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narrow buttocks, and is well adapted for grazing the high mountain

(b) The Jurrischer, or half-piebalds cattle of the Jura, with less form
and size, but very hardy, and easily satisfied with the hard, dry food of
the Alps.

H. Ex. 51 20


(c) The Ormonds, Illiez, and Lotschen breeds, whose homes are in the
high mountain dales of the cantons of Freiburg, Vaud, and Valais, and
only weigh from 400 to 700 pounds.

The Swiss breeders hope in the near future to entirely wipe out these
inferior ofltshoots of the principal Spotted breed under the governmental
system of assisting in the improvement of agriculture.


The Brown Schwy tzer is considered the dairy breed par excellence of

When pure they are more or less light or dark brown, with muzzle
quite black, and ringed with cream color; horns white, with black tips,
and medium size ; and a very distinguishing light-gray streak running
from the horns down the back to the root of the tail. They are some-
what smaller than the Spotted breed, but are of beautiful forinand com-
pactly built, as the following measurement will show :

Measure in centimeters.









9 01

Heifer (average of 1 1 head) . . ......




In judging this breed the color plays a far more important part than
in the Spotted breed. The color most desired is the very dark brown,
which indicates the purer blood.

The hide, hair, and bones are much finer, and the milk organs much
better developed, than in the Spotted breed. The flesh is also of a much
finer fiber, and, consequently, sweeter and tenderer, than the larger

It is claimed that the Brown Schwytzer not only gives more milk, but
that it is richer than that of any other European breed of cattle. They
are estimated to produce from 1J to 2 quarts more milk per day than
the large Simmenthal cow. I have just returned from a visit to the
stables of Mr. Kiihn, of Degersheim, the largest pure-blooded breeder
of the Brown Schwytzer in Switzerland, and he tells me that his herd
of forty cows average from 1.7 to 20 quarts of milk per day. Of course
this is an exceptional case, but it demonstrates fully what this breed is
capable of under good treatment.

The original home of the large Brown Schwytzer was in the cantons
of St. Gall, Schwytz, Zurich, Glarus, Lucerne, Unterwalden, Graubiin-
den (lower part), and Appenzell, but they are now largely distributed
all over Switzerland, and in portions of Germany, Italy, and France.
Many of the best young cows of this breed are bought up by Italian
farmers and drovers, through their agents in this country. They pay
from 400 to 800 francs per head, and for extra fine ones as high as 1,200
francs is often paid at the central cattle markets at Chur and Schwytz.


In addition to the .large Brown Schwy tzer every valley and neighbor-
hood in East Switzerland has its own small cross-breed, generally from
the Brown Schwytzer.


The Toggenbnrg breed is distinguished by its dark-brown color, long
slim neck, shapely head, round, close barrel, and outstretched form, and
is reputed to give very rich milk.

The Appenzell and Einseidelens have short thick necks, blackheads,
rather short bodies, and are of coarser nbercd flesh.

The high Alps of East Switzerland, like the Berneroberland, have
a very small breed, which in some parts of the United States would be
considered of the "scrubbiest" order. They have short stubby legs,
small round barrels, thick coarse hair, and easily stand the cold bleak
winds and deep snows of the high Alps. They climb like goats, and
" grub "for subsistence on the. mountain sides and peaks where the
heavier cuttle could not go. These ugly little animals are also reckoned
as crosses to the Brown Schwytzer, but some writers place their origin
as distinct and anterior to all other breeds in Switzerland. They are
known as the Biindner, Le>iuer, and Kerens breed. They give very rich
milk and weigh from 400 to 500 pounds.

There has of late years been introduced in the Engadine Mountains
a new and still smaller breed to take the place of goats ; their weight
is from 250 to 300 pounds.


The custom of all cantonal governments is to offer yearly and half-
yearly premiums for the improvement of the cattle breed of this coun-
try, and I only desire now to speak with special reference to my own
consular district.

