Study on the temperament of cows of the Aberdeen Angus cattle breed

Karamfilov S. (2022): Study on the temperament of cows of the Aberdeen Angus cattle breed. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 67: 8–14.

download PDF

The present study examined the temperament of 699 cows of the Aberdeen Angus cattle breed, reared in 14 farms in Bulgaria. It was carried out within the period 2017–2020. The animals subject to the study were between two and eight years old. The temperament was visually evaluated following a scoring system from 1 to 5. The assessment method involved the behavioural reaction of the cows upon manipulation, passing through a chute and fixation into a cattle crush. The temperament of cows reared in two different systems – intensive and semi-intensive farming was compared. The temperament of the Aberdeen Angus cows had an average rate of 2.74 ± 0.04. The cows which had frequent contact with people had a calmer temperament. The manner of rearing (< 0.001) as well as the age group (< 0.001) had a significant influence on the parameter examined. The young animals were calmer and got accustomed to working in a crush more easily when they were reared together with cows of different ages.

Bruno K, Vanzant E, Vanzant K, Altman A, Kudupoje M, McLeod K. Relationship between quantitative measures of temperament and other observed behaviours in growing cattle. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2018 Feb 1;199:59-66.
Burdick NC, Carroll JA, Randel RD, Willard ST, Vann RC, Chase CC Jr, Welsh TH Jr. Influence of temperament and transportation on physiological and endocrinological parameters in bulls. Livest Sci. 2011 Aug 1;139(3):213-21.
Chang Y, Brito LF, Alvarenga AB, Wang Y. Incorporating temperament traits in dairy cattle breeding programs: Challenges and opportunities in the phenomics era. Anim Front. 2020 Apr 1;10(2):29-36.
Costilla R, Kemper KE, Byrne EM, Porto-Neto LR, Carvalheiro R, Purfield DC, Hayes BJ. Genetic control of temperament traits across species: Association of autism spectrum disorder risk genes with cattle temperament. Genet Sel Evol. 2020 Aug 26;52(1): 14 p.
Curley KO Jr, Paschal JC, Welsh TH, Randel RD. Exit velocity as a measure of cattle temperament is repeatable and associated with serum concentration of cortisol in Brahman bulls. J Anim Sci. 2006 Nov 1;84(11):3100-3.
Curley KO Jr, Neuendorff DA, Lewis AW, Cleere JJ, Welsh TH Jr, Randel RD. Functional characteristics of the bovine hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis vary with temperament. Horm Behav. 2008 Jan 1;53(1):20-7.
Fernandez-Novo A, Perez-Garnelo SS, Villagra A, Perez-Villalobos N, Astiz S. The effect of stress on reproduction and reproductive technologies in beef cattle – A review. Animals. 2020 Nov;10(11): 23 p.
Francisco CL, Resende FD, Benatti JMB, Castilhos AM, Cooke RF, Jorge AM. Impacts of temperament on Nellore cattle: Physiological responses, feedlot performance, and carcass characteristics. J Anim Sci. 2015 Nov 10;93(11):5419-29.
Garza-Brenner E, Sifuentes-Rincon AM, Rodriguez-Almeida FA, Randel RD, Parra-Bracamonte GM, Arellano-Vera W. Influence of temperament-related genes on live weight traits of Charolais cows. Rev Bras Zootec. 2020 Mar 23;49: 10 p.
Hanna LLH, Hieber JK, Yu H, Celestino EF Jr, Dahlen CR, Wagner SA, Riley DG. Blood collection has negligible impact on scoring temperament in Angus-based weaned calves. Livest Sci. 2019 Dec 1;230: 8 p.
Haskell MJ, Simm G, Turner SP. Genetic selection for temperament traits in dairy and beef cattle. Front Genet. 2014 Oct 21;5: 18 p.
