August 12, 2003, just-food.com: Researchers at the Commonwealth
Scientific & Industrial Research Organization's Rendel Laboratory
in Rockhampton say they have found a relationship between good cattle
temperament, improved productivity levels and overall meat quality.
By showing that cattle with poorer temperaments have comparatively
lower average daily weight gains and reduced carcass weights the
research suggests that beef producers can increase the quality of
their meat if they selectively breed cattle with good temperaments.
The research was conducted by CSIRO Livestock Industries (CLI) and
the Co-operative Research Center for Beef and Cattle Quality (Beef
Project Leader, Dr Heather Burrow said that to improve performance
and meat quality - particularly in intensive production situations
- 'bad-temperament' cattle should be replaced with 'good-temperament'
"Poor temperament lowers cattle profitability through increased
production costs - for example, mustering, maintaining cattle handling
facilities and the increased risk of injury to the cattle and their
handlers," Burrow said.
"To be able to select cattle with 'good' temperaments, producers
and feedlot operators need to be able apply a set of proven criteria
to help them distinguish between the cattle they want and those
they don't," she continued.
There are various tests that can be carried out to assess the temperament
of cattle, she said, adding that the best way to improve the temperament
of beef cattle is to select good-temperament breeding stock.
The most commonly used cattle temperament tests are the 'crush-score'
and 'flight-time' methods.