You are here: Home / Journal Articles / A note on hair whorl position and cattle temperament in the auction ring / About

A note on hair whorl position and cattle temperament in the auction ring

By J. L. Lanier, T. Grandin, R. Green, D. Avery, K. McGee

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

The objective of this study was to further describe the relationships between facial hair whorls and temperament in cattle. Cattle (n=1636) from 6 commercial cattle auctions in Colorado and Texas, USA [date not given] were observed. Whorl location was classified according to lateral position (left, right, or middle) and height (high: above the top of the eye, middle: at eye level, low: below the bottom of the eye). A 4-point temperament score was used to rate each animal while it was in the auction ring. Cattle with a score of 1 remained calm and stood still or walked around, and those with a score of 4 were highly agitated and hit the ring fence, walls, partitions, or people with its head. The cattle observed were 75% Bos taurus beef breeds, 21% Holstein dairy cattle, 3% Bos indicus beef breeds, and 1% non-Holstein dairy breeds. 10% of cattle surveyed had no facial hair whorl, while 86% had a single spiral hair whorl, of which 47% had middle-middle whorl placement. Animals with a high whorl position or no hair whorl had higher temperament scores (P = 0.01). Cattle with low whorls were more likely to have greater lateral displacement of whorls off of the centerline than cattle with high or middle whorls (P < 0.01). Abnormally shaped whorls were more common on cattle with low whorls (P < 0.01) and on cattle with lateral whorls located off of the centerline (P < 0.01). Cattle with hair whorls on the centerline had more variable temperament scores (P = 0.04). Beef cattle had more abnormal whorls than Holsteins (P < 0.01). Temperament scores showed that Holsteins were calmer than beef cattle (P < 0.01). Facial hair whorls in cattle may be a useful management tool in assessing which animals may become disturbed in novel environments.

Date 2001
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 73
Issue 2
Pages 93-101
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(01)00132-0
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, CO 80523-1171, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal anatomy
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  4. Cattle
  5. Colorado
  6. Developed countries
  7. Hair
  8. Mammals
  9. North America
  10. OECD countries
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. Ruminants
  13. temperament
  14. Texas
  15. United States of America
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed