Friday, April 16, 2021

History of Simmental breed cattle

The Simmental is among the oldest and most widely distributed of all breeds of cattle in the world numbering 40-60 million cattle, bred on 6 continents. The breed stretches back to the Middle Ages.

The earliest records indicate that upon creation of the Simmental, the breeds crossed were a primitive indigenous Swiss one and the German large cattle.

During the late Middle Ages, from about 1250 to 1350 AD, the cattle in central western Switzerland region were valued for their ability to do work and to produce milk and meat. By the early 1500s these “spotted cattle” could be found in alpine valleys reaching into Italy, Austria, France and Southern Germany.

By 1550, the breed had been crossed with native German breeds, producing cattle similar in type to today’s red and white Simmental.

The name Simmental cattle derives from the region where the cattle were originally bred – the “Simme Valley” located in “Bernese Oberland” region in Western Switzerland.

The first herd book of the breed was registered in the Swiss Canton of Berne in 1806, however there is evidence of large, productive "red and white" cattle being found much earlier in ecclesiastical and secular property records of Western Switzerland.

The first breeders’ organization was established in 1890 in Switzerland. Simmental cattle gradually made their way over to Russia, Africa, and South America and by the 1960’s they were spread worldwide.

In United States, Simmental were reported as early as 1887 in Illinois, according to one source; in 1895 in New Jersey; and in New York and New Mexico around the 1916-1920 period.
History of Simmental breed cattle

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