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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCING ANIMAL WELL-BEING, IMMUNOCOMPETENCE, AND PERFORMANCE IN SWINE AND BEEF CATTLE Title: The influence of bovine temperament on rectal temperature and stress hormones in response to transportation

item Burdick, Nicole - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Carroll, Jeffery
item Randel, Ron - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Willard, Scott - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIV
item Caldwell, Lisa - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Dailey, Jeffery
item Hulbert, Lindsey
item Welsh, Tom - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: American Dairy Science Association Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 11, 2008
Publication Date: July 23, 2008
Citation: Burdick, N., Carroll, J.A., Randel, R., Vann, R., Willard, S., Caldwell, L., Dailey, J.W., Hulbert, L.E., Welsh Jr., T. 2008. The influence of bovine temperament on rectal temperature and stress hormones in response to transportation [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 86(E. Suppl. 2):349. (Abstract #374)

Technical Abstract: This study was designed to determine the influence of bovine temperament on rectal temperature (RT), cortisol (CS), and epinephrine (EPI) secretion in response to transportation. Brahman bulls (10 months of age) were selected from the spring 2007 calf crop based on temperament score which was an average of exit velocity (EV; objective measure) and pen score (PS; subjective behavior score). The bulls with the lowest (C; n=5; 0.75 m/s EV and 1 PS), intermediate (I; n=8; 1.59 m/s EV and 2.25 PS), and highest (T; n=4; 3.59 m/s EV and 5 PS) scores were used for this study. Prior to transportation (departure) blood was collected and serum and plasma harvested. Bulls were also filled with RT devices that recorded at 1-minute intervals. Bulls were then loaded on a trailer and transported 770 km. Upon arrival, similar blood samples were collected. Serum CS and plasma EPI concentrations were determined by RIA and EIA, respectively. RT data were summed into 10-min intervals prior to statistical analysis. Data were analyzed by ANOVA using Statview (SAS) and Pearson's correlation coefficients calculated. At departure, there was no effect of temperament on CS concentrations (P>0.05). Concentrations of EPI were lower in C (110.21 ± 20.52 pg/mL) and I (133.46 ± 27.91 pg/mL) when compared to T bulls (359.85 ± 112.50 pg/mL P=0.01). There was no difference due to temperament between departure and arrival concentrations of CS or EPI (P>0.05). During transport, RT peaked within 20 min (max RT) before decreasing to baseline values (P<0.01). C bulls (39.35 ± 0.01 deg C) had lower RT when compared with I (39.61 ± 0.02 deg C) and T bull (39.63 ± 0.02 deg C; P=0.06). Moderate-to-high positive correlations were detected among: max RT and EV (r=0.62; P<0.01); EV and departure EPI (r=0.64; P<0.01); EV and arrival EPI (r=0.58; P=0.01); and EV and arrival CS (r=0.55; P<0.01). There was a tendency for a positive correlation between max RT and departure EPI (r=0.46; P=0.06). In conclusion, max RT was reached within 20 min of onset of transportation. Temperament and adrenal function were predictive of RT changes due to transportation.

Last Modified: 7/29/2016
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