In Switzerland, there are some 700,000 cows and as many calves, steers and bulls, which works out to almost 1.4 million cattle countrywide. Only a small share of this total, namely around 90,000 cows, are suckler cows. Yet breed diversity is significantly more pronounced with suckler cows: 34 breeds are listed in the beef cattle herd book of “Mutterkuh Schweiz”, whereas three breeds account for 98% of the total dairy cow population.
Five suckler cow breeds are of Swiss origin. All derive from so-called “triple-purpose” animals, that is, they were previously used as work animals and sources of milk and meat. As before, the breeding objective is the best possible dual-purpose cow with good grass-fed meat and milk performance.
Here you can get to know the five suckler cow breeds of Swiss origin: