Date of this Version
2018 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. University of Nebraska Extension MP105. Lincoln, NE.
Changes in temperament in heifers when handled either frequently or infrequently were evaluated subjectively based on their behavior when restrained in (chute score) and exiting from (exit score) a squeeze chute. Chute scores decreased over time–a favorable direction–with more dramatic declines in heifers handled more frequently. Heifers with higher chute scores on the first day of handling had the largest reduction in score. Exit scores changed less over time. Chute score therefore may be more indicative of acclimation to a novel environment than exit score. Both scores appear to offer a fast, easy and inexpensive way to quantify docility in cattle. Heifers became calmer with repeated gentle handling. Producers therefore may benefit from allowing cattle a few days to acclimate to new working facilities before assessing docility.