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Although at present only about 2-3 % of the Swiss cow stock are used as suckler cows, it can be expected that this form of agricultural production will become more important in the future. As a result of advances in the efficiency of plant growth and of animal production, the amount of land available as pasture will increase. Suckler cows are ideal for efficient use of this land.
Compared with dairy cows, the milk yields of suckler cows, and therefore also their feeding requirements, are relatively modest. However, that does not mean that the feeding of suckler cow herds is always easy under all aspects of feeding and nutrient loss. A large proportion of the suckler cow feed comes from the extensive use of green fields, or consists of the waste products from agriculture. In general, these feedstuff sources do not have an ideal balance of nutritional and mineral contents. To achieve environmentally sound nutrient supply, the feeding of suckler cow herds needs careful planning.
Our detailed feeding recommendations for suckler cows are contained in the GREEN BOOK (in French and German). You can order this publication online (Feed base).
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