Visit to Peter Wyssmüller’s Simmental herd
This month we wanted to show you the roots of the Swiss Simmental breed. We paid a visit to Peter Wyssmüller, a passionate breeder, living and farming in Oberwil, in the Simmental region of Switzerland - the “Simme” is actually the name of the river in this alpine valley (“Tal”). Peter represents the third generation working on the farm. He smiles: “As little boy I already wanted to work with Simmental cows, and the fourth generation is already working here”.
The farm is situated on 15 hectares of grassland at an altitude of 1150 m.a.s.l. In summertime cows are held in the alp at 2000 m.a.s.l. Delicious alp cheese is produced there. Milk contents are crucial in this process.
The resilient breed is especially well adapted. “I don’t need to feed a lot of concentrates and the cows are doing very good. I want to be with the cows and not doing extra other things besides.” He stresses that this dual-purpose breed provide good milk and beef performance and the “cows are particularly suitable for extensive farming. They have a very good adaptability to pasture and they are known for the excellent metabolic stability.”
Peter Wyssmüller is also working part-time in a company which evaluate the linear score of the cows. Hence, he knows what’s the best cow for him. “We breed Simmental cows which are ideal for our grassland and our altitude. They must eat grass, be robust to go on the alpine summering, with good muscle and good fundament and exterior. A healthy udder, with low somatic cell count, is our breeding goal.” Peter cows average 55 SCC in 2017, an excellent udder health!
“We do not seek cows which produce 10’000 kg milk!” The average production of the heard last year was 7’000 kg of milk, with astonishing 4.30% fat and 3.50% protein. All this with grass based feed!
An excellent example of the breeding goal is the HUGO daughter OLIVIA. In 9 lactations she averaged 7’240 kg milk, with high contents of 4.61% fat and 3.83% protein.
Moreover, Peter likes the versatile and calm character of this breed.
We thank Peter Wyssmüller for his time and wish him and his family all the best for the future!