Suckler cow husbandry

Suckler cow husbandry in Switzerland

Suckler cow husbandry is the world’s most common method of meat production. This type of cattle husbandry has also been practised in Switzerland since the early 70s. Beef Cattle Switzerland currently numbers about 6,000 members who keep a total of almost 100,000 suckler cows. Although the number of new members is constantly increasing, suckler cow husbandry in Switzerland still only accounts for a small proportion, a mere 15%, of the total cattle population.

Natural husbandry and high quality meat

Suckler cow husbandry is characterized by the natural way in which the animals are kept. Calves stay with their mothers after birth. Feed consists mainly of the mother cow’s milk, supplemented at a later stage by grass and hay. The use of growth-enhancing additives, animal proteins, fats, soya and genetically modified animal feed is prohibited.

Calves remain with their mothers, whether in the cowshed or out on the pasture. Free-range husbandry with summer pasture and winter outdoor runs, as well as straw bedding, are obligatory. The animals graze extensively on meadow and pasture land.


Suckler cow husbandry is mainly practised with beef cattle breeds. These breeds are raised specifically with a view to producing high-quantity and high-quality beef. With roughage feeding the animals produce first-class gourmet meat.

Meat from grass

“ Meat from grass“ – Switzerland is a green country. The maintenance and use of meadowland for suckler cow husbandry is sustainable and conserves resources. The calf drinks the mother’s milk. Like the mother cow it also feeds mainly on grass and hay.

Unlike humans, cows can exploit grass and hay as a food resource because they are ruminants and have a unique digestive system. Grass and hay are thus turned into milk and meat, valuable foodstuffs, giving rise to hardly any competition for food with humans. Raising animals in the suckler cow herd is a natural form of animal husbandry which creates optimum conditions for the well-being and health of the animals. The cows live together with their calves and usually one bull in a family community, both on the pasture and in the cowshed.

Activate notification

Data Privacy

Deactivate notification

You have successfully registered for our notifications.