Simmental Color Characteristics

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Bright Raven

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Simmental and Fleckvieh are the same breed. The old world Simmentals looked like this beautiful cow:

2edxp1c.jpg


I was looking at some older bulls in the ASA book. They are American Simmentals registered by ASA. Here is an example:

969q4x.jpg


Today's modern Simmental looks more like this:

2q3ric1.jpg


In discussions posted on CT, there is criticism that the Modern Simmental has been selected for black pelage with the only desirable white as an off color on the face. Not the full white face but a spot or a blaze. They criticize that the Modern Simmental has deviated from its traditional red, yellow, brown and white color characteristics.

On the other hand, there are those who disparage any animal that reflects the traditional colors.

As the cliche "You cannot have it both ways". Or can you?
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Backtrack a little. The first picture would be a Swiss or French Simmental. A Fleckvieh is considered a full Simmental also, but they are colored quite a bit different. They were/are a deep dark red, generally with a little less body white.
But, back to the comment.
Today's modern Simmental is like what you posted, but they are also red. I would be curious to know what percent is red vs black in today's herds.
People like to jump on us about "trying to be Angus". That is far from the case. Yes, the color came from Angus mostly (or holstein). I had black Simmental back in 1972. You got black with your first cross using grade Angus based cows.
DNA testing on purebred black modern Simmentals, showed 99% Simmental.
Just look at the animal. Besides color, they do not look like the Angus cow. A good cow man can see the difference in a PB Simmental & an Angus.
Granted there are a lot of 1/2 and 3/4 bloods around now. There has been a resurgence of crossbreeding. Many people want the 1/2 or 3/4 blood bull for their British cows.
I have sold a good many PB bulls over the 45+ years of breeding, and I would guess 95% went to British herds.
 
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Bright Raven

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":1w8yz2j4 said:
Backtrack a little. The first picture would be a Swiss or French Simmental. A Fleckvieh is considered a full Simmental also, but they are colored quite a bit different. They were/are a deep dark red, generally with a little less body white.
But, back to the comment.
Today's modern Simmental is like what you posted, but they are also red. I would be curious to know what percent is red vs black in today's herds.
People like to jump on us about "trying to be Angus". That is far from the case. Yes, the color came from Angus mostly (or holstein). I had black Simmental back in 1972. You got black with your first cross using grade Angus based cows.
DNA testing on purebred black modern Simmentals, showed 99% Simmental.
Just look at the animal. Besides color, they do not look like the Angus cow. A good cow man can see the difference in a PB Simmental & an Angus.
Granted there are a lot of 1/2 and 3/4 bloods around now. There has been a resurgence of crossbreeding. Many people want the 1/2 or 3/4 blood bull for their British cows.
I have sold a good many PB bulls over the 45+ years of breeding, and I would guess 95% went to British herds.

Jeanne. Admire your knowledge. Thanks. And well said.
 
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Bright Raven

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":1cmzi6qr said:
Today's modern Simmental is like what you posted, but they are also red. I would be curious to know what percent is red vs black in today's herds.

Jeanne,

What is the history as to why current Simmental seedstock markets discount the animals with excess chrome? Looking back, white was much more prevalent than it is today. In fact, there are lots of bulls in the books with not just white on the face but totally white heads and white stockings. I assume it is part of the feeder market demand for black?
 

dun

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Am I the only one that remembers when the "h" was in the name? I still refer to them as Simmenthal.
 
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Bright Raven

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dun":2i3phshs said:
Am I the only one that remembers when the "h" was in the name? I still refer to them as Simmenthal.

Dun, it makes sense.

The word "Neanderthal" has the same thal suffix. The etymology is this: neander means "new man". Thal is German for Place. Neanderthal means place of the new man.

The old Simmenthal would mean simme place.
 

gcreekrch

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Bright Raven":2r2fujcw said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":2r2fujcw said:
Today's modern Simmental is like what you posted, but they are also red. I would be curious to know what percent is red vs black in today's herds.

Jeanne,

What is the history as to why current Simmental seedstock markets discount the animals with excess chrome? Looking back, white was much more prevalent than it is today. In fact, there are lots of bulls in the books with not just white on the face but totally white heads and white stockings. I assume it is part of the feeder market demand for black?

I know this was directed to Jeane but I can partly answer your question.

