Brown Swiss Cattle

Hardy, good grazing Brown Swiss produces plenty of milk, especially liked by cheese makers.

by Dani Yokhna

Use: The Brown Swiss is a dairy breed that can produce over 21,000 pounds of milk per year with 4 percent butterfat. According to Brown Swiss Association, the milk of the Brown Swiss cow is coveted by cheese makers. The volume of milk plus the protein produced by Brown Swiss makes the best milk for the fluid and cheese markets. Brown Swiss breeders benefit from the best fat-to-protein ratio of any of the dairy breeds for production of most cheeses. For this reason, Brown Swiss producers regularly receive more for 100 pounds of their milk than milk producers of other breeds.

History: Brown Swiss cattle originated in the Alps of Switzerland and were first imported to the United States in 1869.

Conformation: Their color is always brown—ranging from light grayish-brown to very dark mahogany—and their size is medium to large.

Special Considerations/Notes: They are fairly good grazers and are extraordinarily hardy—tolerating both very cold and very hot climates well. The breed is also known for its longevity, good feet, solid legs and well-developed udders.

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