Simmentalers and Brahmans have long been cross-bred throughout the world – often with good results, but sometimes with undesirable qualities too. In the 1960s, professional American breeders began selecting the very best characteristics of Simmentalers and Brahmans and ‘fixing’ them in a new breed, the Simbra. The breed was also developed in South Africa by the Simmentaler Society in the late 1980s.
The Simbra offers many advantages to South African farmers:
- It is a tough, smooth-coated breed that resists tick-borne diseases and can withstand heat.
- It produces beef efficiently and can walk far to forage, making it ideal for grazing under extreme conditions.
- The cows are fertile, are good mothers, and wean heavy calves.
- According to the Simmentaler and Simbra Cattle Breeders’ Society, the number of Simbra females is increasing faster than those of any other breed in SA today.
Registration, performance testing and administration of Simbras are managed by the Simmentaler and Simbra Cattle Breeders’ Society of Southern Africa. Every Simbra purchased through the society comes with an inspection certificate to guarantee its quality, and every Simbra bull has its estimated breeding values (EBVs), which allows you to compare bulls and herds over several years.
Sources: Beef Cattle Management (ARC-Animal Production Institute, Irene); Simmentaler/Simbra Cattle Breeders’ Society of Southern Africa.