The old type Simmentals were more of a dual purpose animal. As such, you might compare them a bit to Holsteins when put in a ranch environment. A lot of them are hard keepers and the feeder cattle are similar to Holsteins in growth patterns, feed conversions and grading.
 
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Bright Raven

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gcreekrch":xgycooin said:
Bright Raven":xgycooin said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":xgycooin said:
Today's modern Simmental is like what you posted, but they are also red. I would be curious to know what percent is red vs black in today's herds.

Jeanne,

What is the history as to why current Simmental seedstock markets discount the animals with excess chrome? Looking back, white was much more prevalent than it is today. In fact, there are lots of bulls in the books with not just white on the face but totally white heads and white stockings. I assume it is part of the feeder market demand for black?

I know this was directed to Jeane but I can partly answer your question.

The old type Simmentals were more of a dual purpose animal. As such, you might compare them a bit to Holsteins when put in a ranch environment. A lot of them are hard keepers and the feeder cattle are similar to Holsteins in growth patterns, feed conversions and grading.

Thanks. That was valuable.
 

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gcreekrch":35do73c5 said:
Bright Raven":35do73c5 said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":35do73c5 said:
Today's modern Simmental is like what you posted, but they are also red. I would be curious to know what percent is red vs black in today's herds.

Jeanne,

What is the history as to why current Simmental seedstock markets discount the animals with excess chrome? Looking back, white was much more prevalent than it is today. In fact, there are lots of bulls in the books with not just white on the face but totally white heads and white stockings. I assume it is part of the feeder market demand for black?

I know this was directed to Jeane but I can partly answer your question.

The old type Simmentals were more of a dual purpose animal. As such, you might compare them a bit to Holsteins when put in a ranch environment. A lot of them are hard keepers and the feeder cattle are similar to Holsteins in growth patterns, feed conversions and grading.

I think if that were true they would sell similar to Holstein influenced cattle in the ring, but sale after sale top Simmental calves take home more money than any straight bred British cattle. Angus / Simmie cross do better than straight Angus.
My problem with traditional straight Simmental has always been that their bags have tended to fail too early, and newborn calves tended to come out big and dumb. With that said, I think the breed has improved in those regards, and I think the only time Simmental breeding hurts a cow is when she doesn't have any in her.
 

Supa Dexta

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Chrome all over makes it easier to hide something in them, and shouldnt be encouraged - buyers want mostly solid calves, so why introduce yet another discount into a breed, when they've spent years breeding it out. Just because you like it doesn't make it right for the breed over all.
 

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gcreekrch":3eo8g7au said:
Bright Raven":3eo8g7au said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":3eo8g7au said:
Today's modern Simmental is like what you posted, but they are also red. I would be curious to know what percent is red vs black in today's herds.

Jeanne,

What is the history as to why current Simmental seedstock markets discount the animals with excess chrome? Looking back, white was much more prevalent than it is today. In fact, there are lots of bulls in the books with not just white on the face but totally white heads and white stockings. I assume it is part of the feeder market demand for black?

I know this was directed to Jeane but I can partly answer your question.

The old type Simmentals were more of a dual purpose animal. As such, you might compare them a bit to Holsteins when put in a ranch environment. A lot of them are hard keepers and the feeder cattle are similar to Holsteins in growth patterns, feed conversions and grading.
and that's why the bottom fell out of them in the 90's...prompting the simm breeders to shut down and retool .. Droppin' the frame size and breeding more beef type.. I went through that decriminalized period
 

BrangusUSA

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My two cents on putting a PB Simmental bull over Angus cows. The good: Calves were larger at birth. Calves daily gain was better. Calves at weaning and sale were an average of 75 pounds heavier.
The bad: no consistency in color. Cocoa, dark brown, black, etc. Mostly brown. Result in hit at sale barn on price.
The ugly;




 
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Bright Raven

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Supa Dexta":3klhpp6q said:
Chrome all over makes it easier to hide something in them, and shouldnt be encouraged - buyers want mostly solid calves, so why introduce yet another discount into a breed, when they've spent years breeding it out. Just because you like it doesn't make it right for the breed over all.

That is closer to the information I was seeking. Here is my point: a chrome marked animal does not equate to inferiority. In fact, they may be superior. What you are saying is that the chrome is discounted because it is possible evidence that undesirable genes are hidden in the package, i.e., poor performance, low carcass quality, etc.

