Small Beef Cattle Farm

 

 

Simmental Beef Cattle

      Simmental are a versatile breed of cattle originating in the valleys of the Simme river, in the Bernese Oberland of western Switzerland.

     Among the oldest and most widely distributed of all breeds of cattle in the world, and recorded since the Middle Ages, the Simmental breed has contributed to the creation of several other famous European breeds including the Montbeliarde (France), the Razzeta d'Oropa (Italy) and the Fleckvieh (Germany).

     The Simmental has historically been used for dairy, beef and as draught animals. They particularly renowned for the rapid growth of their young, if given sufficient feed. The breeding of the American and British Simmentals have focused on beef production, while in Australia Simmental are a popular cross to improve milking.[citation needed]

 

Red Simmental Bull     The traditional colouration of the Simmental has been described variously as "red and white spotted" or "gold and white", although there is no specific standard colouration, and the dominant shade varies from a pale yellow-gold all the way to very dark red (the latter being particularly popular in the United States). The face is normally white, and this characteristic is usually passed to cross-bred calves. The white face is genetically distinct from the white head of the Hereford.

     There are reports from a variety of sources indicating that Simmental cattle arrived in the United States before the turn of the century. Simmental were reported as early as 1887 in Illinois, according to one source; in 1895 in New Jersey; and in both New York and New Mexico around the 1916 to 1920 period. An ad in an 1896 issue of the Breeder's Gazette, published in Chicago, also made reference to "Simmenthal" cattle. However, those early imports did not capture the attention of the American cattleman and the Simmental influence died quietly away until the late 1960s.

       The breed made its most recent appearance in North America when a Canadian, named Travers Smith, imported the famed bull "Parisien" from France in 1967. Semen was introduced into the United States that same year, with the first half-blood Simmental calf born in February of 1968. The American Simmental Association was formed in October of 1968. Simmental spread to Great Britain, Ireland, and Norway in 1970 and to Sweden and other Northern European countries shortly thereafter. The first purebred bull imported into the United States in 1971 and Australia received Simmental semen and live animals in 1972. The World Simmental Federation was formed in 1974. In 1976 Simmental cattle were shipped to the Peoples' Republic of China.

     The breed is known by a variety of names, including "Fleckvieh" in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as many other European countries."Pie Rouge", "Montbeliard", and "Abondance" in France; and "Pezzata Rossa" in Italy. The Simmental name is derived from their original location, the Simme Valley of Switzerland. In German, Thal or Tal means valley, thus the name literally means "Simme Valley".

     The amazing growth of Simmental cattle in North America is really a reflection of what has already occurred in most agricultural countries of the world. Presently, the American Simmental Association registered about 80,000 cattle annually into the Simmental and Simbrah herdbooks. The Association ranks among the top four of the U.S. beef breed associations in annual registrations.

 

 

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