There is no better free trait than temperament. Not only are quieter animals easier to handle, they perform better in a host of areas – from weight gain to eating quality, and even fertility.
The CSIRO found that animals with better temperaments gain up to 0.38kg per day while in feedlot conditions when compared with animals with poorer temperament.
Professor Reinaldo Cooke from Oregon State University found that cattle with acceptable temperament (classed with a docility score of 1–3 out of 5) in general had higher levels of conception, calving and weaning.
Selecting cattle to improve temperament can benefit beef production and animal performance, in addition to improving animal welfare and human safety. Beef CRC research found favourable genetic and phenotypic relationships between temperament and meat quality, feedlot performance, ease of transport and some reproductive traits indicating that selection to improve temperament will also result in genetic improvements in these traits.