Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Parish, Jane A.

Committee Member

Vann, Rhonda C.

Committee Member

Smith, Trent

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


This experiment was conducted to assess the effects of either low or high trailer stocking density (SD) on cattle behavior. British x Continental steers (n = 200; mean BW = 361.53 ± 54.4 kg) were loaded onto one of two truck-towed trailers. Steer behavior and positional orientation were recorded by video camera (8 h). Aggressive behaviors were more frequent (P < 0.0001) in low (178 ± 34.46 kg BW/m2) than high (333 ± 31.84 kg BW/m2) SD. Chin-resting occurred more often (P < 0.05) in low SD, yet there was no difference (P = 0.98) between SD for mounting. There was a SD × trip effect for loss of balance (P < 0.05), ruminating (P < 0.0001), and lying behaviors (P < 0.0001). At both SD, side-left and side-right were the preferred (P < 0.05) standing orientations. These results suggest that SD can affect cattle behavior and orientation en route.