Analysis of temperament development during the fattening period in the semi-feral bovine calves of the Alberes Massif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the progression of temperament in Alberes male calves during the fattening period. The Alberes breed is a semi-feral beef cattle breed of Catalonia (Spain) that lives endemically in the eastern extreme of the Pyrenees, a mountainous area. These animals were adapted to extensive management systems and their contact with humans was minimal until weaning. After weaning, eighty-four entire males from two consecutive years were reared in feedlot pens during the fattening period, weighed and graded for a temperament score once monthly. Behavioral records were analyzed under a repeated measures model, testing the influence of several systematic sources of variation. Three systematic effects reached statistical significance (P < 0.05): weight of the calf at the beginning of the fattening period, initial temperament score, and restraint session within the initial temperament score. Calves with moderate and high temperament scores at the beginning of the fattening period tended to moderate their temperament (P < 0.05), whereas calm calves did not show a significant trend. Our results suggest that behavioral agitation is decreasing over time in excitable calves, obtaining an acceptable level of tameness for these animals. The effect of the initial weight could be related with calf age, suggesting that older calves were less adaptable to intensive fattening systems. © INRA, EDP Sciences, 2006.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-395
JournalAnimal Research
Volume55
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006

Keywords

  • Beef cattle
  • Calf behavior
  • Calf welfare
  • Cattle handling
  • Human-animal relation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of temperament development during the fattening period in the semi-feral bovine calves of the Alberes Massif'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this