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ANSC 1011 Section 1 Week 6 Notes

by: Kristy Trahan

ANSC 1011 Section 1 Week 6 Notes ANSC 1011

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Kristy Trahan

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11. Animal Behavior 12. Beef Cattle Lecture Notes Email me at for further questions!
Introduction to Animal Science
T. Bidner
Class Notes
ANSC1011, IntroductiontoAnimalSciences, ThomasBidner
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This 17 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kristy Trahan on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANSC 1011 at Louisiana State University taught by T. Bidner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Animal Science in Animal Science at Louisiana State University.


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Date Created: 09/30/16
ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan Animal Behavior  Behavior- response to changes in the internal and/or external environment  Understanding behaviors is essential for the well-being of both man and animals o Anticipating response to certain stimuli in any given situation- preventing injury to both o Safe handling of livestock and breeding animals o Proper facility design for improved animal welfare  Most animals are social beings  Must place yourself in the animals’ position- evaluate the situation from their perspective o How would the horse feel and respond in the position  Animals are domesticated o They are adapted to humans and the environment provided  Domestication of animals changes their behavior from what would normally be seen in the wild o Allows for protection from predators, access to food/water, contained in smaller spaces  Environments differ across and within all species o Cattle on a feedlot would have a different reaction to people (associates them with food) than cattle on open pasture with minimal human interaction  Ethology- the study of behaviors of animals in their natural surroundings o Focuses on instinctive or innate behaviors  Applied Ethology- scientific study of the behavior of domesticated animals, usually directed at companion animals and livestock  Livestock behavior became a key topic after the development of large, intensive systems of concentrated livestock production (improving behavior improved production) o Became even more important with emphasis on animal welfare  Basic principle of animal behavior o Behavior occurs as a result of changes in the internal and/or external environment of the animals  A barking dog (external stimuli) around a flock of sheep and elicit an escape behavior which orients the sheep away from the dog  Stimuli causes an animal to be aroused or primed and elicits a response and orients the animal o Not all stimuli will elicit a response in an organism  Different range of vision and depth perception  Ex.- having meat around a herbivore o Behavior responses are not always predictable  Respond differently to stimuli at different times under different circumstances  If your dog bit you while at the vet (stressful conditions)  Ares of study- Communication o Animal communicate by:  Visual  Auditory  Tactile  Olfactory ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan o Understanding communication of animals includes understanding signals they give  Position of ears and tails  General posture  Hypervocalization  Barking a lot? Hissing? Snorting?  Marking behavior  Communication: Vision o Livestock have wide angle vision  Cattle, pigs, sheep visual field of 300 degrees  Eyes positioned on the side of the head for maximum vision o Different species have different visual abilities and many have different depth perceptions  Important to understand an animal’s field of vision so you know how to act around them (for each other’s safety)  Making a loud noise or approaching an animal from their blind spot may spook it and cause injuries (why you use your hand and voice when moving around a horse)  Communication: Auditory and tactile o Most species have very good tactile sense- especially cows and horses  Important to not surprise an animal with touch  Useful method to use when moving around an animal  Most animals like to be touched!  