Temperament in the yards becomes an important measurement too
Over time the cows have all become quieter, so are now more likely to produce quiet calves. A calm mother will cause a less anxious response in her baby to new experiences and she in turn will become quieter.
There are still genetic influences which sometimes make them not easily habituated to human contact and those animals make themselves known right from the start. Last year I was delighted to discover a surprise from hypotrichosis-affected Endberly, whose family it transpires, must also carry a colour dilution gene of which I'd not previously seen any evidence. The calf was a beautiful silver colour at birth and so, so pretty, a definite keeper. But she was anxious and wild too. The first time she bolted when I approached her I assumed I'd given her a fright, but when she always ran away with her head held high, I concluded she'd inherited that tendency. She calmed down quite a bit over the six months before weaning but I could see that she would never have the sort of temperament I really want to keep moving toward in my herd. I had to put her in the sale column and hope Endberly might repeat the colour in a future calf that would be without the unacceptable temperament.
A cow which turned out to be one of my better animals nearly went off on a truck the year she produced a daughter with similar tendencies. Her calf was a nightmare, always running off in the wrong direction despite her mother's calmness. The cow stayed in the herd only because the very good bull to which she was mated was injured early in the mating period and her pregnancy was one of only nine he achieved. That was lucky; she now has three daughters in the breeding herd, all with lovely natures.
Temperament in the yards becomes an important measurement too. Any calf which gets really excited and unmanageable gets noted for later reference and usually comes to my attention again. Similarly, calm animals are noted and regularly appear again as quiet and easy to handle.
Skittishness in the race indicates an animal which will always cause hassles during yarding, creating trouble for me during insemination procedures. Occasionally we've found really scatty animals are surprisingly easily handled in the yards; the opposite, quiet in the paddock and silly in the