What's in a step? Evaluating the interrelationship between productivity and cattle behavior during a series of temperament tests Conference Paper uri icon


  • Abstract To better understand the relationships among productivity, behavior, and emotion, in the context of Panksepps emotional circuits (FEAR, RAGE, PANIC, SEEKING), Bos indicus influence yearling steer behavior (n = 32) was quantified during a series of temperament evaluations. Exit velocities (EV) and chute scores (CS) were recorded at weaning. Starting three months post-weaning, ADG was measured across a 28-d period prior to testing commencement. Pen Scores (PS) from all steers were taken at the end of the 28-d period. Steers were video recorded during an Open Field Test (OFT), an Individual Startle Test (IST), a Group Startle Test (GST), and during a Bovine Zero Maze (BZM) evaluations, and the number of steps performed during each test recorded. Steers experienced each test twice, in random order, across a 50 day period with a 5-day minimum washout period between tests. Repeatability (Pearsons correlation; PROC CORR), validity (relative to ADG; PROC REG), and reliability (Chronbachs alpha; PROC CORR) were evaluated for PS, EV, CS, and the number of steps performed in the OFT, IST, GST, and BZM. Correlations among ADG, PS, EV, and CS illustrated that as ADG increased, EV (FEAR; R = -0.41; P = 0.02) and PS (PANIC; R = -0.42; P = 0.02) decreased. No relationship was observed between ADG and CS (RAGE). A positive relationship (R = 0.45; P = 0.01) was observed between PS (PANIC) and EV (FEAR). No relationship was observed between CS (RAGE) and EV nor between CS (RAGE) and PS (PANIC). The data separated (PROC VARCLUS) into the three primary clusters (FEAR, RAGE, and PANIC/SEEKING). The number of steps in the GST (FEAR) clustered with ADG and EV (FEAR). The number of steps in the BZM (PANIC/SEEKING), OFT (PANIC/SEEKING), and IST (PANIC/SEEKING) clustered together. Chute score (RAGE) did not cluster with any of the other variables. A model was developed to illustrate these relationships. CS, PS, and EV may be straightforward approaches to evaluating multiple components of temperament.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Daigle, C. L., Hubbard, A. J., Meneses, X., & Grandin, T.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Daigle, Courtney L||Hubbard, Amanda J||Meneses, Xandra||Grandin, Temple

publication date

  • January 2020