The number of fed cattle marketed on a value-based grid is growing rapidly. That's because more and more producers are taking advantage of premiums paid for quality genetics and management. In order to maximize premiums, feeders must sort cattle several times during the feeding period and each change in environment or pen status results in some efficiency loss as cattle reestablish a pecking order.

Speaking at a Certified Angus Beef: Quality Assurance Training Program for cooperating feedyard managers, Temple Grandin, an expert on animal behavior and assistant professor of animal science at Colorado State University, gave these tips to minimize fighting during commingling.

Ensure that recently commingled cattle have ample bunk space and water access.

Confine the animals in a completely new pen rather than adding cattle to an existing pen of cattle.

Commingle cattle at dusk. Cattle will be less active and have the night to calm and readjust.

Watch for the one perpetrator that fights to much. Often one animal stirs up the rest.