Date of this Version
2018 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. University of Nebraska Extension MP105. Lincoln, NE.
Reliability of experienced and inexperienced observers when assessing the behavior of cattle when restrained in a squeeze chute (chute score), and when exiting the chute (exit score), was compared. Overall, experienced observers had higher reliability than inexperienced observers. Increasing the number of individuals scoring an animal decreased the degree of agreement. However, within an acceptable tolerance for difference in scores, such disagreement may be beneficial; it allows for subtlety in interpretations of temperament, which when averaged, may better reflect docility. Reliabilities were higher for exit score than chute score. This may reflect the complexity of the trait being evaluated, with fewer behaviors observed when cattle exit as compared to when restrained in a chute. Producers may profitably use chute and exit score to quantify docility in cattle. However, it may be worthwhile to gain experience in using the scoring system before implementing it for selection decisions.