One of the Simmental’s most common features is its capacity for good beef conformation. Beef conformation in cattle is one of the most important qualities that we as simmental cattle producer must know about and understand when raising a good, solid breeding simmental herd.
Simmental cattle is highly predisposed to high daily weight gain – gains of 2000 g per day or more are not unusual. Simmental cattle also have good muscling and the ability to produce at a low feed consumption rate.
If our Simmental cattle are to perform to their best, it is our job to give them the right conditions.
Our farming conditions have changed dramatically since we took over the farm in 2005. We own 33 hectares of land and, for the most part, are self-sufficient in grass, grain and corn. However, we do buy some extra feed and minerals.
During the winter, when the cattle is inside, we use Total Mixed Ration feeding (TMR). We use a mobile mixer-feeder to make a mix of corn, grass, straw and, sometimes, potato pulp.
With TMR, all fodder ingredients are mixed and all cattle is given the same mix.
In addition to TMR, cows with calves are given an extra portion of grass and corn, and bull calves are given all the grain they can eat.
Beef conformation is the desirable and undesirable skeletal and muscular structures of an animal. It covers all of the important areas of an animal's structure, from the legs, the spine (or top-line) and the hind quarters to the neck and head.
The animals’ frames must be well balanced, and there should be a good ratio between muscling, length and breadth.
For us, healthy beef conformation means that our bull calves achieve the greatest possible slaughter weight (380 kg) at an age of 10 to 12 months and the best possible classification with the lowest feed consumption as possible.
Only animals with good beef conformation traits and a good temperament are selected for natural service and sale.