Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Animal Science 1996. 74:1009–1013. Copyright © 1996 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Six Angus bulls with HIGH (>.4) and six bulls with LOW (<-.16) expected progeny differences (EPD) for marbling were used to evaluate the impact of marbling on progeny production and carcass traits. Bulls were randomly bred to MARC II (¼ Hereford, ¼ Simmental, ¼ Angus, ¼ Gelbvieh) composite cows in each of 2 yr to calve in the spring. At weaning, steers and heifers were separated and managed in different production systems. Steers (n = 131) were fed a growing diet (1.1 Mcal of NEg/kg) for 48 d followed by adaptation to a 93% concentrate finishing diet. Heifers (n = 125) were fed a growing diet (.79 Mcal of NEg/kg) for 191 d followed by adaptation to the same 93% concentrate diet. Steers and heifers from each treatment were slaughtered at two times spaced about 60 d apart within both years. Marbling EPD class had no effect on fat thickness, USDA yield grade, carcass weight, finishing daily gain, finishing DMI, or finishing efficiency ( P > .18). More ( P < .05) carcasses of calves from sires with HIGH EPD for marbling graded USDA Choice than from LOW EPD sires, 74% vs 47%, respectively. Angus sires can be selected to produce progeny that have increased ability to grade Choice without increasing yield grade or decreasing animal growth or feed efficiency.