Have you ever heard the phrase “….them wild brimmers….”.
Ugh. Makes us cringe.
Unfortunately Brahmans, and other breeds of cattle too, have sometimes gotten a reputation for disposition challenges. Within all breeds, there are animals and bloodlines that are more gentle, and those that are more nervous.
Using disposition scoring is a great way to monitor, manage and select for cattle that are more naturally gentle. You’ll find disposition scores listed in all of our materials. Here is a chart that explains the different levels of scoring and what they mean.
Brahman Disposition Scoring
We use the Beef Improvement Association disposition scoring system, which is adaptable to all breeds. For more information, visit the BIF Wiki site.
Disposition Scores You’ll Find at BRC
- Disposition Score 1 – Gentle. Mild disposition. Slow moving. Easy to handle. Going to move through the chute and pens slow and easy. This is the most gentle score.
- Disposition Score 2 – Quieter than average, but may be stubborn during processing. May flick their tail. May try to back out of the chute. Restless.
- Disposition Score 3 – Nervous. Typically manageable in the pasture, but may get nervous in the pens, with a moderate amount of struggling and tail flicking. Doesn’t like the head gate. Exits the chute briskly.
About 90% of our bulls are Disposition Scores 1 and 2, because many of our clients are family operations and work their cattle themselves, so disposition is utmost importance.
Occasionally we will keep a disposition score 3, if they have exceptional overall quality, because in all honestly some of our “ranchier” clients that work their cattle by horseback or with professional cowboys are able to handle a disposition score 3 bull and it doesn’t pose a problem for them. Especially for these ranches that operate in larger pastures and only gather up the cattle a few times a year. And also, depending on the environment, sometimes a more aggressive disposition is needed to perform in the environment the bulls work in – for example in south Texas brush country.
Disposition Scores You Will Not Find at BRC
Here at BRC, if there is anything with a 4 or higher, that animal is culled. However, these are good references to classify animals that are more nervous.
- Disposition Score 4 – Flighty (Wild). Jumpy, out of control, may quiver in nervousness. May bellow and froth at the mouth. Always flings their tail. Frantically runs the fenceline and may try to jump the fence when penned individually.
- Disposition Score 5 – Aggressive. Similar to score 4, but this animal has added aggression behavior, such as jumping, bellowing, exits the chute frantically and may try to exhibit attack behavior.
- Disposition Score 6 – Very Aggressive. Extremely aggressive temperament. Thrashes about or attacks wildly when confined in small, tight places. Pronounced attack behavior
As always, we try to be very honest in our representation of our bulls, often sharing their faults just as much as we share their strengths. If you have any questions about Disposition Scoring in Brahman cattle we invite you to check out the BIF Guidelines page.