We encounter grazing cows on almost every hike in Switzerland. Often their presence is heralded by the sound of cowbells long before we see the cows themselves. I love that sound.
The last time we were up on Männlichen was in early August 2018, hiking to Kleine Scheidegg with our grandchildren. There were cows along the path and below on the grassy slope. One was almost totally blocking the trail, and we had to be careful going around her----she was waving and shaking her head because of flies annoying her, and those horns were fairly threatening.
Near Bettmeralp, we have been chased by frisky "springers" (springing heifers, meaning young cows before they are old enough to be bred, so they have not been handled and gentle by humans yet). It was a little unnerving. It the vast majority of the cows you will encounter while hiking are adult milk cows out on the Alps for grazing. They are brought in to a milk shed twice daily for milking, and are pretty docile.
We saw cows being brought in while walking the level path between Grutschalp and Mürren around 5 pm one time. The farmer and 3 dogs were herding the girls toward the barn, and we were surprised to see some of them actually running, and jumping over a ditch in the field, their full udders swinging back and forth.
Here is an article RS wrote for Smithsonian Magazine about Swiss cow culture:
The brown-and-white cows in that photo are the Simmental breed. We have seen those on hikes above Mürren, heading to the Rotstockhütte. Also around Oeschinensee.
Many of the cows you will see are the solid tan ones called Brown Swiss in North America:
I asked one of our Swiss hosts what those are called there, and he answered "we call them cows". OK. Those pesky heifers that chased us were this breed. Once we saw one of these being transported by helicopter, dangling from a cable below the whirlybird. Apparently she was sick or injured and unable to walk.
In the Valais region you may see the beautiful dark-brown, almost black, cows of the locLmvariety. I will try to find a photo. They are my favorite, but they have a reputation for being fierce, especially in the ritual cow fights that take place during fall festivals.
In September, if younare lucky, you may witness one of the "cow parades" ( Alpabzug) with decorated cows coming down from the high pastures for the winter.
It is worth stopping in the local tourist information shop to ask if there are any going on during your stay.