European Brown Swiss Federation
Breeding Brown Swiss
Feeding Brown Swiss calves
The brown calf has a greater suction reflex than other dairy calves which can sometimes cause problems during feeding.
The ideal is to make drink the calf to a suspended nipple to stimulate the reflex of the esophageal gutter.
Some tips allow adaptation to the breeding of Brow calves:
- Separate the calf from its mother as soon as possible before it can suck
- Administer colostrum as soon as possible with a feeding bottle
- If the calf refuses to drink, hasten it will cause a food psychological blocking. Breeders insist on that: if it does not want to drink, then do not persist and skip a meal. A calf that drank properly its colostrum can easily skip one or two meal if it refuses to drink. When it will be hungry, it will find the solution
- As a last resort, if it still does not drink, it is necessary to sound it. After a few meals to the probe, it often manages alone
- Pursue the milky food with a pacifier. For that purpose, several choices are possible: the floating pacifier, the bucket pacifier suspended, the feeding-bottle. It is important that Brown calves suck. Perseveringly we succeed in making them drink to the bucket, but they do not realize the same performances of growth and can develop digestive problems
- Add sugar in milk can increase his appetite and facilitate the feeding
Then, there are some breeders "things" :
- Wake the calf one quarter of an hour before proposing him its milk: rise it, rub it a little and return later
- Distribute very hot milk, between 38 and 40°C
- Do not distribute a whole milk too rich in fat
At weaning, the calf must ingest 2.5 kg / d of concentrate feed.
For good growth, concentrated feed with a content of at least 16% crude protein and 10% crude fiber is recommended.
Brown Swiss calf and heifer growth chart
To obtain the dairy performances which characterize Brown Swiss, that is approximately 7000 kg of milk, 3.5 % of protein on average, food has to be of an excellent quality and cover the needs of the animal.
Give specific diets according to the expected production would be improper according to the very wild diversity of regions where we can find Brown Swiss. However, here are some marks:
- Brown Swiss prefers varied food. So, a mixture of corn silage and grass will suit better than a corn in unique dish. Brown Swiss values less diet too rich in starch. It is necessary to look for other sources of energy (Beets, etc.).
- Looking for a diversification of the proteins sources, while favoring the contribution of PDIA, who are well valued by Brown Swiss.