Hine BC, Bell AM, Niemeyer DD, Duff CJ, Butcher NM, Dominik S, Colditz IG. Immune competence traits assessed during the stress of weaning are heritable and favourably genetically correlated with temperament traits in Angus cattle. J Anim Sci. 2019 Oct 3;97(10):4053-65.
Kasimanickam R, Asay M, Schroeder S, Kasimanickam V, Gay JM, Kastelic JP, Whittier WD. Calm temperament improves reproductive performance of beef cows. Reprod Domest Anim. 2014 Oct 8;49(6):1063-7.
Kilgour RJ, Melville GJ, Greenwood PL. Individual differences in the reaction of beef cattle to situations involving social isolation, close proximity of humans, restraint and novelty. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2006 Aug 1;99(1-2):21-40.
Lees AM, Salvin HE, Colditz I, Lee C. The influence of temperament on body temperature response to handling in Angus cattle. Animals. 2020 Jan 20;10(1): 16 p.
Llonch P, Somarriba M, Duthie CA, Haskell MJ, Rooke JA, Troy S, Turner SP. Association of temperament and acute stress responsiveness with productivity, feed efficiency, and methane emissions in beef cattle: An observational study. Front Vet Sci. 2016 Jun 13;3: 9 p.
Nikolov V. Nutrition behaviour of cows at a free access to two types of dry forages. 16th Scientific Conference with International Participation „Animal Protection and Welfare 2009”; 2009 Sep 22-3; Brno, Czech Republic. Brno: University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Brno; 2009. p. 149-53.
Oliveira HR, Brito LF, Miller SP, Schenkel FS. Using random regression models to genetically evaluate functional longevity traits in North American Angus cattle. Animals. 2020 Dec 16;10(12): 30 p.
Parham JT, Tanner AE, Barkley K, Pullen L, Wahlberg ML, Swecker WS Jr, Lewis RM. Temperamental cattle acclimate more substantially to repeated handling. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2019 Mar 1;212:36-43.
Parham JT, Blevins SR, Tanner AE, Wahlberg ML, Swecker WS Jr, Lewis RM. Subjective methods of quantifying temperament in heifers are indicative of physiological stress. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2021 Jan 1;234:105197.
Park RM, Foster M, Daigle CL. A scoping review: The impact of housing systems and environmental features on beef cattle welfare. Animals. 2020 Mar 27;10(4): 16 p.
Riley DG, Gill CA, Boldt CR, Funkhouser RR, Herring AD, Riggs PK, Sanders JO. Crossbred Bos indicus steer temperament as yearlings and whole genome association of steer temperament as yearlings and calf temperament post-weaning. J Anim Sci. 2016 Apr 1;94(4):1408-14.
Sebastian T, Watts J, Stookey J, Buchanan F, Waldner C. Temperament in beef cattle: Methods of measurement and their relationship to production. Can J Anim Sci. 2011 Oct 18;91(4):557-65.
Valente TS, Albito OD, Sant’Anna AC, Carvalheiro R, Baldi F, Albuquerque LG, da Costa MP. Genetic parameter estimates for temperament, heifer rebreeding, and stayability in Nellore cattle. Livest Sci. 2017 Dec 1;206:45-50.
Vetters MDD, Engle TE, Ahola JK, Grandin T. Comparison of flight speed and exit score as measurements of temperament in beef cattle. J Anim Sci. 2013 Jan 1;91(1):374-81.
Walkom SF, Jeyaruban MG, Tier B, Johnston DJ. Genetic analysis of docility score of Australian Angus and Limousin cattle. Anim Prod Sci. 2016 Oct 13;58(2):213-23.
Zahariev D, Nikolov V. Comparative ethological study on cows of Bulgarian rhodope cattle breed reared under the conditions of plain regions. Pasture breeding. Book of proceedings from 4th International Congress on Ethology in Animal Production; 2005 Oct 19-21; Nitra, Slovak Republic. Nitra: Multimediálne centrum FVS MF SPU; 2005. p. 257-67.
download PDF

© 2022 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Prohlášení o přístupnosti