Calf temperment

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brandonm_13

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Okay, so where do you suspect a calf gets its temperment from? Obviously, half the genetics come from each parent, but wouldn't you think that the cow would influence the calf more in terms of her temperment around humsns.

For example: You have a calm cow and a nervous bull. Is the calf cam like its mother, nervous like its father, slightly nervous(the average of the two), or calm with nervous tendencies( genetic influence of father over calm genetics and raising of mother)?

I'm curious because some A.I. bulls will not be as docile as others, but have other assets that could offset that if the calves took more after their mothers. No amount of good values would be worth it though if the calves were busting through fences, nearly impossible tocatch, or tried to kill you when you came in the pasture.

Thoughts?
 

cowman30

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I think that they get it mostly from the daddy.


Here is why!

I have cows that you cannot touch in the field. You can get within about 2-3 feet before they move and some you can get right up on em before they move. I only have two cows you can actually touch. Our bulls were so docile they would come up to you for attention. All the calves out of the bulls whether they are out of the flightier (brangus cows) or whether they are out of some of the more generous cows come up to us and want to be petted and scratched. I really think they get if from the bull more than anything.
 

bigbull338

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the crossbred cows are a tad more highstrung.but they really arnt wild or crazy.an since we run a beefmaster bull on them.their calves are pretty calm as well.the beefmaster cows are real calm.an their calves are calm.i wont buy a wild beefmaster cow or bull.because i dont want wild temperment in the reg herd.
 

dun

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If the calf is wild it comes from the bull, if it's calm it comes from the cow. Sometimes!
 

regolith

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If the calf is wild it comes from the bull, if it's calm it comes from the cow. Sometimes!

Sounds about right. I've known individual cows whose every calf is just like them. And a popular bull who guarantees heifers that climb gates (or smash them).
At one time I thought the mother had more influence because she trained her calf. But two calvings ago one of my calves ran away (less than a few hours old - I saw her at 2 am, she was gone by 7 am). Came back the next day but she never saw her mother again. Yet her behaviour when she saw a truck at four months old was identical (swinging round in circles, eye rolling, trembling).
 

hillsdown

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Disposition comes from both. However you do have a better chance of a calm/manageable animal if the dam or even sire has been with you and around you from day one.

Usually a calm cow will raise a calm calf..
If the mom trusts you then the calf will pick up on it the minute they "pop" out.. :)
 

novatech

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brandonm_13":2m18evjj said:
Okay, so where do you suspect a calf gets its temperment from? Obviously, half the genetics come from each parent, but wouldn't you think that the cow would influence the calf more in terms of her temperment around humsns.

For example: You have a calm cow and a nervous bull. Is the calf cam like its mother, nervous like its father, slightly nervous(the average of the two), or calm with nervous tendencies( genetic influence of father over calm genetics and raising of mother)?

I'm curious because some A.I. bulls will not be as docile as others, but have other assets that could offset that if the calves took more after their mothers. No amount of good values would be worth it though if the calves were busting through fences, nearly impossible tocatch, or tried to kill you when you came in the pasture.

Thoughts?
Could come from several generations back and just showing up. There are certain bulls that I simply do not want showing up in a pedigree when choosing a bull for AI.
I have 2 AI heifers now.(A month old, born 2 days apart.) Both are from the same AI bull. The heifer from the more docile cow is high headed and flighty. The heifer from the less docile cow is calm and curious. I could scratch it at a week old. I guess it is just luck of the draw.
 

dun

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novatech":6huei6z4 said:
I guess it is just luck of the draw.
Many times I think that pretty well sums it up. Had a cow who was a lunatic and her heifer calf is a pain in the butt cause she's so calm and layed back and follows me around like a puppy. She's done that since day one when her mother was slinging snot and pawing and bellering, never fazed the calf. All of the calves out of one our most layed back easy going cows have all be lunatics, high headed doesn;t even start to describe them.
 

Victoria

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I think it can come from either or both, or neither and throw back to a relation. It all depends on how the genes happen to mix - which ones are dominant. So in some cows their disposition gene will be strong and rule out nearly every bulls' genes and vice versa. The cow however does then raise the calf and so she plays more of a roll in the environmental aspect of personality. Which may or may not be a strong enough influence to override the genetics.
 

Chris H

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Either side, and I think nature(genetics) plays more of a role than nurture. Nurture can temper a wild one's attitude, but s/he'll never be as calm as a naturally calm animal handled calmly.
We had one cow that hated me, then she started hating everyone in the next year. That's the year I convinced my husband she was going, or I was. We have 2 of her daughters and I watch them carefully for any sign of mean attitude. So far, so good; but if they even show a hint of attitude they won't get a chance to show anything else except their tail on the way out the driveway. Their calves have also been fine.
 

LoveMoo11

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I think a calf's personality affects the temperament, but if you handle it from day 1 and it is friendly with people it is more likely that it is going to be better tempered. But off course there are always those ones that are nasty no matter how much you work with them.
 

