Romania has a large agricultural industry. With 30% of the country’s land areas covered by permanent pasture and a favourable geographic position, it is one of Europe’s leading exporter of live animals, especially cattle breeds and sheep breeds.
The most popular breed of cattle in Romania is Baltata Romaneasca, also known as Romanian Simmental or Romanian Spotted Cattle.
Other cattle breeds are also present in Romania: Crossbreed Blanc Blue Belgium, Crossbreed Charolais, Crossbreed Limousin, Crossbreed Braunvieh, Crossbreed Angus and others.
Things to know about Romanian Simmental
Romanian Simmental is a cattle breed formed as the result of breeding between:
- the Simmental bulls – imported from countries like Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
- with Grey Romanian Cattle – a native breed originates from the wild ancestor Bos Taurus primigenius, which disappeared in the XVIth century.
This breed was raised in historical provinces such as Banat, Transylvania and Bucovina. Nowadays, it is found in many areas and is the most frequently met breed in Romania because it adapts very well to climate conditions.
The Romanian Simmental was established as a breed in 1959 and is related to the following breeds: Simmental, Czech and Slovakian Spotted Cattle, Hungarian Spotted Cattle, Sychev, Fleckvieh and Montbéliarde.
Romanian Simmental characteristics:
- Its colour is red with white or yellow with white – both the shades of red and yellow vary in intensity;
- Can present some pigmented parts on the head, limbs and barrel but these are not breed impurities – they are considered as a result of the Romanian Grey cattle breed;
- The trunk of this breed is trapezoidal or rectangular and the members are strong, straight, with well-developed muscles;
- The skin of Romanian Simmental is of very good quality – it is thick, dense and weighs 35-44 kg;
- The temperament is quiet, mild and patient, endowed with well-conditioned reflexes;
- Romanian Simmental has a long productive life, the best results are achieved in the plain and hills areas, continental climates – but under intensive circumstances, the milk productions decreases significantly;
- A mature cow typically weighs 600 kg and the bull typically weighs 900 kg;
- The annual milk production of this cattle breed averages 4,500 litres (3,2% protein and 4% fat) – the genetic potential may be estimated at 5000 kg milk at present;
- The breed is well known for meat production, suitable for any fattening system – the meat has an excellent taste, is juicy and consistent, not very fat (10-15%);
- The majority of this breed has pigment around the eyes, helping to reduce eye problems which occur from bright sunlight;
- Has high mixing genetical ability with breeds such as Hereford, Piemontesa, Romagnola, Chianina or Charolais;
- The Simmental breed is very resistant to extreme weather – in Romania, the temperatures can reach -20 degrees Celsius during harsh winters and up to 40 degrees in the middle of summer (July-August);
- Because it slightly adapts to high temperatures, they have no problem being grown in countries such as Egypt, Libya, Iraq and others.
Romanian Simmental is a multipurpose breed. In present, it is the main supplier of beef meat in Romania, with the meat productive type surpassing in importance the milk productive type.
This breed has spread quickly due to its qualities, nowadays it represents 36% due to the establishment of a new breed – Black Spotted Romanian Cattle.