Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327753

Title: Influence of cattle temperament on blood serum fatty acid content

item GARDNER, TONIRAE - Utah State University
item LEGAKO, JERRAD - Utah State University
item Sanchez, Nicole
item Broadway, Paul
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item VANN, RHONDA - Mississippi State University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2016
Publication Date: 7/1/2016
Citation: Gardner, T., Legako, J.F., Sanchez, N.C., Broadway, P.R., Carroll, J.A., Vann, R.C. 2016. Influence of cattle temperament on blood serum fatty acid content. Journal of Animal Science Supplement. 94(E-Supplement 5):493, Abstract#1050.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cattle temperament has been reported to influence blood metabolites. Specifically, temperament was related with increased circulation of serum NEFA, decreased blood urea nitrogen, and reduced insulin sensitivity. Metabolic alterations such as these may impact cattle immune function, performance traits, carcass traits, and meat tenderness. Presently, little work has been carried out to determine the impacts of temperament on fatty acid content within blood serum. For this study blood and resulting serum was obtained from Angus-cross steers (n = 31; 216 ± 6 kg BW), previously assessed to be Temperamental (n=15) or Calm (n=16). Temperament score was calculated as an average of exit velocity and pen score measured at weaning. Serum fatty acid content (mg/mL) was determined via gas chromatography and flame ionization detection. Serum from Temperamental steers contained greater (P = 0.050) concentrations of linoleic (18:2 n-6; 2.56 mg/mL), alpha-linolenic (18:3 n-3; 0.34 mg/mL), dihomo-gamma-linolenic (20:3 n-6; 0.12 mg/mL), and eicosapentanoic acid (20:5 n-3; 0.26 mg/mL) compared with Calm steers (2.02, 0.25, 0.09, and 0.21 mg/mL, respectively). Furthermore, serum cumulative PUFA of Temperamental steers (4.47 mg/mL) was greater (P = 0.003) than Calm steers (3.69 mg/mL). Previous work in other fields of study have used PUFA as markers for stress responsiveness and inflammation in tissues. In agreement with those previous studies, markers of stress and inflammation were related with an increase in overall PUFA concentration in blood in the present study. These findings add to the current body of work regarding cattle temperament and associated alterations of metabolic components. It is not clear if elevated blood PUFA are directly impacting cattle immunity, performance, carcass traits, and/or meat quality among temperamental cattle. However, it is widely known that alteration of fatty acid composition in the final product has numerous organoleptic impacts. Future research is required to determine if circulating lipids in blood ultimately impact overall meat quality.