Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Range Beef Cow Symposium XXIII, December 3-5, 2013, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD.


Copyright © 2013 A.D. Blair, D.A. Mohrhauser, A.R. Taylor, K.R. Underwood, R.H. Pritchard, and A.E. Wertz-Lutz.


Research has suggested that maternal under-nutrition may cause the development of a thrifty phenotype in the offspring, potentially resulting in greater adiposity and reduced muscle mass. These potential alterations in fat and muscle development could have lasting impacts on offspring growth, carcass characteristics, and meat quality. Thus, the objective of this research was to determine the influence of maternal energy status during mid-gestation on offspring carcass characteristics and meat quality. Results reveal that maternal energy status during mid-gestation may play an important role in the development of carcass characteristics of offspring. Reduced maternal energy status appears to have the potential to improve carcass cutability and, more importantly, improve the amount of intramuscular fat (marbling) relative to subcutaneous fat (backfat) in carcasses of the resulting offspring. Thus, maternal nutrition during mid-gestation could be a critical management period to maximize both offspring quality and cutability. Still, more research is necessary to evaluate how maternal energy status may impact other production aspects in beef cattle.