The German Brown Swiss (also called Braunvieh) is a dairy-focused dual-purpose breed that is widespread in southern Germany, especially in the Alpine and pre-Alpine regions. In addition to milk production and udder, breeding focuses on the animals' adaptability, longevity, fertility and healthy feet and legs. A healthy, good textured and even udder with good milkability characterises the breed. The Brown Swiss is thus excellently suited for intensive milk production, even in large herds. The suitability for marginal locations of milk production, such as mountainous regions and extreme climatic and forage conditions, the excellent cheese-making qualities of the milk protein as well as the outstanding longevity make the Brown Swiss very interesting worldwide.
The ideal full-grown Brown Swiss cow has a cross height of approx. 142cm - 154cm and a weight of over 600kg. Depending on location conditions and husbandry intensity, the Brown Swiss cow produces at least 8,000kg to 10,000kg of milk per year with at least 8% total fat/protein content. The protein yield should be at least 3.8%. Lower yields are also accepted if the cow is kept in highly disadvantaged locations.The average performance of the herdbook cows in 2019 is about 7,700kg milk with 4.18% fat and 3.57% protein.
The fattening capacity and carcass quality of Brown Swiss cattle meet the economic requirements of extensive and intensive cattle fattening procedures. In combination with specialised beef breeds such as White-Blue Belgian and Blonde d' Aquitaine, crossbred products are created that achieve top values in fattening and beef performance and can compete economically with purebred beef breeds just like purebreds. Brown Swiss cattle show a good youth development with at least 1,050g daily gain in the first year of life. Fattening bulls reach slaughter maturity at the age of 450 days with 560kg, their daily gains in intensive fattening are over 1,200g per day.