Use our guidelines to help you select and buy well for temperament.
1. Take the time to pre-inspect any animal you may wish to purchase well before the sale. This will help you examine an animal’s do-ability if they are straight out of the paddock or grain prepared for sale. Try to view the dam and sire of the animal you’re interested in as their behaviour may indicate the temperament they are likely to pass on to progeny.
2. If you can’t physically visit for an inspection, ask to see photos and/or video of the animal you’re interested in.
Questions to ask
3. How much handling have the cattle had, individually and as a group?
4. How does your preferred animal behave compared to the rest of the group? What can the vendor tell you about the animal’s temperament history?
5. Can you rub or pat the animal? Can the whole draft be touched or only particular animals? Where the majority of animals in a vendor’s draft can be rubbed or patted, those that can’t may not breed quiet cattle.
6. Is there a risk of temperament issues in the pedigree? If your preferred animal has siblings, do they seem quiet?
7. Does the vendor have a good reputation?
Do your homework
8. Find out what the vendor understands by ‘quiet temperament’ as it can mean different things to different vendors. Then find out what emphasis they place on temperament in their breeding program.
9. Can you talk to other breeders who have bought cattle from this vendor for feedback about their experiences?
10. Develop your own knowledge about temperament. Some bull and cow lines have the ability to breed progeny that all possess a quiet temperament. Target those animals, and don’t compromise for those that don’t meet your standards.
If you have any questions or comments about our Temperament Checklist, please contact me (Ashley) on 0408 780 810.