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


Animal Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences


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.