Simmentals aren’t only about rapid growth rate; yes in eight years of Tully trials, Simmental steers finished between 48 and 81 days earlier than the other main continental breeds, but there is more to the breed than just that.
Of course, Simmentals are also renowned for having a great supply of milk, which at 8.48kg is just under four times higher than the national average – but again, there’s more to the breed than just growth rates and milk.
For example, one of the less publicised advantages of the breed is calving ease. Simmentals have the lowest calving difficulty of the main continental breeds when crossed on beef cows and the second-lowest average when crossed on beef heifers.
In addition to calving ease, Simmentals also have the second-shortest gestation length and the lowest mortality rate of the breeds at -0.14, which means more calves survive to make a profit.
Another little-known fact is that Simmental heifers calve younger than the other main continental breeds (-26.83 days) and a higher proportion are kept on to calve a second time (survival figure).
The survival figure can be attributed to the fact that despite the high milk production, Simmentals have the second-lowest calving interval (well below the national average) and have exceptional docility – which can be hard to value, but certainly makes life easier.
In summary, the Simmental breed checks a lot more boxes than growth rates or milk, and using a Simmental sire will help improve your herds genetic merit on so many of the key traits.
For the largest selection of quality Simmental bulls available this spring, visit the Irish Simmental Cattle Society Premier sale in Roscommon on Saturday, March 19.
There will be 55 bulls and 23 heifers on offer. All animals are pre-inspected and tested to an export standard. Vouchers of €200 to the five highest-priced bulls will be issued.
For the sale catalogue and images, click here.