Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Eric S. Vanzant

Abstract

The relationships between behavioral measures, growth performance, and immunocompetence in receiving beef steers were explored in three experiments. Specifically, exit velocity (EV) and objective chute score (OCS) were examined as temperament measures. In experiment 1, no main effects or interactions with degradable intake protein (DIP) or interactions between temperament measures were observed (P ≥ 0.11); however, high OCS steers had greater intake and gain:feed (P < 0.10) and slow EV steers had higher intake and gain (P < 0.10) than their counterparts. In experiment 2, during week two of social observations, dominance hierarchy rankings were dependent on OCS and EV (P < 0.05); slow EV steers also had increased antibody responses and gain (P < 0.10) and high OCS steers had increased gain (P < 0.10). In experiment 3, subjective chute scores and OCS were positively correlated (P < 0.01) and both EV and OCS treatments changed over time (P < 0.10); intake, vaccine titer response, and gain:feed responses to monensin were dependent on OCS treatment (P < 0.10). The studies suggest that temperament, measured by EV and OCS, affects growth performance and health related measures and is related to social dominance behavior in receiving beef steers.

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