Simmental can be traced to the Bernese Oberland, and were known as early as the Middle Ages as large, spotted cattle. From here, the 'Simmentals' spread into western and northern Switzerland.
The Simmental, one of the more docile and easy to manage breeds, is known for a long straight topline with deeply muscled back and loin. Medium to large cattle with strong bones, bulls typically weigh 2200 to 2800 pounds at maturity and cows 1200 to 1600 pounds. The females have a productive lifetime of ten to twelve years and high milk production.
Simmental are spotted, occasionally with just a few white markings. The color varies from pale gold to dark reddish brown. The head is usually white in front of the eyes with the lower parts of the legs also largely white. In the feedyard they have a weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds a day and excellent feed conversion with about a 63% carcass yield. They are suited to all-purpose crossing with smaller breeds.