Variability is a lesson that could be well taught by the Simmental. An ancient breed, the ability to adapt to its environment has allowed them to become influential in cattle markets across the world. Simmentals were developed at a time that cattle were multipurpose creatures, not only were they raised for their meat but also for their heavy milking ability and even draft uses. The fact that they were so extensively used made it necessary to highlight docility amongst planned crosses. Most of these traits, some now enhanced, continue in the modern Simmental.
The Simmental traces its origins to the
Simmentals were introduced very early into the
The American Simmental Association came together in order to further the advancement of the breed within the
Though unmistakable similarities exist within Simmentals of every region, the American Simmental has focused primarily to highlight the breeds beef qualities. They are rugged animals of substantial bone. Ultimately large in size, it may come as a surprise that Simmentals are exceptionally easy calvers. Though they have low birth weights, they have fast growth rates. Cows are excellent mothers and have very long production cycles. Cows and bulls reach sexual maturity early, in contrast to other Continental breeds that may take longer to develop. Though their milking abilities have not been selected for, the Simmental continues to be an above average milker. Their economic benefits to beef breeders are almost unsurpassed by any other breed. They are of renowned docility, and have excellent weight gaining abilities. The carcass yield is very good, with meat grading high. Simmental beef is tender and highly palatable.
The upgrading program in
A very popular cross is the SimAngus; the resulting offspring combine the best of the English and Continental breed traits. Performance numbers, fertility rates, yield grades and marbling have made these cattle highly marketable. The Simbrah, a cross between Simmental and Brahman is also flourishing in regions that cannot support extensive grazing. The Brahman influence in the cattle makes them hardy and more resistant to the climate and flora of southern regions in the
Simmental cattle are a wealth amongst beef breeds. Their traits are exceedingly heritable and the data for prediction of offspring qualities is very reliable. The naturally lean beef, its tenderness and high yield is an asset for feedlots. As more breeds continue the search for heterosis, the Simmental is likely to be a superb complimentarity option. It is their docility and variability which will keep the Simmental a powerful presence amongst the beef industry.
National Simmental Associations and Registries
American Simmental Association
One Simmental Way
Bozeman, MT 59715