The canton of St. Galle makes a yearly appropriation of 20,000 francs
for the purpose of awarding premiums to the breeders of pure-blooded
cattle. The sum is classified as follows :


Bulls 14,000

Milch cows ".. 5,000

Miscellaneous (handling cattle) 1, 000


As a rule, the large Brown Schwytzer carries off the prize. The Tog-
genberg breed, however, is a good show-animal, and it often becomes a
victorious competitor. The canton is divided into ten show-districts.
The judges take into consideration and decide on the following points:



1. Head, fine and tapering

2. Forehead, broad

3. Cheek, small

4. Muzzle, fine black, and ringed by light-gray color

5. Nostrils, wide, high, and open

G. Horns, smooth, clean, and not too thick, with tapering black tips

7. Ears, light-gray, rather large and thick, with orange-color within

8. Eyes, clear, full, and lively

9. Throat, clean, neck powerful but not too heavy

10. Chest, broad and deep

11. Barrel, hooped, broad and deep, but little space between last rib and hip .

12. Back, straight from withers to top of hip, thence straight to setting of tail.

13. Tail, hanging down to hocks

14. Hide, mellow and movable, but not too loose

15. Hide, covered with fine, soft, dark-brown hair

16. Fore-legs, short and straight, powerful fore-arras

17. Hind-legs, short, straight, and not to cross in walking

* The consul failed to supply the points in detail.



18. Hind-quarters, from hock to the point of rump, long and well-filled.

19. Hoofs, hard, black,;/ ad not too small....

20. Growth, general appearance, and condition

Perfection 100


Same as bulls, except

2. Fore-head, narrow, with rather long face

6, Horns, small, turned-up, with taperi ng black tips

9. Eyes, full and pla'cid

10. Neck, straight, fine, and placed lightly on shoulders

16. Fore-arm, swelling and full above knee

21. Udder, large in form and standing well out behind, but full in line with


22. Teats, large and squarely placed, behind wide apart

23. Milk-veins, very prominent

24. Hide, deep yellow-orange color

Perfection 114

In the heifers the scale of points are the same as cows, and they are
considered perfect at 111 points before they have dropped a calf.

The greatest importance is attached by the judges to the beautiful
form and purity of blood in bulls for breeding purposes, and as most of
the peasants and small farm. rs are unable to keep one of the pure-
bloods on account of the dearness of the animal, one is generally owned
and kept at the cost of the various districts or townships ; and by this
means the cows belonging to the peasants and small farmers are served,
and the pure-bloods are continually on the increase. Cattle shows or
fairs are considered as a sort of public holiday by the peasants, and they
are attended in large numbers. The exhibition is sometimes free and
sometimes not. The premiumed animals are usually decorated with
wreaths and garlands, and receive the dye or stamp of the lair by hav-
ing the same burned into the horn. I have seen prized cattle with
their horns almost branded full from the impressions made by the dif-
ferent society brands.

Brown Schwytzer bulls generally serve cows at the age of sixteen to
eighteen months, but some of the best breeders and cattlemen say this
is too early, and that they should not be allowed to serve before two
years old/as they are then fully developed and give more strength and
better constitutions to their offspring.


The old Swiss system of feeding and caring for cattle is fast giving
way to new developments which are being made in the improvement of
the various breeds, and experience is teaching the people that it is as
necessary to the good health of cattle and other animals that they have
plenty oi' light, air, and commodious quarters as it is to human beings ;
and the consequence is that whenever a new stable is built or an old
one is remodeled, great care is taken that the stalls shall be so con-
structed as to give the animals more room, better ventilation, good
light, and opportunity for cleanliness. During my visit to many dairy
farms and peasant stables in quest of information for this report, I have
been absolutely astounded to see the sort of places cattle are kept in


in some parts of the canton of St. Galle. I visited one stable where
fifteen cows were kept. The stable proper was about 25 feet long by 15
feet wide, and not to exceed (> feet high in ceiling ; there was no win-
dow in the wall, except a hole, low down to the iloor, about 1G inches
in diameter, by which the stalls were emptied of the manure. The
stench was simply unbearable, and yet I was told that this was the
"old way "of stabling cattle in Switzerland, and it was thought by
many that the cows produced more milk than if they had more air and
room. The cows stood eight on each side, with scarcely room enough
for the peasant to push himself through behind the cows to clean the
stable, and so close together that it seemed impossible for them to lie
down, certainly not with comfort. Advanced dairymen and expe-
rienced breeders take the common sense view that, while heat greatly
assists in the milk secretion, yet impure heat and air cause disease in
cattle, and consequently cause the milk to sour and taint more easily.