Pigs will lie against each other  Dogs will often lie against their owners  Horses will not touch when lying down  Cats do whatever they want ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan o Regularly communicate via several sensory systems with members of their own species- vocalization and touch  Communication: Olfactory o Sense of smell o Accessory olfactory organ- “VNO” or vomeronasal organ used to detect odors called pheromones o Bulls and stallions use a flehmen response- curling of the lip and lifting its head to smell urine from the female  Aggression and social structure o First studied in chickens  “pecking order” from top animal to the bottom of the chain o Aggressive behaviors may revolve around survival needs:  Obtaining food, reproductive needs, securing place in social structure o Problematic when humans and animals are forced to vie for dominance  If you can’t assert your dominance over a herd of animals, this could lead to problems and injuries to yourself and others o Aggression can also be a result of injury, pain, and fear  Can avoid the euthanasia of animals that are aggressive by diagnosing them correctly based on behavior  Sexual and maternal behavior o Important to understand normal sexual and maternal behavior o Sexual behaviors  Males will be very aggressive during breeding season or at breeding time  Most farm animals will exhibit estrus or visible heat  Red, enlarged vulva, vocalization, urinating in front of males, allowing others to mount, and mounting others o Maternal behaviors  Some females will protect babies at all costs  Can prohibit estrus behaviors from being detected  Why some people have to the foal away from mares so they can get rebred  Companion animal behavior o Important to understand companion animals are still ANIMALS  They may obey your commands but are not your friends, they can be unpredictable outside of normal environment o Further study of animal behavior can:  Improve diagnosis and treatment decisions  Identify animals in need of intensive treatment  Reduce euthanasia due to problem behaviors ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  Livestock behavior o Important to understand the differences in livestock behavior  Understand why animals behave the way they do improve comfort and health of animal in production setting  Solve practical problems of production  Facilitate handling and improve handler safety and animal welfare o Easy to implement behavioral assessments on farms  Need to teach the people and they need to cooperate  Flight Zone o Distance that an animal will free from an intruder  The animals’ safety zone o Size of the flight zone determines how wild or tame the animal is  Completely tame: no flight zone, doesn’t move away when you move closer, allows touching  When entering a flight zone, causes the animal to move away  Layout of livestock facilities o When working with animals, it is best to stay on the edge of the flight zone  If you penetrate the flight zone too quickly, the animal would most likely bolt or run away o Facility design can have a big influence on how the animals respond  Dr. Temple Grandin o Animals reaction to any handling procedure depends on  Genetics, individual differences, and previous experiences o Cattle respond best to curved chutes with solid sides  Also move towards light  Get less distracted and smaller chance of getting spooked if they can’t see what’s outside the chute  Also prevents animal from seeing what is at the end of the chute until they are almost there, so they always keep moving  Reduce the use of cattle prods- reduce stress to get the most product out of the animal ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  Animal Temperament o One of the main factors that determine how animals react to handling  A HIGHLY HERITABLE TRAIT- TEMPERAMENT o Temperament is the interaction of genetic effects and environmental factors  Major component is fearfulness o Is also influenced by previous experience and handling  Will affect its reaction to future handling  Animals will become very agitated or stressed, which can lead to injury of the animal and people around it  Causations of stress: electric prods, restraint, transportation, inconsistent handling, and abuse on the animal  Abnormal behavior o It I important to understand what is considered normal behavior in order to identify abnormal behaviors  Cannibalism in chickens and pigs  Mother rejecting offspring or trying to kill their babies  Tail biting in pigs- why they dock their tails  Brahman cattle lie down in squeeze chute o Always have to be smarter than the animal to avoid unwanted abnormal behavior  The recent push in animal welfare has increased the need to understand animal behavior to better the treatment and quality of life of these animals ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan BeefCattle  Cattle History o Cattle comes from the word capitale, meaning wealth or property o Christopher Columbus first cattle producer (1493) new world  Introduced cattle to the western hemisphere o Importation of Spanish cattle from Europe by Ponce de Leonin 1521 to Florida- Corriente Cattle o Influx of Spanish cattle from Mexico  Cattle were distributed across the west by Spanish missionaries  Spanish Longhorns (Texas Longhorns) st  1 Domestication o The taurine (humpless, Bos taurus)  Fertile Crescent  7,000 years ago  2 Domestication o Zebu (humped cattle, Bos indicus)  Mehrgarh in the Indus Valley of Pakistan  6,000 years ago  Need some zebu breeding to be able to survive in south Louisiana  Why we have a lot of Brahman  Only 2 Subspecies