Most dairy historians agree that Brown Swiss or Braunvieh cattle are the oldest of all dairy breeds. The beautiful brown cows were developed in the north-eastern part of Switzerland. Bones found in the ruins of Swiss lake dwellers date back to probably 4000 BC, and have some resemblance to the skeleton of today’s Brown Swiss cow. Documentary evidence shows that the Benedictine monks residing at the Einsiedeln Monastery started breeding these cattle as early as approximately 1000 years ago.

Brown Swiss cattle are thought to be one of the oldest dairy breeds in the world. These cattle originated in the Swiss Alps, a mountain range that covers more than half of Switzerland’s surface area. The terrain varies greatly in the mountains with areas that are rocky, numerous lakes, glaciers, snow-capped mountains and lush valleys. These variances can present challenges to raising animals, but Brown Swiss cattle have adapted very well to the geography. These cattle are also noted for their adaptability to differing climates, being popular in both North and South America, as well as the Middle East. This breed of cattle is able to withstand hot and cold climates while still maintaining a high level of production.

The fat to protein ratio in Brown Swiss milk is ideal for cheese, thus making them one of the most popular breeds around the world for cheese making. The average Brown Swiss cow will produce over 22,000 pounds of milk, or about 2,600 gallons of milk, during one lactation. Brown Swiss are often noted for having a docile and calm temperament.

Characteristics Of A Brown Swiss Cow

The Brown Swiss or Braunvieh is light brown in colour with a creamy white muzzle and dark noze, dark-blue eye pigmentation which helps the breed to resist extreme solar radiation. Brown Swiss cattle have been bred horned and polled, when horned the horns are short and white growing dark towards the top. Brown Swiss are robust, a prolific breeder, long-lived, strong, adaptable, and very well-balanced in build with good hooves and limbs.


Milk producers throughout the world are adding Brown Swiss to their herds daily, because of the good milk, protein, and butter fat production. Their correct feet and legs allow them to stay in the milking herd for more lactations than many other breeds. The milk of the Brown Swiss cow is coveted by cheese makers. The volume of milk plus the protein produced by Brown Swiss makes the best milk for the fluid and cheese markets. Brown Swiss breeders benefit from the best fat-to-protein ratio of any of the dairy breeds for production of most cheeses.

  • Close protein/fat ratio – Brown Swiss milk possesses the closest protein/fat ratio of any dairy breed.
  • Feet and legs – Properly structured legs allies to strong, hard, black, well formed feet, that mean Brown Swiss cattle have few problems. No doubt this is one of the key qualities that enable many Brown Swiss to continue producing in the herd until they are 12-15 years of age.
  • Quiet Temperament – Dairymen, members of the association, all of whom have worked with a variety of breeds are completely unanimous in their praise of the docile temperament and inquisitive nature of these quiet cattle.
  • Longevity – The characteristic longevity of the breed is very evident in the Brown Swiss. While the breed tends to be later maturing than other breeds, cows tend to reach their peak in 5th or later lactations. Some breeds find it difficult to reach this stage, while the strength of the Brown Swiss allows them to lead long productive lives.
  • Strength & Hybrid Vigour – Brown Swiss cows are cattle of great substance and strength. The experience of having cows ‘go down’ with metabolic problems or any other reason is rare amongst Brown Swiss owners.
  • Brown Swiss are renowned for their role when crossed with other dairy breeds or for that fact with beef breeds as well, in generally improving the production and strength of the parent breed. This is evident throughout the world from the tropics to the alpine regions.
  • Braunvieh bulls are noted for their scrotal and testicular development at a young age and are capable, fertile breeders at 12 to 14 months of age.

What Is The Worth Of A Brown Swiss  Calf?

The cost of a cow will be determined by its size and its weight. If we talk about a calf that is only a day old, it will require an extra amount of care and work, as you will have to feed it milk from a bottle. They mostly cost around $40 to $50. Plus they have a high mortality rate.

A 4 to a 6-month-old cow is efficient and stable and that is why it is expensive. Whereas a beef yearly is around $650 and $750 each calf. Cows that are older will cost more based on what their weights are. A dairy yearling, however, costs little, around $450 to $600 per calf.

What Is The Worth Of A Beef Cow?

The cost of beef heifers is around $2,500 to $3,000 individually with an average cost of $2,800 per cow. The cost of the calf will generally be based on its weight. The unit of measurement used to put prices on cows is CWT which stands for 100 pounds. For a beef cow, CWT is between $135 and $165. It is an average of $140 per 100 pounds. A calf that weighs 500 pounds costs around $700.

As compared to a heifer, bred heifer costs more. A bred heifer can cost around $1,300. Whereas matured cows can cost around $4,000 to $5,000 each. A matured cow can weigh around 2,200 pounds i.e. $1.85 cwt.

How Much Does A Half A Brown Swiss Cow Costs In The Usa?

Full cow or Half-cow prices usually start from $3.95 to $5.50/lb., with an additional processing cost of $0.50/lb. $50 is a kill fee that is divided among the cow-poolers.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Cow In The USA?

Usually, the cost of a cow will be somewhere between $2,000 and $5,000. The weight of the cow, its gender, and its breed decides its actual cost. Yearlings are mostly less expensive than matured cows. They cost around $800 to $1,500. The differences in the prices are also based on whether the cow is used for dairy or for meat.

How Much Does It Cost To Butcher A Cow?

Cost for slaughtering an animal is $190 for a whole and $95 for a half, and that is payable to the cattle owner. $1.25 per pound hanging weight is the price for having the meat cut, aged, wrapped, and frozen so that it becomes ready to be taken to homes. 59 percent to 62 percent of the live weight is the hanging weight. This cost is payable to the butcher.

How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Brown Swiss Cow?

The cost to keep/raise a cow per year is around $500 to $1000. Including the expenses of their feed and other necessities. Raising and buying a cow is less expensive when you already have some extra acres of land to grass-feed them and fulfill their grazing requirements.

How Much Does A Baby Cow Cost?

The cost of a calf is usually based on its weight. The unit for measurement is CWT that stands for 100 pounds. For a beef cow, CWT is between $135 and $165.

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