Dairy Farming in Germany: Breeds, and How to Start

Germany has the most important herd of dairy cattle and the second-largest cattle inhabitants in the European Union. Germany has 12.9 million head of cattle, together with 4.2 million dairy cows and 0.7 million lactating cows. Dairy and its merchandise embody several types of milk equivalent to entire milk, semi-skimmed milk, and milk merchandise with skimmed milk equivalent to butter, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Let’s study extra about Dairy farming in Germany.

Dairy Farming in Germany
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Dairy farming significance in Germany

With a market share of over 20%, Germany is the most important milk producer in the European Union. About one in 4 farms in Germany raises dairy cows. Dairy manufacturing is the important department of livestock and usually contributes about 18%, which is essentially the most important proportion of the manufacturing worth of German agriculture. While the variety of farms has decreased by 50% over the past 20 years, the overall milk manufacturing has elevated. It outcomes in sooner milk manufacturing per cow, as the overall variety of dairy cows has decreased.

The focus is on milk manufacturing in the grasslands of northwestern and southern Germany. The Dairy Cattle Raising Industry actions are primarily uncooked milk manufacturing and elevating dairy cows. Industry operators both promote the ready uncooked milk straight to customers or ship the milk to dairies for additional processing. Cooperatives play an important position in the trade, as particular person dairy farmers are sometimes unable to produce the amount demanded by giant customers. Therefore, cooperatives bundle the manufacturing of particular person farms and thus strengthen the aggressive place of dairy farmers.

In the years to come, the issues in the milk market usually are not anticipated to ease, or the producers’ costs stabilize quickly. If dairy farmers are pressured to purchase feed, this can consequence in further prices and decrease revenue margins for operators in the trade. Furthermore, shopper traits will quickly have an effect on the trade in the long run. In addition, land shortages, a scarcity of expert labor, and rising social calls for for environmentally pleasant and animal-friendly manufacturing pose specific challenges. 

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Half of the farms in Germany specialize in livestock, with the main group (> 25%) being dairy farms. A rising pattern in the direction of year-round housing characterizes dairy farming in Germany. Germany has a protracted custom of livestock manufacturing, is effectively organized, and has appreciable expertise in breeding. It consists of being pregnant on farms, milk manufacturing, and slaughter.

Sustainable breeding applications and efficient farm administration are based mostly on high-performance requirements and dairy and dairy cattle high quality testing. About 2.6 million cattle are registered in the herd books, and 3.5 million cows are reported for milk recording. Germany has the most important herd of dairy cattle and the second-largest cattle inhabitants in the European Union.

Housing methods for dairy animals in Germany

Germany has a variety of administration dairy housing methods, from small household farms with 50-60 cows to large-scale operations with over 2,000 cows. The undeniable fact that the German Holsteins are profitable below these extensively numerous meals and administration methods in warehouses and pastures signifies their extraordinary adaptation. This adaptation can also be seen in completely different weather conditions, making the German Holsteins the export gross sales goal. 

  • 74% of dairy cows in unfastened/free stall operations 
  • 21% of dairy cows in tie stalls 
  • 42% of dairy cows use pastures

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Feeding administration for Dairy farming in Germany

High-producing dairy cows want meals that meets the dietary necessities for top milk manufacturing. Minerals, nutritional vitamins, carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, and water are vitamins a lactating cow wants to meet the mammary gland’s demand for milk and milk merchandise. However, producing a cow with extra milk begins with calf and cow vitamin. Always feed the cow on the similar time. Make positive the feed is definitely accessible. The cow wants common. Feed sufficient in order that the feeding trough isn’t empty and settle for leftover meals.

Clean the feeding supervisor at the least as soon as a day (feeding with an easy-to-clean floor additionally reduces the heating of the feed). In this case, the cow will eat small parts all through the day. Ensure that cows have entry to clear and contemporary water 24 hours a day. Cows drink 6 to 14 occasions a day. Usually after breastfeeding and after each meal. The most popular temperature needs to be between 17-27°C. Make positive that at the least 10% of the cows can drink at a time. 

Feeding a milking cow needs to be thought-about to decrease the lack of vitamins from the correct weight loss program of lactating cattle and maximize the revenue of the milk produced. Protein dietary supplements equivalent to oil muffins, power sources equivalent to cereals (corn, millet), tapioca chips, and laxatives equivalent to bran (rice bran, wheat bran, gram bran) are generally used. Mineral compounds containing important and hint components needs to be added at 2%.

