How Good Are You at Assessing Animal Temperament?

Thanks to University of Nebraska-Lincoln's BeefWatch, and  Jamie Parham and Dr. Ronald M. Lewis, UNL Professor of Animal Breeding and Genomics for this article. Some edits were made to fit On Pasture's style guide. We also added UNL chute behavior videos so you can test your skills. Temperament is an animal's behavioral response to handling by humans, or to any potentially fearful situation. Since these reactions are often linked with stress, they have negative effects on production and profitability. Because of its impact on pregnancy rates, growth, meat quality, and safety, producers have been selecting for temperament for years, whether by design or inadvertently. However, to make noticeable improvements in the overall behavior of a herd, a clear and consistent method for evaluating temperament is needed. One method for evaluating temperament is to assign a score to an animal's behavior when it's in a chute. A chute score is a subjective scale that describes the movement, vocalization, and restlessness of an animal, like this six-point scoring system1: 1. Docile: Mild disposition. Gentle and easily handled. Stands and moves slowly during processing. Undisturbed, settled, somewhat dull. Does not pull on head gate when in chute. 2. Slightly Restless: Generally docile but moves frequently and will not remain stationary for more than a few seconds; flicks tail occasionally, blows quietly through nostrils, may be stubborn but is otherwise docile. 3. Restle

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

Translate »