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Simmentals

Simmental cattle are medium to tall and horned. They have strong bones and muscles. They are spotted and sometimes covered with only a few white markings. The colour varies from light yellow to dark red-brown. The head is white to behind the eyes and the lower part of the legs is also substantially white.

  
 

Direction of use

Simmental can be used as a milk or beef dual-purpose breed and they are excellent crossbreeding partners in suckler cow and beef production. They can also be used for crossbreeding in dairy production. They are characterized by their adaptability to all production and climatic conditions, as well as by their fertility, longevity and suitability for pasture and loose-housing. Therefore, today Simmental cattle can be found in both intensive and extensive farms.

The current breeding goal consists of 38% milk, 16% beef and 46% fitness. With appropriate management, the milk yield is comparable to that of pure dairy breeds. Attention is paid to the maintenance of good meat performance. The aim is a fast growing, well- shaped and performance oriented cattle with more than 6000 kg milk in the first lactation, 7,000- 9,000 kg in later lactations with 4.2% fat and 3.7% protein.

Statistics & Distribution

  • Worldwide: 41 million animals
  • Europe: 9 million animals
  • Austria: 1.5 million animals
  • Breed proportion in Austria: 76%

The distribution of this breed extends over the Alps and their foothills countries, Southern Germany, South- East Europe, CIS, North and South America, Great Britain, China, South Africa and other countries.

Figures

Ø Milk performance: 7,103 kg – 4.15% F – 3.41% P (305 days)

Ø Beef performance:

  Daily weight gain  (g)
  200 days 365 days
M 1 270.60 1 174.50
F 1 151.50 986.5

Control farms (Herds): 17,697

Height (cm, Ø): 144

Weight (kg, Ø): 725

Animals in control farms: 643,914

Registered cows: 288,319

Origin: Bernese Oberland (CH)

History

13th century: Start of breeding in the monastery of Einsiedeln in Switzerland

1459: Beginning of the actual breeding of Simmental cattle

1750: Export of the first animals from Switzerland

1830: Import of the first cows to Austria

1894: Establishment of the first Austrian Simmental Breeding Organisation

1895: Origin of the „Alpine Simmental“ by crossbreeding Weißkopfschecken, Rotscheckenvieh, Ennstaler Bergschecken, Welser Schecken, Innviertler Schecken, Pustertaler Schecken, Oberinntaler, Unterinntaler and Zillertaler cattle

1900: Focus of breeding goal shifts to milk performance

1950: Breeding goal consisted of milk, beef and work, outbreak of the “Abortus- Bang- Disease” -> emergency slaughtering, many farmers change to Simmental; Establishment of the AGÖF (Working group of Austrian Fleckvieh breeders)

1960s: Start of suckler cows -> Development of the special breeding direction “Fleckvieh- meat”

1975: Increased emphasis on milk and fitness while maintaining the beef performance

1997: Introduction of merit index as a balanced breeding goal for milk, meat and fitness

2000: Development of a breeding programme by the AGÖF

2009: First release of health merit indexes for the traits: mastitis, reproductive disorder and milk fever within the course of the “Health Monitoring System for cattle” project

2011: In August the genomic genetic evaluation in Fleckvieh received official status


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