part.
If you’ve ever owned a Brown Swiss, you know that they are laid back, and picky. Stubborn is also another good adjective for Brown Swiss. But you really can’t argue with them because they are the largest of the dairy breeds. They can weigh over 1,800 lbs. when full grown. You can’t help but love them though. They’re really just big babies..
From Stephenw9734 Sep 5 2015 5:45PM
Brown Swiss Dairy Cattle
For dairy farmers just starting out, I'd like to pass along this advice . Go with a herd of Brown Swiss cattle. These cattle are by far the most docile and easy to work with. They are very hardy and do well in extreme heat and cold.
As milk producers, you can't get much better. These bovines average four percent butterfat , I've had Brown Swiss cows that produced 100 pounds of milk per day. Their milk is prized for cheese. The best tasting raw milk comes from Brown Swiss, I think.
This breed isn't the best at reproduction. They have a long gestation period and can develop calving issues. However, it is worth dealing with due to the amount of milk they produce.
These animals are very large and can be used for beef, The meat is of average quality and taste. However, they are worth far more as milk producers..
From PeggyG Apr 13 2015 5:39PM