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Comparison of two different dairy cow types in an organic, low input milk production system under Alpine conditions

Horn, Marco; Steinwidder, Andreas; Podstatzky, Leopold; Gasteiner, Johann and Zollitsch, Werner (2012) Comparison of two different dairy cow types in an organic, low input milk production system under Alpine conditions. In: Rahmann, G. and Godinho, D. (Eds.) Tackling the Future Challenges of Organic Animal Husbandry, 2nd Organic Animal Husbandry Conference (362), Agriculture and Forestry Research, pp. 322-325.



The core task of sustainable milk production is the conversion of forage into milk, dairy products and, as a by-product, into meat. In Europe and North America, for decades dairy cows were selected for a high genetic merit for milk production under high input farming conditions. It is therefore questionable whether these "high input genotypes" are suitable for forage-based, organic farming systems. The objective of this study was to compare two cow types concerning their suitability for an Alpine organic, low input dairy production system. The cow types used were conventional Brown Swiss (BS) on the one hand and a specific strain of Holstein Friesian (HFL), selected for lifetime performance, on the other. Both cow types were managed within one herd in an organic, pasture-based system with seasonal calving. Data from 89 lactations showed that BS animals were heavier and superior in milk production. HFL cows lost less body weight during lactation and showed a higher reproductive performance, which may indicate a greater suitability for low-input dairy production systems.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:dairy cow, breeds, comparison, seasonal, Alps
Subjects: Animal husbandry
Research affiliation: Austria > Univ. BOKU Wien
Austria > HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein
FP7 Grant Agreement Number:266367
Deposited By: Horn, DI Marco
ID Code:22879
Deposited On:19 Sep 2013 10:52
Last Modified:19 Sep 2013 10:52
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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