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Difference Between Holstein and Brown Swiss

Holstein vs Brown Swiss

Brown Swiss and Holstein are two of the best known cattle breeds in the world. Even though there are about 800 different cattle breeds or more, it is these two that make it to the top of the list because of their unequaled milk yield per year. So they are much sought-after among breeders and dairy owners alike. Holstein and Brown Swiss actually came from Europe.

Originating in the Netherlands, the Holstein cow is the best cow in terms of dairy or milk production. Also known as the Friesian or Holstein-Friesian cattle, it is larger in size as compared to other cows and is characterized by their distinct black-and-white spots. Some of them may have a reddish or brownish color as well although this is quite rare. Moreover, it can weigh up to 580 kg.

By contrast, the Brown Swiss cattle breed comes from the Swiss Alps (Switzerland). Because of their originally harsh climate, they have learned to adapt to their environment whose climate can reach to a very extreme level. It is also quite large like the Holstein cattle, but it has ears that look furrier than those of the Holsteins. Many cattle breeders love to breed Brown Swiss cattle because of its ease in rearing. This is because they are not the sensitive type unlike the Holsteins. They also seem friendlier, more docile, and are easier to deal with. Having no other special requirements for rearing, this breed has now become the top cattle breed in terms of annual milk production. Physically, this breed has a lighter skin color that usually appears to be brown or silvery.

The two cattle breeds, aside from the difference in color, also differ in size because Holsteins are generally larger and heavier than most Brown Swiss cattle. Holstein are also the number one cattle in terms of milk production because it has a yearly cumulative output of 23,000 kg. per annum as opposed to the 20,000 kg. annual yield for the Brown Swiss. The latter’s milk also tends to have more butterfat content.


1.A Holstein is bigger and heavier than the Brown Swiss cattle.
2.A Holstein is generally characterized by their black-and-white spots while the Brown Swiss is silvery or light brown in appearance.
3.Brown Swiss cattle tend to have furrier ears.
4.Holstein come from the Netherlands while the Brown Swiss hails from Switzerland.
5.Holstein is the number one cattle in terms of milk production while the Brown Swiss only places second.
6.The Brown Swiss’ milk has more butterfat (4%) than the Holstein’s (3.7%).

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