Swiss cows are essential part of Swiss culture and landscape – so important, it is hard to imagine Switzerland without its cows. Did you know more than 700.000 cows live in Switzerland? Here are some of those amazing animals I’ve had a pleasure to meet on my trips around Switzerland accompanied with some interesting facts about them:
- The most common cow breeds in Switzerland are Simmental cattle, Brown Swiss cattle, Holstein cattle and Eringer cattle.
- The Eringer breed, also nicknamed “Swiss fighting cow” is used in traditional cow fights held in canton Valais.
- The most popular names for the Swiss cows are Fiona, Bella, Nora, Sina and Nina.
- Average Swiss farmer owns 25 dairy cows, which is low compared to other countries: in the USA average farmer owns 187 cows, and in Italy 46.
- Average Swiss farmer in the mountainous areas owns 20 dairy cows, while the farmer in the flatlands 29 cows.
- About 53% of milk is produced in the valley areas of Switzerland while 47% in the mountainous areas.
- Swiss farmers hang bells around their cows’ necks to make it easier to find them in Alpine pastures. Even some concerns about the impact of the volume of the bell-ringing on the well-fare of the animals has been made, it doesn’t seem Swiss will soon give up this tradition. They perceive cowbells as an essential part of their culture. A Dutch woman was even refused her request for Swiss citizenship because of her campaigning against cowbells.
- On average, one Swiss cow drinks daily cc. 50-100l water and eats 70-100 kg of fresh grass (15-20 kg of hay in the winter), 2 kg fodder (grains) and 200g salt.
- On average Swiss cow gives daily between 20 and 25l of milk.