Impact of US Brown Swiss genetics on milk quality from low-input herds in Switzerland: Interactions with season

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Stergiadis, S, Bieber, A, Chatzidimitriou, E, Franceschin, E, Isensee, A, Rempelos, L, Baranskia, M, Maurer, V, Cozzi, G, Bapst, B, Butler, G & Leifert, C 2018, 'Impact of US Brown Swiss genetics on milk quality from low-input herds in Switzerland: interactions with season', Food Chemistry, vol. 251, pp. 93-102.

Published version available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.01.077


This study investigated the e ffect of, and interactions between, US Brown Swiss (BS) genetics and season on milk yield, basic composition and fatty acid profiles, from cows on low-input farms in Switzerland. Milk samples (n = 1,976) were collected from 1,220 crossbreed cows with differing proportions of BS, Braunvieh and Original Braunvieh genetics on 40 farms during winter-housing and summer-grazing. Cows with more BS genetics pro-duced more milk in winter but not in summer, possibly because of underfeeding potentially high-yielding cows on low-input pasture-based diets. Cows with more Original Braunvieh genetics produced milk with more (i) nutritionally desirable eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids, throughout the year, and (ii) vaccenic and α-linolenic acids, total omega-3 fatty acid concentrations and a higher omega-3/omega-6 ratio only during summer-grazing. This suggests that overall milk quality could be improved by re-focussing breeding strategies on cows’ ability to respond to local dietary environments and seasonal dietary changes.

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