Disposition – Convenience Trait or Economically Important Darrell Busby ISU Extension Beef Specialist for SW Iowa ISU Armstrong Farm Learning Center Lewis, IA 51544 Tel. 712-769-2600 email@example.com
Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF) • First year 35 consignors - 106 steers • What is the most profitable steer in the feedlot? • Last 7 years, 40,270 steers and heifers from Iowa, South Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Minnesota, Florida, West Virginia and Missouri • Ten member board has oversight of cattle fed at 12 different feedlots
What is Disposition? • Measure of how docile, wild and handling ability of animals during processing • An animal’s disposition is inherited and influenced by management • Easily excitable animals compromise their own safety and the safety of each of us
Cattle Handling InjuriesOklahoma State University 1997 • Evaluated conditions associated with 150 cattle handling injuries on 100 Oklahoma cow-calf operations • More than 50% of the injuries were due to human error • 25% of the injuries were perceived to be equipment and facilities • Better understanding of how an animal may respond to human interaction will keep the handler from becoming an injury victim
Dr Bruce Van Zee December 16, 1941 October 6, 2005 TCSCF Board member Died 7 days after being injured doing what he loved. Working cattle. One of my best friends
How do you measure disposition? • Beef Improvement Federation • Disposition scoring system 1 to 6 system • Highly repeatable • We disposition score cattle at on test, re-implant and during 1st sort and prior to 2nd harvest • We do not disposition score on arrival • Local cattle have differences in gathering and trucking • Long hauled cattle are not accustomed to their new surroundings • Occasionally animal is with the wrong crowd
Disposition Scoring System - BIF • 1= Docile • 2 = Restless • 3 = Nervous • 4 = Flighty • 5 = Aggressive • 6 = Very aggressive or killers
Do good disposition cattle • Have less health problems? • Reduce cursing? • Better gains in the feedlot? • Better quality grades? • Increase profits? • Do cow-calf producers want breeding stock with good dispositions?
Why more pulls with docile calves? • Feedlots use DART assessment for BRD management • Depression • Appetite • Respiratory Index • Temperature • Calves most likely do not look depressed when they have their head up watching your every move • Appetite as measured by coming to the bunk • Human nature do I really want to pull that calf
Disposition SummaryIn 13,315 calves originating from 12 states fed in 8 southwest Iowa feedlots • Docile calves compared to aggressive calves were: • Feedlot gain was reduced by 8.2% • Feed/Gain as determined by the Cornell Net Carbohydrate Model was reduced by 1.8% • % Choice or better was reduced by 15.9% points or 20% • Standards were increased by 3% points or 115% • CAB acceptance was reduced by 14.8% points or 51% • Returns were reduced by $62.19.
Disposition Impact on Meat QualityVoisinet, et al 1997 • Carcasses from more excitable cattle have greater tendency to produce less tender and more borderline dark cutters.
Disposition’s Impact on Shrink(Lanier 2000) • From CSU sale barn observations • Cattle with higher temperament scores were less likely to defecate in the auction ring • Auctioneer’s continual chant did not bother cattle as much as sudden intermittent sounds i.e. ring man taking bid • Sudden movements were noticed by cattle
Disposition’s Impact on ShrinkISU Armstrong Research Farm July 2005 • Disposition was not good from one source of cattle • Our research protocol is to weigh cattle 2 consecutive days to attain on test weight • Steers were disposition scored on day 1 • 252 yearling steers weighed 2 consecutive days
What determines disposition? • Similar to calving ease, marbling and average daily gain • Disposition or temperament is moderately heritable
North American Limousin Foundation • Early 1990’s improving disposition as number-one priority • Heritability estimated at .40 • In 1993, 73% of Limousin were scored as calm. • In 2003, 91% of Limousin were scored as calm.
Ranking of Importance of Heifer Quality Characteristics(4 = extremely important ...... 1= not important)
Effect of disposition on average sale price of heifers – 2003 Calhoun GA Heifer Evaluation and Reproductive Development Sale
Chute ComparisonISU Armstrong Research Farm 2005 • Manual chute replaced with rubber mounted hydraulic chute • 248 steers and heifers were weighed, disposition scored and evaluated for market on 2 dates one week apart • Sound levels were recorded • Time required per pen • Staff were asked to handle cattle the same both dates
Manual Chute Hydraulic Chute
Manual Chute 8 sec or 23% Hydraulic Chute
Manual Chute Hydraulic Chute
Chute ComparisonISU Armstrong Research Farm 2005 • Staff were asked to handle cattle the same both dates • We were not able to accomplish handling the cattle the same • We developed a case of planteritis prior to the 2nd date and much later one person admitted he had a very bad day • The hot shot was used more than is acceptable according to Audit Form – Welfare of Cattle in Feedlots • SW IA beef producer says a hot shot is an anger release tool for the operator
7 sec or 19% Foremost Chute 8 sec or 23% Silencer Chute
Chute ComparisonSummary • Rubber mounted chute • Reduced sound level • Reduced processing time by 23% • Hot shots increased disposition scores without improving processing time • Less sound may improve disposition scores • Handlers greater factor than equipment • If your attitude is not good do not work cattle
Basic Ingredients for Handling Success • Patience • Understand how cattle see the world • Understand how you influence cattle behavior • Learn how to control your behavior to work cattle with care
Disposition – Convenience Trait or Economically Important • Management has more influence than genetics • Hopefully more docile cattle will reduce injuries and death • More docile cattle equals less equipment repairs • Feedlot gain was reduced by 8.2% • Feed/Gain as determined by the Cornell Net Carbohydrate Model was reduced by 1.8% • % Choice or better was reduced by 15.9% • CAB acceptance was reduced by 14.8% • Returns were reduced by $62.19
Disposition – Convenience Trait or Economically Important Summary handout on disposition on the Certified Angus Beef website http://www.cabpartners.com/news/basics/BIB_V1-I3_Disposition.pdf