Docility scoring in Brahman cattle

As of 12 July 2013, the SA Brahman society has been using a system similar to that of the Namibian system to score the docility of Brahman. The scoring system uses numbers 1 to 9, with 9 meaning docile, and 1 meaning aggressive. The code for this trait is TN.

It is recommended that docility be scored when the animal is between 60 and 400 days old, and should ideally be scored at weaning. All animals being scored should be handled at the same age, and with similar treatment so that no significant variation occurs.

Scoring in the yard:

An appraiser should stand in a large kraal about 8 meters from a gate, and about 4 meters from the path that the animal will walk. Each animal should be released individually from the pen and allowed to pass the appraiser.

Score Docility Description
1 Aggressive Animal pass at a fast pace, and may act aggressively towards handlers.
2-3 Flighty Animal passes at a fast pace, keeping you in sight at all times, and may blow. It may force its way past 8-9 scored animals to stand behind them.
4-5 Nervous Animal passes at a fast pace, showing signs of restlessness. It may hide behind 8-9 scored animals and look over or under them.
6-7 Restless Animal moves with a slight speed and will show signs of being restless.
8-9 Docile Animals move past without any signs of anxiety. The animals should walk and stand passively at the end of the kraal.

Scoring in the crush:

Animals are put in a crush individually and held for 30 seconds.

Score Docility Description
1 Aggressive Aggressive and extremely agitated animal that moves continually and may jump and be noisy while in the crush. It will exit the crush at high speed and may have charging behaviour when handled. The animal may exhibit tail flicking, frothing at the mouth, as well as urination and defecation.
2-3 Flighty Hard to control animal that shows behaviour similar to aggressive animals. It may be noisy, shaky and exits the crush at speed.
4-5 Nervous Nervous animal that is more manageable. It may push and pull on the head-gate and shows some restless behaviours such as tail flicking, and exits the crush fast.
6-7 Restless Slightly restless and will be more of an effort to handle. It will pull back on the head-gate and may try to break out. It will try to exit the crush quickly.
8-9 Docile Gentle temperament, easily handled animal. It will stand and move easily when being handled. It will not pull on head-gate while in the crush, and exits the crush calmly.

Brahman cattle are renowned for their gentle temperaments and ease of handling, making them low-risk when handling.


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