SI: The grazing period is here again

Alpine climb

The term «grazing period» describes the work of cattle breeders who move with their herds during the summer months onto the Alpine pastures for grazing. Young cattle and cows generally spend the summer on separate Alpine pastures. Cheese is produced on most cow alps. Alpine milk corresponds to 2% of all the milk produced in Switzerland. 80% is made into cheese which translates into an annual production of about 4,500 tonnes of aromatic Alpine cheese.

In Switzerland almost 400,000 cattle, including 130,000 cows, move up the mountains for grazing in summer.  On some Alps it is the animal owners themselves who take care of them. In these cases part of the family spends the whole summer up the mountain.

Due to the grazing period Swiss breeders have placed a specific emphasis for over 1,000 years on healthy and firm feet and legs, seasonal calving (good fertility) and good udder health.

These same breeding objectives still characterise bull selection today at Swissgenetics.