Dairy cow rations 

In Germany, cows are fed fodder [silage (mainly grass and corn) or hay (alfalfa)], concentrated [cereals (barley, wheat, and corn), protein sources (soybean meal and rapeseed meal), and other by-products (sugar beet pulp, etc.)] and basic components. The fodder ratio varies from 60:40 to 40:60% for focus however primarily fodder based mostly weight loss program is used.

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In Germany, dairy cows are actually being raised for optimum milk manufacturing. As a consequence, animals exceed their bodily stress and are extra inclined to illness. Skills and skilled administration are absolutely the conditions for retaining dairy cows wholesome. Many farmers in the German agribusiness have already overtaken them with the peace of mind of the fundamental wants of those ‘excessive efficiency’ animals.

Dairy breeds in Germany

The dairy enterprise offers a comparatively low-risk supply of day by day earnings. However, to guarantee most yield and revenue from dairy farming, these farmers want to undertake the correct marketing strategy and good practices of dairy administration. 

Murnau-Werdenfels Cattle 

It is an previous, sturdy dairy breed from Upper Bavaria, the southernmost a part of Germany. The cow produces about 4300 kg of milk yearly (3.8% fats; 3.4% protein). They are useful for milk manufacturing. Murnau-Werdenfels Cows are very long-lived creatures and are very quite a few.

German Black Pied Dairy 

It was a breed of GDR dairy cattle bred via breeding. The German Black Pied Cattle is a breed of dairy cattle bred in the northern coastal areas of north Germany and the Netherlands. This three-breed cross was to breed cattle with excessive milk manufacturing and high-fat content material milk. 


Fleckvieh is a dual-purpose breed of cattle appropriate for producing each milk and meat. It started in the nineteenth century with the crossbreeding of native shares in Central Europe with cement cattle imported from Switzerland. Today, the world’s inhabitants consists of 41 million animals. It is a dual-purpose breed targeted on energy and health whereas sustaining excessive milk efficiency. It is a very fashionable breed as a result of it adapts to these harsh weather conditions. 

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Gelbvieh is a dairy breed that originated in the Franconi districts of Bavaria in Germany. Gelbvieh was initially generally known as the “Red-Yellow Franconian Cattle” and was bred from a number of native breeds. Gelbviehs have been initially raised as triple-purpose cattle (used for milk, beef, and draught). Gelbvieh means “yellow cattle” in German, and this breed originated from the golden-brown cattle with black hooves and full-body coloration. Polled and black genetics via selective breeding can also be widespread in the breed.

Gelbvieh cattle are recognized for his or her high-profit margins and feeding efficiency and have been initially chosen for simple progress, pores and skin maturity, leanness, softness, and longevity. They can adapt to many various ranges of land and weather conditions. Gelbvieh females have been chosen for excellent maternity with sturdy fertility, motherly skill, good udders, and sturdy milk manufacturing. It can also be recognized for small physique offspring, making it simpler to have a calf. 


Hinterwald is an previous native breed of Black Forest cattle. Cows are small, solely 115 to 125 centimeters (45 to 49 inches) tall and weigh 380 to 480 kilograms (840 to 1,060 kilos), making them the smallest breed of cattle nonetheless discovered in Central Europe. The head is primarily white; the remainder of the coat is gentle yellow to darkish reddish-brown. They adapt effectively to the alpine local weather as soon as reared to deal with excessive situations, equivalent to chilly winters, steep pastures, and low cost meals. They are used for milk manufacturing. 

Herzer Rotvieh 

Harzer Rotvieh is a breed of monkey of the identical coloration in Germany. They serve the aim of offering milk, beef, and draft energy. 

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The Lakenvelder is a German breed of dairy cattle. As a dairy breed, Lakenvelder produces grass and fodder extra effectively than the typical breed and doesn’t require strict administration strategies. As a consequence, cows can produce about 9,100 kg (20,000 lb) of milk per yr. 

Angeln cattle

The Angeln cattle are a breed of Angel cattle initially from Angeln in Schleswig-Holstein. Angeln cattle are purple and have been one of many giant Danish Red Cattle breed founders. 

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