The unfortunate part is some of these chrome calves are potentially better than the solid black.
 

Rafter S

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Bright Raven":3uocd52o said:
Supa Dexta":3uocd52o said:
Chrome all over makes it easier to hide something in them, and shouldnt be encouraged - buyers want mostly solid calves, so why introduce yet another discount into a breed, when they've spent years breeding it out. Just because you like it doesn't make it right for the breed over all.

That is closer to the information I was seeking. Here is my point: a chrome marked animal does not equate to inferiority. In fact, they may be superior. What you are saying is that the chrome is discounted because it is possible evidence that undesirable genes are hidden in the package, i.e., poor performance, low carcass quality, etc.

The unfortunate part is some of these chrome calves are potentially better than the solid black.

Yes. I remember a Simmental sired bull calf I sold back in the 80's. He was as good as any calf I'd raised up to that point, but his hide looked like it belonged on a Holstein. I took a pretty bad beating on him.
 

elkwc

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Silver":2ar8zdk9 said:
gcreekrch":2ar8zdk9 said:
Bright Raven":2ar8zdk9 said:
Jeanne,

What is the history as to why current Simmental seedstock markets discount the animals with excess chrome? Looking back, white was much more prevalent than it is today. In fact, there are lots of bulls in the books with not just white on the face but totally white heads and white stockings. I assume it is part of the feeder market demand for black?

I know this was directed to Jeane but I can partly answer your question.

The old type Simmentals were more of a dual purpose animal. As such, you might compare them a bit to Holsteins when put in a ranch environment. A lot of them are hard keepers and the feeder cattle are similar to Holsteins in growth patterns, feed conversions and grading.

I think if that were true they would sell similar to Holstein influenced cattle in the ring, but sale after sale top Simmental calves take home more money than any straight bred British cattle. Angus / Simmie cross do better than straight Angus.
My problem with traditional straight Simmental has always been that their bags have tended to fail too early, and newborn calves tended to come out big and dumb. With that said, I think the breed has improved in those regards, and I think the only time Simmental breeding hurts a cow is when she doesn't have any in her.

Where are you located? I ask because what I see here is opposite of what you posted. Again a case of different locale making a difference. I also watch some auctions online. Haven't this fall much but did last spring. Saw Simmi cross calves cut off of a bunch more than once.

Personally I was taught to judge an animal by their type and quality and not by their color, chrome or lack of. And I see some Simmi's on here I really like. Here a good Hereford/Angus black baldie is the only thing that will outsell a good straight Angus.
 

Lazy M

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":2qgvprtu said:
DNA testing on purebred black modern Simmentals, showed 99% Simmental.
Just look at the animal. Besides color, they do not look like the Angus cow. A good cow man can see the difference in a PB Simmental & an
The 99% figure may be misleading. DNA testing would probably also show that today's Sims share DNA to Charolais, or other cattle breeds, in the high 90 percentiles. Just like humans and apes share an extremely high ratio of like DNA. With DNA comparisons, a few percentage points can make a huge observable difference.
Not trying to argue against Sims in any way as I currently run 2 SimAngus and have been very pleased with their progeny..
 
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Bright Raven

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Lazy M":2y9bji4v said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":2y9bji4v said:
DNA testing on purebred black modern Simmentals, showed 99% Simmental.
Just look at the animal. Besides color, they do not look like the Angus cow. A good cow man can see the difference in a PB Simmental & an
The 99% figure may be misleading. DNA testing would probably also show that today's Sims share DNA to Charolais, or other cattle breeds, in the high 90 percentiles. Just like humans and apes share an extremely high ratio of like DNA. With DNA comparisons, a few percentage points can make a huge observable difference.
Not trying to argue against Sims in any way as I currently run 2 SimAngus and have been very pleased with their progeny..

You are exactly correct!

The chimpanzee and human genomes are more than 98% identical.

Man is not that far removed from the cow:

A comparison of the cow genome, with more than 22,000 genes, with other mammalian genomes is already turning up surprises. Although humans share a more recent common ancestor with rodents than they do with cows, it turns out that our genome more closely resembles those of cows and dogs. This is probably because mice and rats evolve so quickly thanks to rapid reproduction, much quicker than other species, says one of the team leaders, Kim Worley, a genomicist from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where the sequencing was done.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2009/04/ ... enome-here
 

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