Skip to content

Podcast: Cattle handling systems on common grazings

In this podcast we hear from Dr Simon Turner of SRUC

Dr Turner did a roadshow on cattle handling systems on Common Grazings in Lewis, Uist and Skye. Listen to Janette Sutherland interview him about his experiences and give top tips.

Dr Turner mentions a paper on cow hair whorls and temperament here is more information We measured temperament on 76 steers and heifers using restlessness in the crush and flight speed from the crush and we recorded hair whorl position in terms of high, middle, low and absent with respect to their location between the crown and nostrils. Olmos, G. and Turner, S. (2008). The relationships between temperament during routine handling tasks, weight gain and facial hair whorl position in frequently handled beef cattle. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 115(1-2), pp.25-36.. Those with high whorl positions (closer to the crown) were more restless in the crush than other cattle. No difference in flight speed was seen between cattle with different whorl positions and they also didn’t differ in weight gain. Several other studies have looked into this issue and also found that a higher whorl position is associated with greater flightiness. Hair patterning can be influenced by cranial development, but, apart from this, we do not know the biological reasons underlying why there might be this link between temperament and whorl position.

Sign up to the FAS newsletter

Receive updates on news, events and publications from Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service