Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 2021 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report, University of Nebraska Extension Publication MP110


Copyright © 2020 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Accurate and precise measurement of docility in cattle is paramount when including temperament as a criterion for selection. The value of training individuals in assigning a docility score was evaluated by comparing the reliability of individual assessments of temperament in beef cattle before and after various instructional methods. Preceding training, participants’ assessment of cattle behavior, videoed while each heifer was restrained in a chute, was not impacted by age, gender, or pre- existing cattle handling experience. Groups of participants that received additional training were more accurate and precise in evaluating temperament, regardless of training method, compared to those without. No matter an individual’s prior beef cattle experience, they benefitted from the information provided in the training material. By completing a relatively short and targeted instructional program, producers can more reliably evaluate docility in their cattle, thereby enhancing their ability to incorporate temperament into their selection decisions within their herd.