In the cantons of St. Galle, Appenzell, Graubundeu, &c, the cattle are
handled through the year as follows :

Caring through the icinter. Through the winter, from the middle of
November until the end of March or April, the cattle are continually
kept in the stables, and are fed almost entirely on dry hay, which has
been made on the meadows which lie in the valleys, and which are
mown two, three, and four times a year, owing to the quality of the soil
and the manner of manuring. These meadows are drained by open
ditches when necessary, and are well manured twice a year, and some-
times three times a year, with stable and artificial dungs. The cattle
are fed three times a day. Milch cows are sometimes fed a small por-
tion of corn-meal or turnips in addition to the hay. They are watered
twice a day by being led out in the open air to a running stream, or to
the tank of an artesian well. The young cattle do not receive much
fat food, and are often fed the whole winter through on the wild grass*
of the high Alps, which, however, is said to contain highly strengthen-
ing qualities, consisting of large quantities of very nutritious and aro-
matic herbs, said also to be very good for milch cows.

The conditions under which agriculture is followed here are so pecu-
liar that it would be hard to compare Switzerland with either England
or America.

The higher the altitude the more* herbs and the more the grass is
filled with spices ; in fact, one might say the middle and higher alpine
pastures of my consular district consist almost entirely of herbs, as
they are situated from 3 ,700 to 3,000 feet above the level of the sea.
Only in the lowlands and valleys are the cultivated grasses grown, and
even about the towns and villages in this part of Switzerland the

* This grass grows on the highest (vegetation altitude) Alps, and is very difficult
to cut and take caro of. Tho mode of harvesting is as follows : In the haying season
the peasants go up on the mountains, and begin mowing on the almost precipitous
mountain side with sickles or short scythes. The peasants, before beginning their
day's work, however, make themselves fast by means of ropes tied about their
bodies, and securely fastened to a stake driven in the ground or tied to the rocks.
When tho hay is cut and ready for transport, a long rope is made fast on tho mown
ground and continued down the side of the mountain until tho valley is reached. Tho
peasants tie largo bundles of hay. together, and placing them on their backs and
shoulders begin their dangerous descent by taking hold of the rope with one hand
and using it as a sort of banister or "hold-back" until the perilous journey is at an
end. It often happens that the rope breaks or gives way under tho pressure of several
peasants at a time, and tho result is breakage of limb or loss of life.


grasses are about 25 per cent, herbs, and in conseqence of which the
hay will always bring one-fourth more in the markets than if grown in
the lowlands.

To continue with the stable treatment, it is correct to state that the
cattle are thoroughly curried and rubbed once and often twice a clay,
the trouble and time being fully repaid by the loosening of the hide on
the calves and those intended for fattening, as they grow much faster
and accumulate flesh more readily. lu well-kept stables great care is
taken that the stalls are kept dry and clean, the custom being to rebed
the cows each clny, with an armful of either fresh straw or hay litter,
which also adds largely to the stable-dung supply. The stables are
usually cleaned twice a day. The manure is either packed up in small
ricks some distance from the barn or shoveled into sinks, made espe-
cially for the purpose, just outside the stalls, and is either put through
a distilled course or doctored with water into a liquid state and drawn
off through pipes, or dipped with a long-handled bucket into a very long
tank on wheels (somewhat resembling a street-sprinkler) and driven to
the fields with either cows or oxen and thoroughly distributed over the
ground, the cost and labor of which is more than doubly repaid by the
soil producing two or three times the quantity, and a much better qual-
ity, of hay ttian the ordinary dry-manuring or old turf-sod.