o Bos indicus- also called “zebu”, adapted to hot climates o Bos taurus- are the typical cattle of Europe, Northeastern Asia, and parts of Africa  Referred to as “taurine” cattle and many are adapted to cooler climates  Different Breeds o 300-1,000breeds of cattle in the world o Most are found in small numbers in isolated geographical areas o Prior to 1965- 20 breeds in the US  From 1965 to now- 70 breeds in the US  Of these 70 breeds, 12-15have a major influence on the industry o Cattle in the US are generally either  Bos taurus: English/British, Continental  Bos indicus: heat tolerant  Composites: crosses of the two  Breeding a purebred Bos taurus and purebred Bos indicus results in a hybrid vigor- offspring will have more vigorous growth and vigorous characteristics  Beef Cattle Timeline o 1493- Corriente o 1519- Longhorn o 1600’s- British o 1854- Brahman o 1850-1880- cowboys, rail cars, and barbwire o 1940’s- advent of feedlots  Cattle were getting too fat ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan o 1960’s- influx of continental breeds  The ‘breed revolution’  Corriente Cattle o Original Spanish Cattle   Historical Perspective o English settlers brought cattle to New England in 1609  HEREFORD, SHORTHORN, AND ANGUS  Three primary breeds imported to US  Used as work animals and milk producers o During 19 century, English cattle were used to cross with longhorns st  1nd SHORTHORN X LONGHORN  2 - HEREFORD X SHORTHORN (dominated initially)  3 - HEREFORD X ANGUS  Known as black baldie (still part of today’s cattle industry)  ‘The RealMcCoy’ o Was an entrepreneur o In the mid 1860’s Joseph McCoy bought 600 cows for $5,400 and sold them in Abilene, KSfor $16,800 o Between 1867 and 1881 McCoy sent more than 2 million cattle from Abilene to Chicago  Chisholm Trail o Trail Joseph McCoy used to move his cattle  Barbed Wire o Barbed wire was invented by J F Glidden in 1874 o Cattle are now enclosed on ranches and no longer roamed the plains  ENGLISH BREEDS o The Angus  Origin is Scotland (British breed)  Black or red in color  Most prominent beef cattle breed in US  Popular for carcass traits and maternal traits  Must be at least 51% black and exhibit “angus influence” to be considered angus  In the top third of the USDA quality grade  Must grade prime or upper 2/3 of choice  Must meet all 10 criteria to labeled Certified Angus Beef  Most cattle across the US are black ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan o The Hereford  Origin is England (English breed)  Red with white face  Popular for their survivability and cross breeding (carcass traits)  Predominant breed in the west because they didn’t produce a lot of milk o It is hot out west and very dry o It takes more energy and nutrients to produce milk (harder to breed back in locations with limited resources like in the west) o The Shorthorn  Origin is England (English breed)  Red, white, combination of red and white in color  Popular for their maternal (initially) and carcass (current)  Historical Perspective o Before WWII, increased in crop production- cattle were originally raised and finished on grass  Few small grain feeding operations  The demand for meat grew during WWII o Mid 1940’s- major shift in cattle industry  Increase in surplus grain  Majority of cattle were fed grain instead of grass  Demand for grain fed beef grew o Surplus grain was fed to finish beef cattle  Birth of the feedlot industry  A new industry segment developed that involved concentrating large numbers of cattle and feeding them grain in a FINISHING PHASE just prior to slaughter  California, Arizona, and corn-belt states- 1950’s  Moved to Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska- 1960’s ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  Irrigation/Center Pivots o Add more water to crops and grow at a faster rate  Irrigated Land o Center pivots create these circles of land  Ogallala Aquifer o Created by large lakes underground o From Nebraska to northern Texas  Drying out in northern Texas because they are using this water the most o The majority of beef cattle are located on this aquifer  Feedyards o late 1800’s Illinois lead nation in feedyards o early 1900’s feedyards moved into Nebraska o 1930 Monfort opened in Greeley, CO o 1940 feedyards were operating year round  Historical Perspective o Due to an increase of grain-fed beef, cattle were getting too fat in the feedlot o Small-statured animals with light adult weights produced calves that fattened well on grass  Cattle fattened too well in the feedlot  This problem led to the “BREEDS REVOLUTION”  Period of great expansion in numbers of breeds of beef cattle  Started in 1960’s  Wagyu Cattle- very marbled meat/fatty o Were crossed with a leaner breed of cattle  Historical Perspective o Over 25-year period the number of breeds in the US increased to over 70  Re-established crossbreeding and the production of new types of cattle o Mostly