Cow muscularity and maternal productivity


There is a perception in the Australian beef industry that market signals for enhanced carcase yield could have adverse impacts on maternal productivity traits, through decreased fatness or increased muscling in breeding cows.

Higher visible muscling increases dressing percentage and saleable meat yield at slaughter, and the value of animals with higher muscling is recognised in the marketplace.

However, Australian cattle producers have avoided selecting for increased muscling in females under the belief that it may result in reduced maternal performance, particularly during the inevitable tough times that can be experienced under pasture-based agriculture.

Topics include:

  • the muscling herd
  • the research
  • weight and body composition
  • calving traits and maternal productivity


Primefact 1332 First Edition

Published: 01 Feb 2014