Relationship of temperament, growth, carcass characteristics and tenderness in beef steers
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Relationships of temperament evaluated at different production stages with growth, carcass characteristics and beef tenderness were determined in Bonsmara crossbred steers managed under commercial managent. Temperament was evaluated at weaning and at initiation of the finishing phase. Steers from a Roswell, NM ranch (n=156) and a Cline, TX ranch (n=21) were stratified at fall weaning by weight and source and randomly allotted to winter ryegrass at Uvalde or Overton, TX followed by feeding in a commercial feedlot near Batesville, TX. Cattle were observed for temperament (escape velocity, EV, m/s; pen and chute temperament score, PTS and CTS) at weaning and upon entry to the feedlot. Cattle were harvested at approximately 7 mm 12th rib fat. Carcass data was taken approximately 36 hrs post-mortem and 2.5cm thick steaks were removed from the 13th rib for Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS) determination. The only measures of temperament significantly related to performance were EV and PTS. Weaning EV appeared to be more related to feedlot ADG (r=-0.26, P<0.003), ribeye area (r=-0.37, P<0.0008), yield grade (r=0.29, P<0.01) and WBS, r=0.27, P<0.005) than did the later measures of temperament. However, in-feedlot EV was associated with feedlot weights (r=-0.28, P<0.0004). Results of this research suggest temperament, particularly at weaning, is related to feedlot performance, carcass merit, and beef tenderness at a low to moderate level and evaluation of this trait may be a helpful management tool.
author list (cited authors)
Behrends, S. M., Miller, R. K., Rouquette, F. M., Randel, R. D., Warrington, B. G., Forbes, T., ... Holloway, J. W.