Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Jerrad F. Legako


Jerrad F. Legako


Kara J. Thornton


Chuck E. Carpenter


Kerry A. Rood


The goal of this study was to investigate feedlot performance and meat quality of calves born to cows that underwent a nutrient restriction during the second trimester of gestation which may be occurring in the Intermountain West. Thirty-four angus influenced calves from the same sire were used for this study. The calves were born from cows that were separated into either a maintenance group, and kept on an irrigated pasture, or a restricted group, that was placed on an unirrigated pasture and allowed to lose one body condition score during the second trimester of pregnancy. This study begins with the calves on day 85 of the finishing portion of the feedlot phase. During the finishing feedlot phase, calves were individually housed, fed ad libitum, and feedlot performance measurements were taken every 28 days. Carcasses from the calves were evaluated for yield and quality. A loin from each carcass was collected, aged, frozen, and cut into individually packaged steaks that were used to assess meat quality. There was no difference in feedlot performance and carcass measurements for either maintenance and restricted calves. Meat quality measurements revealed no difference in color, instrumental tenderness values, or composition of steaks from either group. A trained sensory panel found that ten characteristics of flavor were similar for both treatments. There was however, a trend for steaks from nutrient restricted cattle to have more of a bloody/serumy flavor. The trained sensory panel also found that there was a difference in tenderness of steaks from nutrient restricted animals being perceived as more tender than animals from maintenance cows. The results of this study demonstrate that nutrient restriction during mid-gestation does not have negative effects on feedlot performance, carcass characteristics, or meat quality measurements. These results also indicate that steaks from calves born to nutrient restricted cows may be perceived as more tender.



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