Cattle—When Smaller Might be Better


The impact of cow size on efficiency and profitability is the focus of AU professor’s study.

When it comes to beef cattle, is bigger necessarily better?

In a research project under way at the Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center in Belle Mina, AAES animal scientist Daryl Kuhlers is looking to answer that question.

Specifically, he is investigating whether smaller-framed cows— animals that mature at about 1,100 pounds as opposed to the 1,200-1,400 pounds typical of cows today—use feed more efficiently and, subsequently, can be more profitable than their larger counterparts.

He currently is breeding a line of smaller cattle for the study, in which he and fellow researchers will also evaluate and compare the quality of the meat from the two groups.

One goal is to develop a cow that could be raised to market size without needing supplemental feed.

from Impact, December 2006


Last Updated: Aug. 3, 2011 : October 13, 2011

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