SRBeef

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A related calf temperment question.

I have a heifer calf, BWF, maybe 700 lb, out of one of my flightier cows that I was clearly not going to keep. However she seems so calm and friendly following me around almost to the point of being a pest, that I have almost moved her to the "keeper" list.

She always wants me to scratch the top of her head right behind her ears. I am careful not to scratch the area between the eyes and down her head because I understood that was a sign of wanting to butt heads and establish dominance etc.

However she has been such a pest even coming up behind me with her head and not really butting me but aggressively letting me know she wants to be scratched. I got concerned the other day and firmly verbally reprimanded her and she backed off.

Maybe she just needs reminding who is in charge here? Her sire was a friend's super high priced Angus bull with excellent conformation and bad attitude. I bought her Hereford dam as a bred cow.

Is this just a playful behavior or could it develop into aggression. I don't want a cow around that I need to watch all the time. Yet she is really a good looking heifer. Maybe we just not do the scratching for awhile?

This is what I thought was a calm but playful calf out of an Angus bull with a bad attitude and a dam who is a bit flighty for a Hereford. Will genetics eventually lead to her being a trouble maker or is her playful scratch-loving behavior a sign that she is different?

Suggestions?

Thanks. Here's a picture of this heifer. Does she look like she's worth keeping as a breeder? I have been wanting to go all pure Herefords but this one seemed like maybe worth giving a chance. Her coat is a bit shaggy in this cold weather - much shaggier than some of the Herefords.

IMG_3860_Hiefer_78.JPG
 

msscamp

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hillsdown":2npt5o02 said:
Usually a calm cow will raise a calm calf..
If the mom trusts you then the calf will pick up on it the minute they "pop" out.. :)

So how do explain a calm, easily workable cow who has a high-headed calf that freaks out everytime you try to do something with him/her? And I'm not talking about penning/working them once a year, either.
 

msscamp

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brandonm_13":3qj8f58p said:
Okay, so where do you suspect a calf gets its temperment from? Obviously, half the genetics come from each parent, but wouldn't you think that the cow would influence the calf more in terms of her temperment around humsns.

Not necessarily. You're forgetting the law of genetics, and the influence of grandparents, great grandparents, great-great grandparents, great-great-great-grandparents and the possibility of throw-backs to all of the above.

For example: You have a calm cow and a nervous bull. Is the calf cam like its mother, nervous like its father, slightly nervous(the average of the two), or calm with nervous tendencies( genetic influence of father over calm genetics and raising of mother)?

What was the cow's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother like? How about the bull? There is a lot more at work here than just the sire and the dam - there is the whole bloodline of both to consider. Genetics are a funny thing, and they can pop up and bite you in the ass when you least expect it.

Thoughts?
 

dun

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SRBeef":ka30bn9p said:
A related calf temperment question.

I have a heifer calf, BWF, maybe 700 lb, out of one of my flightier cows that I was clearly not going to keep. However she seems so calm and friendly following me around almost to the point of being a pest, that I have almost moved her to the "keeper" list.

She always wants me to scratch the top of her head right behind her ears. I am careful not to scratch the area between the eyes and down her head because I understood that was a sign of wanting to butt heads and establish dominance etc.

However she has been such a pest even coming up behind me with her head and not really butting me but aggressively letting me know she wants to be scratched. I got concerned the other day and firmly verbally reprimanded her and she backed off.

Maybe she just needs reminding who is in charge here? Her sire was a friend's super high priced Angus bull with excellent conformation and bad attitude. I bought her Hereford dam as a bred cow.

Is this just a playful behavior or could it develop into aggression. I don't want a cow around that I need to watch all the time. Yet she is really a good looking heifer. Maybe we just not do the scratching for awhile?

This is what I thought was a calm but playful calf out of an Angus bull with a bad attitude and a dam who is a bit flighty for a Hereford. Will genetics eventually lead to her being a trouble maker or is her playful scratch-loving behavior a sign that she is different?

Suggestions?

Thanks. Here's a picture of this heifer. Does she look like she's worth keeping as a breeder? I have been wanting to go all pure Herefords but this one seemed like maybe worth giving a chance. Her coat is a bit shaggy in this cold weather - much shaggier than some of the Herefords.
That's the way the PITA heifer we have was out of a lunatic cow. I have ignored her for a couple of months and not given her the scratch that she wants. Now she stands around but doesn;t get too close. She still wants the scratching but she's caught on that she isn;t going to get it. With her the last straw was when she tried to climb into the mule (front seat) with me. I wacked her with a rubber feed pan and that put an end to it.
 

dun

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brandonm_13":2m8z24ot said:
I can just see her riding shotgun, heading back to the barn. :lol:

Pretty much scared the crap out of me I'll tell ya. Apparantly mules aren;t designed for a 150 lb person in side and a 900 lb bovine in the other.
 

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