continental breeds (Charolais)  Continental Breeds o Charolais  France is origin  Light tan to cream white in color  Popular for growth and carcass characteristics  The only time black color wasn’t the color of choice ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan o Gelbvieh  Germany is origin  Golden to rust (black)  Popular for their growth and maternal traits o Limousin  France is origin  Various shades of red to black  Popular for carcass traits o Simmental  From Switzerland  Spotted tan to red and white; solid tan to red with white face; more recently, black  Popular for growth and maternal traits  Heat tolerant Breeds o Brahman  American Brahman mainly developed from three Indian Zebu breeds  Nelore  ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  Gir   Guzerat   US is origin (through the crossing of several breeds of Bos indicus cattle)  Gray or red in color  Popular for their heat and insect tolerance; crossbreeding  Brahman influence in Louisiana: the further south in Louisiana you go, the more Brahman influence you will see because of the hot climate o Senepol  Origin is the Virgin Islands, St. Croix  Various shades of red  Popular for heat tolerance, early maturing, and survivability o Texas Longhorn (Spanish Longhorn)  Origin is Spain/Mexico/US  Multicolor patterns  Initially very popular for ruggedness (ability to survive in harsh conditions and environments  Low birth weights ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  Composite Breeds o A breed that is made up of at least two component breeds, designed to retain heterosis in future generations without crossbreeding and maintained as a purebred o Common for composites to have 3/8 Bos indicus and 5/8 Bos taurus (for heat tolerance) o Brangus (3/8 Brahman, 5/8 Angus)  origin is the Iberia Experiment Station in Louisiana  black or red in color  popular for maternal and carcass traits; heat tolerance o Santa Gertrudis (3/8 Brahman, 5/8 Shorthorn)  Origin is the US (King Ranch, TX)  Color is red  Popular for heat tolerance, maternal and carcass traits  Big growthy type cattle- grow faster than most other breeds o Braford (3/8 Brahman, 5/8 Hereford)  Origin is the US  Red and white in color  Popular for their maternal traits and heat tolerance o Beefmaster(1/2 Brahman, ¼ Shorthorn, ¼ Hereford)  The only exception to the 3/8 and 5/8 cross ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  Origin is the US  Multicolored (red, white, tan)  Popular for maternal traits, heat tolerance, carcass  Industry’s Purpose o Cattle utilize resources that cannot be used by humans o Major resource is GRASS  Waste material from crops- corn stalks, wheat straw  Food by-products- corn cannery waste, brewer’s and distiller’s grains, and sugar beet pulp o Cattle also provide a protein source for consumers- BEEF  Industry Today o SINGLE LARGEST MONEY-GENERATING COMMODITY IN ALL OF AGRICULTURE o Farm gate= $71 billion o Gross annual income= $80 billion o 729,000 beef cattle herds in the US  Beef cattle EVERYWHERE st o 30.3 MILLION head of beef cows in US, Jan 1 ,2016 o About 1.5 billion head worldwide o US raises 7% of world’s cattle and produces about 19% of the world’s beef and veal  Because we have feedlots, which produce beef more efficiently o On average, beef accounts for 40% of animal’s agriculture share, 19% of total agriculture o The US and Brazil are the top beef producing countries in the world o Top 5 Beef Producing States in the US  1. Texas  2. Nebraska  3. Kansas  4. California- mostly have dairy  5. Oklahoma o Beef production is widespread!  30% of cattle operations with <50 head  90% of cattle herds <100 cows  BEEF COWS o Rank by state (2012 data)  1. Texas  2. Nebraska ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  3. Missouri- only one not in the Ogallala Aquifer  4. Oklahoma  5. South Dakota  Structure of the BeefIndustry o Production System- starts with purebred operations o Purebred Operations  Seedstock Producers- provide breeding stock to other seedstock producers and cow-calf producers  Mainly sell to other purebred breeders o Commercial Cow-calf Producers st  1 phase in producing beef  The end product is a 6-10month old, 300-700 lb CALF usually sold at weaning or to a feedlot to a stocker calf operator (sometimes ownership is retained)  Ownership is not usually retained because it’s expensive and very time consuming to raise a calf to productivity o Feeder Calves  Calves that have been weaned and are fed on GRASS (main resource) o Yearling (stockeroperators)  Purpose is to grow calves to heavier weights on low-priced forage (rye grass)  Sold to feedlot or retained o Feedlot phase (finishing)  600-850lb cattle are finished to market weight and condition (1000-1800 lbs)  Cattle typically spend 100-150days or more in the feedlot  Last phase before slaughter  Geographical Location o Cattle are found everywhere in the US o Cow-calf and stocker operators are