Simmental Cattle

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Other common names: Simmentaler

The basics:
Originating from the Simme River region in Switzerland, Simmental cattle are one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the world. They are most common in Europe and are bred worldwide. They were introduced to the United States in the late 1800s but gained popularity only in the late 1960s.

Fleckvieh cattle are a popular dual purpose breed which were developed from the Simmental in Germany and Austria in the 19th century. The Simmental x Angus cross, called the SimAngus, has resulted in high fertility rates and good quality meat. The Simmental x Brahman cross, known as the Simbrah, has resulted in a hardy breed that thrives even in sparse pastures and harsh climates. The Simmental x Luing Cattle cross is also increasingly popular, and is called the Sim-Luing.

Appearance / health:
Simmentals were traditionally red and white in color but are currently seen in white with yellow, gold, red, and maroon markings or patterns. The face is typically white. Today approximately 80% of the Simmental cattle in the United States are black, with the remaining 20% being red. Most Simmental cattle are solid in coloring. Today it is common for Simmental cattle in North America to be both Homozygous Polled and Homozygous Black.

Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.

Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.

The Simmental’s gentle, quiet, and docile disposition is most favored by cattle owners.

Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.

Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.

Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).

A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.

Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.


winter range, calve birth weights, friendliest cattle, good dual purpose, beef


temperamental cattle, milk fever, lower milk production


frame size, largest cows, heavier muscling, great foster mothers, natural musclin

Helpful Simmental Cattle Review

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