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1. Reproduction

All reproduction criteria is analysed annually with the aid of the herd analysis by the Technical Advisor and owner within herd context. Heifers must calve before or on 39 months. Average DLC (Days last calved) may not exceed 730 days.

Determine scrotum circumference between 1 and 2 years (excemption of breeding values if all bulls are measured). Minimum requirements for registration is:
<400kg = 32cm
401 – 450kg = 33cm
451 – 500kg = 34cm
501 – 550kg = 35cm
551 – 600kg = 36cm
>601kg = 37cm

2. BLUP Breeding Values

“Until the mid nineties breeding aims and standard of excellence were based on visual appraisal alone because nothing better was available. The result was rather slow improvement and in some breeds negative improvement. Fortunately, Blup EBV’s have improved selection methods dramatically and visual appraisal is today used as an aid to the much more accurate EBV selection. By far the best way to define a breeding aim for a herd or breed is to determine an ideal set of EBV’s. The ideal set of EBV’s for a breed are based on the likely future market demands in 3 to 5 year’s time because “the breeding for today” is already done.” (Zoellner).



Notwithstanding the enormous environmental differences under which breeders in Southern Africa farm there are common breeding aims, which can be, implemented everywhere. We strive to breed an animal which is a profitable producer and for which there is a demand in the industry.

  1. Reproduction (fertility) enjoys the highest priority at all levels. Under normal circumstances it is expected that Simmentaler cows produce a calf annually and raise and wean it efficiently. Judges, inspectors and course examiners must constantly pay attention to this and give priority to reproduction.

  2. Calving ease. Discriminate against characteristics such as prominence, coarseness, flat rump and “too large” size which are all associated with difficult calving as well as a heavy birth weight which is usually caused by continued selection for large animals – this has been proved world-wide.

  3. Size. Due to the large environmental variation under which our breeders farm and differences in bull buyer preferences, it is impossible to lay down a minimum size and/or weight for age in a national breeding aim. However, because of negative characteristics which are associated with larger cattle*, the “middle-of-the-road size” is recommended and discrimination against “too large” animals is practised at inspection, judging and courses. (*Higher maintenance requirements, weak constitution, late puberty and heavier birth weight and thus calving problems). The cow which calves yearly in her natural environment and weans a heavy calf relative to her weight (± 50%), has the size that is pursued by the Breed Society.

  4. Selection for adaptability. Only animals which are properly adapted and happy in their environment will produce. Constitution (appearance of the animal), hardiness (reaction to environmental stressors) and adaptability (to thrive and produce in a certain environment), for the purpose hereof, are all classified under this objective. Identify the cows which reproduce and produce under hars conditions as well, look at their appearance and capture their picture in the breeding aims.

  5. Use the eye and the scale. There are good performers with a poor appearance as well as champions with poor performance. Inspection (appearance) is obligatory and selection according to breeding values (performance testing) is strongly recommended.


A breed’s Standard of Excellence is a detailed manual based only on appearance and is used by breeders and judges for the identifying of animals with desirable characteristics.

Terms like good, strong, attractive etc. suggest contribution towards better functional efficiency.


1. Purity
Characteristic attributes must comply with this Standard of Excellence.

2. Type and Balance
A dual purpose animal possessing a great measure of good beef and milk producing characteristics. Sex characteristics must be clearly visible and animals must have a good frame, length, width, depth, capacity, balance and symmetry. Bulls more muscular than females.

3. Character
Temperament: Calm and placid, yet alert.

Sex characteristics:
Bull: Strong, masculine with good general muscle development particularly on forearm, shoulder, eye muscle and hindquarter; no excessive fat particularly in the flanks, brisket and around the tailhead; testes well-developed and of uniform size carried above the hocks, sheath not pendulous. Older bulls develop heavier and more muscular in the forequarter. Hair on the neck and head longer and coarser than females.

Female: Feminine appearance, wedge-shaped outline, especially when in milk, neither over-developed muscling nor massive and heavy, no excessive fat deposit on any part of the body; well-developed genital organs, heifers udder and teat development must be visible.

4. Quality
Joints firm and dry; hair of smooth texture; skin pliable, thick and supple; hooves strong, of good quality and texture.


1. Head and Neck


Adequate width, of medium length, slightly dished between the eyes.


