Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal Science

First Advisor

Dr. Joao H. C. Costa


Detection of individual differences in personality traits of animals may prove beneficial for producers to help tailor management for individuals and to make selection decisions. Therefore, the objectives of this thesis were to

1) review and evaluate literature on relationships between individual cattle personality traits and feeding behavior, activity, and performance; and

2) evaluate and develop tests suitable for characterizing crossbred dairy-beef calves’ personalities and associations with behavioral patterns and performance.

The existing literature indicates that growth, intake, activity, and milk production measures from precision technologies have associations with cattle personality traits and behaviors identifiable through standardized tests. This indicates that stable differences among individuals may be identifiable in natural settings. Results from original research indicate that behavioral responses from personality tests (novel person and novel object/startle) of individually housed dairy-beef calves had associations with performance, activity, and feeding behavior. Fearful calves had negative associations with average daily gain (ADG) and dry matter intake (DMI), inactive calves had positive correlations with non-nutritive oral manipulation, and bold calves had no detected associations. Personality trait assessment of dairy-beef calves has potential to predict performance, activity, and feeding behavior on-farm that may help producers make timely decisions fit for their production system.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)