On the low Alps. With the spring begins different treatment ; the
cows and fine breeding animals generally receive half dry and half
green food. As soon as the grass has grown a little, may be in April
or at the beginning of May, cattle are grazed on the lower meadows,
usually tethered or herded by old men, small boys, or girls. This
grazing period only lasts ten days or a fortnight, as the grass must not
receive too great a chock, as the result would be a small hay crop on
which the herd must depend for its winter food. From this low meadow
grass a move is made on to the first mountain step, which is called the
" Maisass," or May seats. Sometimes we have the "Aprilsass," but
not often.

On tlie Mgli Alps. The " Maisass " runs from the middle or end of May
until the middle or latter part of June, when another move takes place,
as it will not do to imperil the hay crop which is also expected from
these lands. By the end of June the cattle are up to the high Alps,
" Hochalpe," where they remain ilntil October.

In this part of Switzerland the Alps consist of three stations or
table-lands, the highest of which can only be grazed about three weeks
in the middle of summer. At this station open sheds are sometimes
put up to protect the cattle from sudden snow-storms or cold rains,
which often occur. On the second station a more substantial structure
is built and is not only used as stables but as a milk and dairy station.
The alp is usually owned by a cprnmune, and young cattle and milch
cows are taken on pasturage at so much for the season (about $6 or $7),
in which case the cows or heifers are sent directly to the " Hochalpe "
in Mayor June, where they remain until the end of October, when the
grass begins to get short and the weather cold, and they are brought
directly to the valleys.

It has been thought proper to minutely describe this system of graz-
ing in order to explain the large flow and the excellent quality of milk
obtained in the Alps. The results are, cows fed on dry hay in winter,
calves timed to come, if possible, in February or March j green feed


in early spring starts the milk secretion ; later on, when the good effects
of this are on the wane, the milk production gets a fresh stimulus from
the nutritious grasses on the "Maisiiss." Further on there is another
change to the fine short grass and aromatic herbs of the " Hochalpe,"
where the milk is richest in flavor and contains the most milk-sugar.
Its delightful sweetness and flavor is unattainable by any other feeding
in the world, and this is imparted to the butter and cheese, which,
when well made, are in the highest state of perfection.

It should be understood, however, that high alpine grazing is not
generally followed by the larger farmers or dairymen where several
cows are kept, for in such cases the herd is stabled and grazed in the
valleys in the neighborhood of the towns and villages where the milk
is sold.

The high Alps are grazed by herds of young cattle and cows owned
by the peasants, which are picked up by ones and twos all over the
neighborhood of the alp. The herd, when made up to the number
which the alp is by law registered to graze for the season, is driven up
to the " Alphiitte," " Senuhiitte," or chalet, where the cows are milked
and given a little salt and bran boiled in whey with a little hay, after
which they are allowed to rest a few hours in the stables. They are
then taken out to the pastures, where they remain until the evening,
when they are driven to the " hutte" to be milked and sent out again
directly afterwards. On very hot days they are kept in the stables
during the hottest part of the day, also in cold rainy weather they are
stabled, especially if there is no woods on the alp.


Tbe " Seiinliutte" is usually intended for summer occupancy. It is
a long low and rudely constructed slied, mainly built out of roughly
hewn pine logs with one end mortised into the rocks of the mountain
side, and the others laid across each other, and fastened together with
long beech-wood nails. The solid roof covering consists of heavy beams
of H feet in diameter, with boards 1 inch thick, 12 inches wide, and
about 3 feet long laid on top. These are fastened down by having
several long poles stretched across them and weighted down with a lot
of heavy stones weighing from 50 to 100 pounds to keep the roof from
being blown off. The site selected for the stables must have near it
plenty of fresh running water, necessary for the cattle and important
in the care of the milk and butter. At one of these stations on the high
Alps the milk and butter retain the sweetness for weeks without the
least taint. The " Sennhii tte n is residence, cow-shed, milk-house, and
butter and cheese manufactory all together. The milk-house, butter
and cheese department is generally in one room. The cow-sheds, where
the milking is done, adjoins and is connected by a door with the milk,
butter, and cheese room, and the room occupied by the tenders of the
herd. The services of two people are generally required to attend to the
dairy properly, and are 'usually a man and woman ; they are called the
" senn " and " sennerin." The cows are milked twice a day, and the
product of each milking is weighed and placed to the credit of the owner
of the cow separately, and at the end of the season a balance-sheet is
made out showing exactly what has been the product of the cow during
her stay at the u hutte." Alpiculture in Switzerland is of very old stand-
ing. It is said that some alps have declined within the last half century
50 per cent. Some have increased slightly of late years on account of
cantonal and central government premiums being offered for the im-
provement of alpiculture.



