Department (e.g. History, Chemistry, Finance, etc.)

Animal Science

College (e.g. College of Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences, Haslam College of Business, etc.)

Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Abstract

Cattle temperament strongly impacts handlers’ safety, and testosterone is associated with cattle docility. Measuring hair testosterone may provide a non-invasive way to evaluate hormone concentrations. This study aimed to analyze chronic hair testosterone concentrations as a method of assessing relationships between endocrine, production, behavioral, and reproductive traits in bulls. Bulls (n=30) were separated into 3 pens for 84 days. Hair, serum, and data were collected at 28-day intervals. Dataloggers on each bull tracked total steps taken, total lying time, number of lying bouts, and lying bout duration from d 0-28 and d 56-84. Reproductive evaluation and carcass ultrasound took place on d 85. Correlation analyses were performed in SAS 9.3. Hair testosterone positively correlated with serum testosterone on d 0 (r=0.50, P<0.01), 28 (r=0.50, P<0.01), and 56 (r=0.30, P=0.12). Serum testosterone positively correlated with body weight on d 0 (r=0.66, P<0.0001), 28 (r=0.59, P<0.001), and 56 (r=0.47, P=0.01) and with average daily gain on d 56 (r=0.44, P=0.02). Hair testosterone positively correlated with body weight on d 0 (r=0.43, P=0.02) and 28 (r=0.47, P<0.01). Measures of temperament exhibited a weak negative relationship with weight on all dates. These results indicate that testosterone may be a potential predictor for growth traits.

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The relationship between measures of reproductive soundness, behavior, and hair testosterone concentrations during performance testing of bulls

Cattle temperament strongly impacts handlers’ safety, and testosterone is associated with cattle docility. Measuring hair testosterone may provide a non-invasive way to evaluate hormone concentrations. This study aimed to analyze chronic hair testosterone concentrations as a method of assessing relationships between endocrine, production, behavioral, and reproductive traits in bulls. Bulls (n=30) were separated into 3 pens for 84 days. Hair, serum, and data were collected at 28-day intervals. Dataloggers on each bull tracked total steps taken, total lying time, number of lying bouts, and lying bout duration from d 0-28 and d 56-84. Reproductive evaluation and carcass ultrasound took place on d 85. Correlation analyses were performed in SAS 9.3. Hair testosterone positively correlated with serum testosterone on d 0 (r=0.50, P<0.01), 28 (r=0.50, P<0.01), and 56 (r=0.30, P=0.12). Serum testosterone positively correlated with body weight on d 0 (r=0.66, P<0.0001), 28 (r=0.59, P<0.001), and 56 (r=0.47, P=0.01) and with average daily gain on d 56 (r=0.44, P=0.02). Hair testosterone positively correlated with body weight on d 0 (r=0.43, P=0.02) and 28 (r=0.47, P<0.01). Measures of temperament exhibited a weak negative relationship with weight on all dates. These results indicate that testosterone may be a potential predictor for growth traits.

 

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