Brown Swiss cattle
Brown Swiss cattle (or Braunvieh) are a very popular dairy breed.
Brown Swiss cows have been around for hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of years and their rugged, mountainous native home has brought the characteristics of strength, robustness and longevity to the fore.
Brown Swiss milk production
The Brown Swiss has one of the highest annual milk yields. The milk is high in both protein (around 3.5%) and butter fat (around 4%). This makes the breed an excellent choice for both milk and cheese producers. Indeed, Brown Swiss cattle produce the best fat to protein ratio of any dairy breed for most cheese production.
Good meat output allows the Brown Swiss to also be used for beef purposes.
Brown Swiss dairy cattle were developed from Braunvieh beef cattle. The latter was always an exceptional milking beef breed and the best of these were selected to breed for milk production. From this, the Brown Swiss was born.
Today, the Brown Swiss is one of the most popular dairy breeds in the world. It can be found in over 60 countries ranging from the tropics to alpine regions. Over 8 million cattle are registered and the world population is estimated to be in excess of 14 million.
Brown Swiss cattle characteristics
The breed has a quiet, docile temperament. Brown Swiss are renowned for their role when crossed with other dairy or beef breeds improving the production and strength of the parent breed.
Data from the US Meat Animal Research Center shows that Braunvieh and Braunvieh cross females can rebreed and calve on a regular basis. They milk sufficiently to produce heavy calves at weaning. They also benefit from high calve survival and fertility rates – 10 – 15% in both instances.
Braunvieh cows typically weigh 500 – 680 kilos. Mature bulls 800 – 1100 kilos. Their moderate size and inherent ability to grade choice means that Braunvieh and Braunvieh cross cattle can be harvested from a feedlot situation at a live weight. This eliminates days on feed other breeds may take to reach market condition.
Brown Swiss cattle lifespan
Brown Swiss continue producing in the herd until they are 12 to 15 years old. They mature later than many other breeds and their inherent strength allows them to lead long, productive lives. Braunvieh bulls develop quickly and can be fertile breeders at 12 to 14 months old.
If you are interested in purchasing Brown Swiss, please get in touch.
Brown Swiss cattle for sale and many other breeds
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