Laboratory services

Milk samples from all breeding associations are analyzed in the accredited milk laboratory Suisselab in Zollikofen. Herdbook farms and other Braunvieh Schweiz’ customers receive the results via the Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders’ Federation. Through the milk performance test, milk producers obtain indications on the milk quantity and milk contents (fat, protein, lactose, urea and somatic cell score) of their cows. Upon request, milk samples are also analyzed to identify the acetone content as well as any mastitis pathogens (Mastitis Identification).

Content analysis for NHB farms

Also non-Herdbook farms (NHB farms) can have their milk analyzed. In the lab, milk samples are processed with modern devices. Customers receive the results by priority mail or, possibly, via e-mail on the same day on which the laboratory has received the milk samples.

The samples from NHS farms are analyzed to detect their fat, protein, urea content and somatic cell count. Milk contents are key in component pricing. Moreover, the milk somatic cell score and the urea content provide important information for the proper herd management.  

Somatic cell count

The somatic cell count is an important udder health indicator. The udder health of a cow plays a fundamental role in the production of high-quality milk. Every year udder diseases are the major cause of losses in milk production.

Urea determination

Urea determination allows to identify any imbalance between energy and raw protein in the feed ration. Such imbalances can have a negative impact on the farm’s operating result in many different ways.

To determine the urea content, cows should be divided into three lactation groups. For interpreting the results, a group-wide approach is recommended. If the milk urea content is too high, the ration contains too much raw protein compared to energy, and vice versa. If the urea content is too low, the ration contains an excessive amount of energy relative to raw protein. 

Acetone test

The milk acetone test allows a better control over the nutritional condition of a cow, thus preventing sequelae such as decreased milk performance, fertility disorders and udder inflammations. Braunvieh Schweiz offers this service as part of the milk yield recording.

At the farm’s request, the first two samples of each cow beginning lactation are analyzed for acetone. Results are communicated in the test report as well as via BrunaNet and text message. At present, only Herdbook farms can apply for acetone testing.

Pregnancy test (FERTALYS)

Distinguishing pregnant from non-pregnant cows is extremely important for an efficient fertility management. An early pregnancy test allows to identify non-pregnant cows as quickly as possible and thus repeat the service. Pregnancy can be ascertained through the analysis of a milk sample.
More informations

Mastitis Identification (MID)

The milk samples used for performance testing can be analyzed to identify any of the eleven main mastitis pathogens (incl. Staphylococcus aureus). The results of the analysis are sent by Suisselab directly to the breeders on the same day by fax or e-mail or on the following day by post. The somatic cell score is the best indication for an inflammatory process in the udder. Breeders have the possibility to have all cows with a somatic cell count over 200,000 (or a somatic cell count of their choice) analyzed automatically during the usual milk yield recording.

By checking the column MID (Mastitis Identification) on the dispatch note, the test is performed directly during milk yield recording. However, breeders can send samples of individual cows or bulk tank at any time, independently of the milk yield recording, and ask for an analysis of mastitis pathogens. More details under: Suisselab, Zollikofen.

Casein content in bulk milk

Casein is crucial for determining cheese yield. It is influenced primarily by genetics and secondly by feeding. Casein accounts for 72 to 78% of the total protein content.

Content (incl. casein) analysis and somatic cell count (outside of the milk yield recording) can be performed by Suisselab. More details under: Suisselab, Zollikofen.