The milk product of iny consular district is important. Mucli of it is
consumed, both in its natural state arid its various forms of manufact-
ure ; but Swiss statistics are so very meager that ifc is difficult to arrive
at any approximate amount of either the product or consumption. As
a rule farmers and dairymen prefer to sell the milk in its natural state
on the grounds ; it seems to them that there is more money in it than
by converting it into cheese and butter. The custom, therefore, is for
those in the neighborhood of towns and cities to deliver the milk
directly to the consumer at so much per quart, say 3J cents.

Chemical analysis of milk at St. Galle.

[From the cantonal chemical laboratory.]

Per cent

Dry substance 12.5

Fat 3.4

Caseino and albumen 4.0

Milk-sugar 4.35

Milk-salt 75

The local laws protect the purity of the milk, and a dairyman or milk-
man detected in falsifying milk or selling skim-milk for unskimmed-milk
is liable to both fine and imprisonment.


There is a dairy in the suburbs of St. Galle where the cows are fed on
nothing but dry food the year round. The milk is recommended for
infants and aged people, is delivered by the dairyman from wagons at
7 cents per quart, and is claimed to be of considerable sanitary impor-
tance. There are also several "molkenkuranstalen" milk-cure-estab-
lishments in the neighborhood of St. Galle, which have existed for many
years, and where people are treated for various diseases entirely with


From the most reliable source I can find, it- appears the amount of
condensed milk exported from Switzerland during the last eight years
was as follows:


1875 4,261,750

1876 5,610,100

1877 5,499,100

1878 6,419,700

1879 7,813,800

1880 9,229,300

1881 .... 11,591,400

1882 '..'".'. I '..... 11,621,500


There are three milk-condensing factories within my consular district,
one at Gossau, one at Eomanshorn, and one at Utweil.

Each of these factories condense milk according to its own method,
but none of them use sugar. The condensing apparatus used is similar
to that used by condensing factories in the United States. The milk is
condensed down to one-third of its original volume.


The greatest possible care is taken to use none but good, clear, pure
milk, produced from healthy cows if possible, pastured on high or un-
dulating well-drained ground, with plenty of clear, sweet, running water,
and every quart of milk is tested before it is put into the boiler.

These factories rent the milk products of a certain number of cows
the year through, and require the milk to bo delivered at the factory
twice a day, where it is paid/or by weight at from 2J to 3 cents a quart,
the highest price being paid in the winter season.

The most scrupulous cleanliness is observed in every detail. In the
first place the peasant, in milking his cow, is requested to take partic-
ular pains in having the cow's udder and teats clean, and to see that no
filth drops into the milk, and the milking utensils are perfectly cleansed
after each milking.

When the milk is brought to the factory it is strained through a double
hair-sieve from the scales into a large tin or zinc tank, from whence
every detail of n.anipulation is guarded by cleanliness ; for it is an es-
tablished fact that not only the cows should be fed on good, sound,
healthy food, with kind, gentle treatment, but that unless the building
is well ventilated, plenty of pure running water, and an entire absence
of all taints and ferments, the process of condensing milk which will
keep will prove a sure failure.

The Swiss Milk Company of Gossau has the reputation of being one
of the best (without sugar) condensing factories in Europe, as their
milk has been tested in hospitals, in armies on the march, on the sea
for weeks at a time, and in the hot climes of India, and has proved itself
in every instance perfectly condensed, pure milk. The milk is packed
and sold in pint and quart bottles, with the American patent wire cork-
ings. Zinc and tin cans, holding from 3 to 15 gallons, are also being
used now; the advantage, it is claimed, is in the saving of the cost of
bottle, the cost of packing, and weight.

The following analysis of the pure milk was made fty Dr. Hehner, of

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateCattle and dairy farming (Volume 1) → online text (page 45 of 55)