Today, the Simmental breed is present on all continents and with 41 million animals is the second larg-est breed in the world.
The breed which is today called Simmental Fleckvieh has its origin in the Simmen valley in Switzerland
In the middle of the last century the first bulls were exported form the Simmental to central Europe and the breed Fleckvieh was developed from crossbreeding with existing indigenous breeds.
In the last decade of the last century and first decades of this century the breed was utilised for milk, beef and draught purposes in Europe and for extensive beef production in Namibia and South Africa.
In the late sixties and during the decade between 1970 and 1980 the breed which had been changed to a dual purpose breed for milk and beef, established itself on all the continents.
The basic colours of the original Simmental-Fleckvieh breed are light to dark yellow and red to dark red with white spots or patches in any patern way be irregularly spread over the body.
The muzzle is cream to pink and may have small grey brown pigmented spots.
The breed is still bred as a milk-beef dual purpose breed in central European countries; however, a few countries have started to give more consideration to milk production.
Three major production strains have evolved:
- Milk strain - Possessing higher milk yield performance
- Dual purpose strain - With balanced milk and beef performance
- Beef strain - Featuring higher growth and carcase performance
Simmental cattle have proved very successful in crossbreedings with beef breeds to improve growth and milk performance. Simmentals, when used in crossbreeding on dairy breeds improve the muscular-ity and beef quality. Simmental is of special significance when used for crossbreeding with different breeds best adapted to extreme environmental conditions, such as Zebu and Brahman. The excellent suitability for extensive ranch and suckler herds has further enhanced the spread of the breed. Good mothering ability and excellent temperament are important characteristics of the breed.
Simmental cattle are healthy, hardy and show an excellent adaptability to the different geographical and climatic conditions. Easy calving, regular fertility and a long productive life are, besides the high performance potential for milk and beef, the basis for efficient production.
There are polled lines in the Simmental breed which are further developed in breeding.
There is healthy variation in the Standard of excellence of the member countries which are available in the Annex (country standards)
of this Breed standard.
Calgary, July 2006