German Brown Swiss: Protein-Power and functionality!

The possibilities to increase the income in milk production by help of a higher milk price and reducing costs are limited under given conditions. Looking for alternatives to increase the profit per kg milk more and more dairy farmers turn to the Brown Swiss.

The possibilities to increase the income in milk production by help of a higher milk price and reducing costs are limited under given conditions. Looking for alternatives to increase the profit per kg milk more and more dairy farmers turn to the Brown Swiss.

Due to the natural conditions in the Alps, the origin of the Brown Swiss cow, with a wide range in its climate and a difficult surface of the landscape where the young cattle must walk long distances, the Brown Swiss shows excellent adaptation qualities. Due to the rearing system in the mountain area Brown Swiss start with moderate performances after the first calvig, but keep the yield very well over the whole lactation and have the capacity to grow steadily with every following lactation which keeps the cow healthy and tough. These qualities of the German Brown Swiss are well confirmed under various conditions all over the world.

German Brown Swiss Genetics

+ increase in milk price: best protein content & good fat:protein - ratio

+ decrease of costs: robust cows with longevity

While German Brown Swiss can already rely for a long time on it’s excellent reputation in purebred as well as in crossbreeding systems in regions with harsh climates also more and more dairy farmers in the classic milk producing countries have discovered the qualities of the German Brown Swiss.

By crossing their dairy cows with German Brown Swiss they have found a way to increase the milk price and to reduce the costs per kg milk by better health and longevity. The size of the modern Brown Swiss cow is comparable with that of most of the existing dairy breeds so that no changes in the construction of the barns have to be made. In ranching systems the qualities of the Brown Swiss have not to be mentioned anymore – they are well-known.

We offer you access to the whole German Brown Swiss Genetics and support you to find the ideal genetics for your production situation, to increase the profitability of your dairy herd!

Large population - efficient breeding programme - reliable breeding values

The German Brown Swiss population is the worlds biggest with:

  • more than 442.953 heads of Brown Swiss in Germany
  • more than 167.609 cows under milk recording
  • active breeding population of 139.347 cows
  • 125 test sires per year

A close co-operation with other Brown Swiss countries in the world ensures the access to the best genetics in all populations. However the selection of all bull dams and sires lays emphasis to beware the strong natural advantages of the German Brown Swiss – protein, feet and legs, longevity and reliable figures about milking speed.

20-25 bulls are selected to be used in second crop when they got reliable results. Besides performance figures and type & udder evaluations German bulls always get reliable breeding values for functional traits like fertility, calving ease, somatic cell counts, milking speed, longevity and persistence immediately when their first proofs are published.

Variation of bloodlines also plays an important role in the German breeding philosophy. In the past couple of years our top-30 recommendations of German Brown Swiss bulls steadily included about 15-22 different fathers.

Total merit index

Whenever German Brown Swiss always laid a lot of emphasis on the correct balance of all important traits the introduction of the total merit index in 2002 underlined the target to keep on breeding the ideal allround and most profitable type of cow for the future:

German Brown Swiss Total Merit Index (TMI):

48 % milk performance + 47 % functional traits + 5 % beef performance

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Information on the Ecological Total Merit Index (ETMI)

The Ecological Total Merit Index (German: ÖZW – English: ETMI) is a Total Merit Index that serves the particular needs of organic farms. It combines all pedigree- and production information of an AI bull concerning constitution (longevity, calving ease, vitality, conformation and udder) and production (ecological milk index, persistency and increase in performance, beef index) with varying weights of each particular trait in one single breeding value.

Economic success in organic dairy farming is mainly based on cow longevity and a high production out of basic feed. Under organic farming conditions usually the feed is not good enough to obtain extremely high productions, thus other traits such as a balanced development of body and production, a stable metabolism, fertility and persistence as well as udder and conformation are more important than milk production traits.

In order to establish and keep these traits in the herd, a focused breeding strategy is needed. The Ecological Total Merit Index combines all traits that are important in organic farming according to their economic importance and was developed to help especially organic farmers to choose the right bulls for their herds.

Recent innovations regarding the Ecological Total Merit Index

In general, a high Ecological Total Merit Index reflects the special suitability of a certain sire for organic farms. However, also sires with a high ETMI might have serious drawbacks in particular traits that can cause problems. In order to minimize the risks for those farmers, who do not have too much experience in breeding a new logo was designed. Only those sires are branded with the new ÖZW-Logo (see below) that show not only a high Ecological Total Merit Index but also very balanced single traits that are of importance for organic farming.

Crossbreeding with German Brown Swiss

The sum of the positive characteristics has led to a steadily rising number of farms using German Brown Swiss sires in crossbreeding with other dairy breeds. The F1-generation shows an extraordinary vitality, levels up the protein content in the milk and gives easy handling cows.

In the second crossbreed generation the type comes closer to the purebred crossbred Brown Swiss type. In the table of contents of our current German Brown Swiss Top Sires catalogue we have listed some recommendations which bulls should suit best for the different crossbreed systems and generations in combination with Holstein, Red Breeds and Jersey.

Pure profitability with German Brown Swiss:

  • Protein
  • Longevity
  • Functionality
  • Low somatic cell counts
  • Dairy strength
  • Various Bloodlines
  • Calm, quiet temper
  • Perfect for crossbreeding with Holsteins, Jersey

Success stories crossbreeding with Brown Swiss