Good width between the eyes tapering slightly towards the poll.


Prominent, large with pliable, thick wrinkled skin around the eyes.


Wide, oval and strong.


Wide and strong with broad lips.


Large and oval.


Large and strong, incisors fitting well against the pad.


Of good quality and texture, no discrimination against dehorned or naturally polled animals.


Large, flexible fine texture, covered with long hair along the upper inner section.


Large, bright with a placid expression and flexible eyelids.


Deep and strong, well-developed and cheeks not fleshy.


Medium length and deep, strongly attached to the head and shoulders. More developed in the bull. Skin of the neck loose with deep folds with the dewlap extending from below the jaw to behind the brisket.

2. Forequarter


Shoulder-blade to slope slightly forward from top to bottom with the desired rounding and strong muscle attachment to the chest, withers and neck. Good width between the shoulder points, however, not prominent. Chest depth in proportion to wither height, i.e. a good relative chest depth and width. Well muscled forearm in bulls.

3. Centre Piece

Long, wide and deep with good spring of rib (i.e. capacity), well-blended into fore- and hindquarter.


Straight, long, broad with full muscling. Viewed from the side, the topline will not necessarily be straight due to prominent loin muscle development, particularly in bulls.


Broad and well-muscled.


Broad, long and well-sprung, slanting slightly to the rear.

4. Hindquarter

Long, wide and deep, with well-developed muscles joining the hindquarter firmly to the centrepiece. In the bull, the frame is covered with muscling, while cows may show more prominence in the hips. Hips wide and in proportion to the rest of the body. Good thurl- and pinbone width. Rump long and wide, with a slight fall to pinbones. Thighs wide, well-muscled, extending below the flank to a well-developed second thigh. Tailhead straight, horizontal, however, may be set slightly high. Tail long with a large switch.

5. Legs, Hooves, Stances and Stride


Strong oval and widely placed to facilitate an easy and freemoving stride.


Strong, well-developed and dry.


Broad, strong and dry with the correct angle and a well-defined hamstring.


Strong, dry and elastic with the correct angle.


Uniform, of medium size, oval, deep and close together.

6. Udder and Teats

A capacious, well-attached udder of high quality, revealing high production potential, viz. long broad, of moderate depth with well-balanced quarters. The udder is covered with short, soft, silky hair. Pliable and elastic in texture. Heifers must display udder and teat development.


Uniform, cylindrical and of adequate size and length.

Lacteal veins:

Well-developed, long and winding with large milk wells.


7. Genital Organs




Testicles firm, of equal size, well-developed with a fairly short seminal cord. Controlable sheath, short to medium size, opening must point to the front.

8. Skin and Hair

Thick, ample, pliable and loose skin with short glossy hair with due allowance for the season and age.

9. Colour and Pigmentation

Adequate pigmentation, hair colour may vary from dark to cream, white spots or patches in any pattern may be irregularly spread over the body. Pigmented eyelids are desirable. Muzzle to be flesh-coloured or brown - blue spots on the muzzle are permissible


Cream to dark-brown

10. Size and Weight

Animals must be well-grown for their age.



Emphasis should be laid on functional efficiency. Animals with congenital defects or other defects that impair the functional efficiency of the animal should be disqualified.

   ●    Any signs of impurity.
   ●    Predominantly white animals, especially bulls.
   ●    Woolly and/or frizzy coat in cases where the evaluation thereof is disguised.
   ●    Under-developed eyebrows, especially in bulls.
   ●    Females with a masculine or steer-like appearance.
   ●    Heifers with poor udder and teat development.
   ●    Bulls with a femine or steer-like appearance.
   ●    Malformed genital organs or scrotal circumference under the set minimum.
   ●    Excessive sheath skin and/or prolapse of the prepuce.
   ●    Thin and tight skin - particularly in bulls.
   ●    Any structural defects.
   ●    Poor stance and stride.
   ●    Pony type.
   ●    Rangy type.
   ●    Poor or excessive muscling.
   ●    Excessively fine or excessively coarse bone structure.
   ●    Narrow, straight hocks with under-developed hamstring.
   ●    Flat, drooping or roofy rump.
   ●    Bad temperament.
   ●    Unbalanced.
   ●    Testicles hanging predominantly below the hocks.
   ●    Discrimination or disqualification against untidy sheaths.

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