Other common names: Simbrah; Simbra
The Simmental x Brahman cross, known as the Simbra or Simbrah, has resulted in a hardy breed that thrives even in sparse pastures and harsh climates. According to the Texas Simmental/Simbrah Association (TSSA), "The genetically divergent backgrounds of the two parent breeds enhances the strengths of each in the resulting product - Simbrah. The Brahman influence adds disease and parasite resistance, adaptability and longevity; while the Simmental contributes its strengths which include rapid and efficient growth, carcass quality, fertility and milk production. All these positive production traits are wrapped up in one package that is made up of 5/8 Simmental and 3/8 Brahman."
According to the Simbra Cattle Breeders' Society of Southern Africa, "The Simbra, which is classified as a synthetic breed, has shown the highest percentage increase in females of all breeds for a few years already and the annual growth for the last 5 years is 15% p.a. Its share within the group of nine synthetic breeds (Beefmaster, Bonsmara, Brangus, Braford, Charbray, Huguenot, Sanganer and Santa Gertrudis) has increased from 5% five years ago to almost 15% today."
Appearance / health:
The genetically divergent backgrounds of the two parent breeds enhances the strengths of each in the resulting product - Simbrah. The Brahman influence adds disease and parasite resistance, adaptability and longevity; while the Simmental contributes its strengths which include rapid and efficient growth, carcass quality, fertility and milk production. All these positive production traits are wrapped up in one package that is made up of 5/8 Simmental and 3/8 Brahman.
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.
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.