The breed of Brown cow raised in our zone is the Italian version of the Brown Alpines or Brown Schwyz, native to central Switzerland. Our type, our “ceppo”, comes from breeding together Swiss, Austrian and Bavarian Browns and reinvigorating them by mixing them with American Brown Swiss cows. The particular strength of this type of Brown Swiss is an ability to adapt itself to all environments and to qualitatively better production methods – improving milk production and increasing longevity. From 1981 the breed became called ‘Brown’ or ‘Bruna’, relinquishing the qualification ‘Alpine’ as an indication of its adaptability to all environments. The principle area of our focus, throughout the lives of our cows, is the type of food they receive. That is changed depending on their particular food needs and the amount of milk they are producing. At the end of the milking period, the cows have a rest period, when they are dry, “in asciutta”, for about 2 months. During this stage, the amount of food is reduced because the cows do not need to put on weight.
The life cycle of our cows, which is ideal for milk production, is studied from a logistical point of view. The cows are moved from (in clockwise direction) one area to another, as you can see in this diagram of the cowshed.
The graph below illustrates the average milk outpout of the cows on the farm. It shows the number of litres produced on a timeline starting when the cow begins producing milk, that is from the day when their calf is born. Peak production is reached 50 days after the birth when the cow gives 40-50 litres of milk a day for about a week. After this level there tends to be a gradual reduction.