concentrated in low cost forage areas o Feedlots are located where feed grain can be grown and dry climate  TX, KS, NE, OK,CO- market 83% of finished cattle  SeedstockIndustry (elite purebred breeders) o Primary purpose is to produce animals for breeding  Enter the food supply at the end of their productive life (culling) o FEMALE OFFSPRING  Herd replacements  Lower end animals- commercial animals (to cow-calf operations) o Primary demand is for BULLS to use in:  Seedstock- best genetics (purebred programs)  Crossbreeding programs  Breeding Programs o Purebred (seedstock)- the elite breeders  Within same breed o Crossbreeding (commercial)- mostly cow-calf operations  two different breeds ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  important because of HYBRID VIGOR o Spring Breeding (60-dayseason)  breed mid-April to mid-June  Calving would star end of January to end of march  Most natural o Fall Breeding (60-day season)  Breed beginning of January to end of February  Calve mid-October to beginning of December  Sometimes more economical to breed in this cycle  Most people don’t breed in the fall so there would be more of a demand for calves in the spring when there aren’t a lot of calves on the market  Crossbreeding Programs o Benefits of crossbreeding: HYBRID VIGOR (heterosis)  Increase in performance over the average of the breeds used (weaning wt)  Hereford- 450 lbs.  Brahman- 500 lbs.  Average weaning weight of the parents’ offspring is 475 lbs  Brahman X Hereford offspring- 625 lbs weaning weight  Reproductive Management o Goal is to produce 1 calf for each cow every year o Gestation length: average 280-283 days o Each cow must become pregnant within 80-85 days of calving  283d+82d= 365d (100% calf crop) o Cattle will breed year round o Set up seasons- either spring or fall  Which season depends on feed and what’s best for the producer o Cattle’s estrous cycle- 21 days o Estrus (heat)- 13-17 hours o Bred by artificial insemination (AI) or by a bull o Synchronization of estrus (heat period)  Use hormones  AI- artificial insemination  Clean-up bull o Proper estrus detection is essential  Check twice a day- AM and PM  AM-PM rule for AI  If in heat in the morning breed at night, if in heat at night breed in the morning  Homosexual activity among cows (being mounted)  Heat checker bulls (sterile) o Reasons to cull cows for market beef  Reproductive failure- no calf  Most important  Poor weaning weights- low milk  Feet and leg problems ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan  Udder problems  Disposition  Heifer Reproductive Management o 1 calf heifer should 2 years of age (Bos taurus) o Breed at 15 months of age  Should be 60-65% of mature body weight  Not too possible for the Zebu type cattle because they mature later o Producers may wait until heifers are 36 months of age at first calving  However, loss of just 1 calf makes it difficult to generate a profit in the cow’s lifetime  Bull Reproductive Management o 15 months of age and older o Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE)  Testicular development  Semen quality  Ability to actually breed females (libido) o The bull evaluation should be more important to the producer than selection for replacement heifers  Bulls produce more offspring per year compared to a cow- bulls are half the herd  A bull can inseminate up to 25 cows, which equals 25 calves and a cow can only produce 1 calf  A bad bull can cause great damage to profitability of an operation  Reproductive Management o Reproduction is the most important economic trait to cattle producers (live calves) o However, without proper health and nutrition the calves will not grow and therefore cannot make the producer any money  Louisiana Beef Industry o Commercial Cow-Calf Operations o Seedstock Operations o Stocker Operations  Total economic value of this industry in 2014 was reported to $795 million and $99 million value added resulting in $894 million in gross farm sales  Louisiana is primarily a cow-calf production state and in 2014, it was reported that the state’s inventory included 433,050 beef cows and 7,379 beef producers  Important Traits to Beef Industry o Consumer- tenderness, taste, flavor, food safety, price o Retailer- shelf life, portion size, lean/fat o Packer- dressing %, quality and yield grade o Feeder- health, gain, feed efficiency o Backgrounder- growth and health o Cow-calf producer- reproduction, growth, color/quality  Strategic Alliances ANSC 1011 Kristy Trahan o Developed to try to become more efficient o Partnerships between various independent segments of an industry to maximize cooperation, value, and return on investment  BEEF INDUSTRY TODAY o Both feedlots and meat-packing facilities have reduced in numbers and increased in size o The beef industry is not integrated but the different segments are somewhat linked (strategic alliances)


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