Monday, July 5, 2010

Yellow Simmental Calves

I've been trying to breed traditionally marked Simmental (like the ones in the Simme Valley, Switzerland) for the past 15 or so years. One step forward, two steps back has been the norm for me, so this year i was pleased to see THREE calves that are yellow!

I've been very fortunate to have THREE yellow calves born this year to purebred/fullblood Simmental cows. Below is SenSim Cricket (the red cow). She is out of a yellow spotted bull I raised and a wildy spotted red cow. I'm so surprised she came out so 'red' (little white). She was bred to the older bull RS Polled Ringeye. He is also wildly spotted red/white with goggle face (yuglet for you Shetland breeders) and her bull calf is the one that was born the day I left for BSG. He's the one that she is nosing in the photo. His 3/4 sibling is the one of the left. The yellow spotted girl out of Ramona that I thought was out of UK bull. I checked my breeding records and she is NOT out of that bull. But that's ok. She's yellow :)

Here is a bigger view (its not as blurry) I have to zoom from the sheep pasture or the cows don't stay in their 'normal/candid' state. The black cow is 100% Simmental, but is purebred, not fullblood (meaning she was bred up from an Angus x Simmental). The dark red bull in the right is our rented Red Angus bull. He's much more mellow and well behaved that our bull we leased from the same guy last year. The Simmental x Red Angus are THE hottest cross on the market now. The Hereford/Angus cross here died out a long time ago as a popular cross. The continental x british cross is by far way better in most any heterosis or crossbreeding program. All of my dad's black cows and my solid reds get bred to that bull. This year however, since our calves are so late (note not Mid March like normal) I'm trying to get them all bred back faster this year so I can do AI again on them next year.
The calf standing above is the girl, the boy is laying down.

Below is the UK sired yellow bull that we are bottling. He wouldn't stand still as it was evening meal and he was excited but he is a gorgeous BIG boy. Already close to 150 pounds. He was out of a wild s.o.b. first time mom and we had to pull him as she was not dilating and it had been 5 hours since her water broke (WAY TOO LONG!) and nothing was happening. His head was swollen for a few days. Its the first one we've had to pull in 7 years of purebred breeding. I was amazed. Even our big calves are born with ease. Apparently this wasn't meant to be.
he'll most likely be available as a butcher animal this fall/spring, but we are doing our best to not interact with him much, in the case he is our only UK bull calf and I want to keep him for breeding. His mother's line is not known for birthing issues so I was amazed his mom had any difficulties. It'll be closely monitored.

if none of this makes sense I can go into more detail, but didn't want to bore any of you non cattle people :)


Holly said...

:-) Congrats on your yellows!

These are what I remember as a teenager growing up. My friend's father was the cattle manager at the time for Mrs. Rockefeller's (yes, THE ROCKEFELLERS) farm that raised the yellow Simmentals.

~ Janis said...

Holly, was that Don Homer, Mgr at Rockefellers ?

I have a cow that beat the Rockefellers $32,000 cow several years ago at a well known State Fair. You should have heard the chatter after that win!!!

I have the last traditional herd of Simmentals in Vermont.

They are a great little herd.

Come visit:

Thank you for posting photos of your Simmentals.
May they live long and prosper.

Available sheep

With my work load continuing to pile up, and less time to spend with the sheep, I am offering the following: My entire flock of BlueFaced ...