Everything you need to know about Simmental cattle

The Simmental cattle is one of the most appreciated and widely distributed of all breeds of cattle in the world.

A bit smaller than the Limousin and Charolais breed, the Simmental was developed for its outstanding characteristics and it usually has a yellowish brown or red coat with the well-known white Simmental markings.

According to the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, although the first herd of Simmental was officially documented around the year 1806, in the Swiss Canton of Berne, there is also evidence of Simmental cattle existing much earlier, in ecclesiastical and secular property records of western Switzerland. For example, various unofficial records show that Simmental cows and Simmental bulls were found in Italy as early as the 1400s.

The beautiful red and white coated Simmental were highly sought mostly because of their outstanding features, such as rapid growth, notable production of milk but also for their abilities to turn, when needed, into very docile and helpful draught animals.

Since then, the Simmental has spread across all six continents. The total numbers of Simmental cattle worldwide are currently estimated at around 40 to 60 million, with more than half of Simmental cattle in Europe.

Let’s see what else makes the Simmental a really special breed of cattle.

Here is a short Q&A session about Simmental cattle.

  • Why it is widely considered that Simmental cattle have outstanding breed characteristics?

As already stated above, farmers consider that Simmental cattle have outstanding breed characteristics and for a very good reason. Both Simmental cows and bulls are well-muscled animals. As for Simmental cows, they can produce good quantities of milk.

Simmental carcasses are significantly leaner and heavier than those of other similar breeds, with little waste, and Simmental also provide a higher yield of saleable meat.

The Simmental are also ideal for crossbreeding, especially with breeds like Herefords, providing lines of red and white Simmental off springs that can be selected to suit a very diverse range of Simmental and non-Simmental markets.

  • Where did the Simmental name came from?

According to The Cattle Site, the name Simmental is derived from the name of the area where this type of Simmental cattle were first bred – known at that particular time as the Simme Valley (which is situated in the Berner Oberland in Switzerland).

The name Simmental is given specifically to the breed in Switzerland, while in Germany and Austria the Simmental bulls and Simmental cows are known as Fleckvieh (the word translates roughly into `spotted cattle’). Also, in France the Simmental cows and Simmental bulls are referred to as Pie Rouge.

  • What is the average weight of matured Simmental cattle?

According to That’s Farming, the average weight of matured Simmental cattle is about 900 kg for Simmental cows and up to 1,300 kg for Simmental bulls. This makes Simmental cattle pretty large-framed animals and also pretty well-muscled.

  • Are Simmental cattle horned or polled?

Simmental cattle may be horned… and polled. This characteristic depends exclusively on the Simmental genetic breeding history.

Farmers are encouraged to decide early on in this particular matter, since the process of dehorning the Simmental herd can be a really distressing one.

  • Can Simmental cattle thrive in all climates?

Yes, they can. The Simmental cows and bulls are suited for almost all kind of climates. They can survive well in countries where the winters are tough and in those with pretty high temperatures. Nothing can really stop Simmental herds to thrive!

  • What is the pigment around the Simmental’s eye area for?

If you own Simmental cows or Simmental bulls, then you are already familiar with the pigment the animals display around the eye area. Well, in short: this pigment helps Simmental cattle stay healthy. More precisely, it’s good for preventing various eye problems that may arise for Simmental cows and Simmental bulls when they live in heavily sunny regions.

  • Is the Simmental a docile breed?

Yes and… no. Many farmers claim Simmental are very docile and easy to handle, but Simmental cows can get pretty aggressive when they are protecting their little Simmental calves.

However, this is a really good trait, since it can turn into an advantage in areas where farmers worry about the safety of Simmental calves (mostly because of wild animals that could pray on the little Simmental offsprings).

  • How long do Simmental cattle live?

Simmental cattle can live for a longer time compared to other breeds. This is considered to be a very positive aspect, since it can reduce Simmental herd replacement costs.

Also, Simmental cows are fertile for a large part of their lifespan and, according to experienced farmers, Simmental cows don’t really need long intervals between calving, which makes the Simmental one of the best breeds in the whole world.

  • Is Simmental beef as good as they say?

Totally. The Simmental beef is well-marbled, which gives it a pretty good tenderness. The beef yield from Simmental is high and cattle that are only half Simmental still inherit from their Simmental parents the genes that make their carcasses an outstanding source of great, high-quality meat.

  • Where do I find the best Simmental cattle for sale?

Our recommendation for the best Simmental cattle for sale is Seradria. Seradria is a Romanian company that sells quality Simmental cattle, sanitary and veterinary treated. All Simmental cattle from Seradria are fed and bred as per E.U. regulation, which guarantees the best meat.

Besides that, each Simmental animal from Seradria is individually stamped with electronic tags (so that the Simmental can be easily identified if needed) and has its own passport (for a better traceability to source).

Thank you for reading and in case you have any further questions about Simmental cattle, suggestions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us at contact@seradria.ro.

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