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Archives Animal Breeding Archiv Tierzucht
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Volume 58, issue 1
Arch. Anim. Breed., 58, 13-21, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-58-13-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Arch. Anim. Breed., 58, 13-21, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-58-13-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  04 Mar 2015

04 Mar 2015

Genetics of cattle temperament and its impact on livestock production and breeding – a review

J. Friedrich1, B. Brand2, and M. Schwerin1,2 J. Friedrich et al.
  • 1Institute of Animal Science and Technology, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany
  • 2Institute for Genome Biology, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany

Abstract. Cattle temperament, which describes individual behaviour differences with regard to a stressor or environmental challenge, is known for its impact on working safety, adaptability to new housing conditions, animal productivity and for evaluation of animal welfare. However, successful use of temperament in animal breeding and husbandry to improve keeping conditions in general or animal welfare in particular, requires the availability of informative and reproducible phenotypes and knowledge about the genetic modulation of these traits. However, the knowledge about genetic influences on cattle temperament is still limited. In this review, an outline is given for the interdependence between production systems and temperament as well as for the phenotyping of cattle temperament based on both behaviour tests and observations of behaviour under production conditions. In addition, the use of temperament as a selection criterion is discussed.

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