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FLECKVIEH from Austria: An easy keeping, dual purpose breed for todays dairy business!!

Tuesday 01 December 2015

BREED HISTORY

1870
The importation of yellow coloured bulls from the Swiss Simmental region and cross-breeding with local red and white spotted Austrian cattle (Fleckvieh) results in a medium stature and very robust breed in various shades of colour and markings. The variety in colour is of no significance as far as usage or genetic properties are concerned. 

1894
Foundation of the first Austrian Simmental Fleckvieh Breeding Association. 

As late as 1950
The top priority was milk, meat and work (featuring superior fitness and a good temperment as a basis for balanced breeding). 

After 1975
Milk and fitness were given increased attention while still keeping an eye on meat output. 

1997
Introduction of the Total Merit Index as a very balanced Breeding Aim for milk, beef and fitness.

 
 

NOW

With over 1.7 million animals, the Fleckvieh/Simmental is the most widely spread breed of cattle in Austria. Simmental/Fleckvieh can be found in intensive big-scale farms in Europe and North America, Australia or South America as well as countries where cattle on small scale farms secure the daily survival of their owners. 

Recently, great gains have been made in the genetic milk productiveness of the Fleckvieh through breed management to the point that the Fleckvieh rivals pure milk producing dairy breeds. Special value is placed on the Fleckvieh fitness characteristics including fertility, longevity, calving ease, udder health, milking speed, somatic cell count, and persistence.

A large percentage of young Fleckvieh cattle are on alpine grazing for the entire Summer months – this involves foraging on very sparse vegetation, on steep slopes, and results in good overall health and longevity.   

Breeding Index:

  • Milk 38 %
  • Beef 16 %
  • Fitness 46 %

 

Demographics:

  • Population: 1.626.105
  • Registered cows:277.579
  • Herds: 16.413
  • Share of breed: 77,7 % (7,4 % of cows on alpine grazing)

 

Characteristics:

  • Life weight: 650 – 850 kg.
  • Height of the rump: 140 – 150 cm
  • First calving (months): 29,8
  • Productive life span (yrs.): 3,8

 

Production:

  • Fat 4,2 %
  • Protein 3,7 %
  • Milk performance 2014 (all cows): 7.473 kg - 4.15 % F - 3.43 % P (305 Days)  

 

Production options: 

Dairy dual purpose breed, excellent for crossing in commercial crossing for dairying. Suitable to all production and climate conditions, fertility, longevity, fit for pasture and loose housing. 

Simmental cows, due to their longevity often reach their peak performance in later lactations. The high sales value of cull cows and the excellent fattening properties of male progeny offer additional sources of income. 

Guaranteed efficiency thanks to:

  • Excellent fertility: non-return rate: 72%
  • Calving intervals: 392 days
  • Low replacement rate: 21%
  • Low somatic cell count
  • Calving ease: 95,3 %
  • Live calves born: 96 %  

... superior beef performance!