Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science

First Advisor

Amanda Blair


fetal programming, meat science, mineral, nutrition


During gestation an elevated level of nutrient intake is required by the cow in order to meet the requirements of the maturing fetus and if these requirements are not met, changes in fetal development can occur. However, little is understood about the effects of gestational manipulation of specific nutrients, such as minerals, on progeny growth, performance and carcass traits. Previous research supports the hypothesis that minerals provided in an organic form should be more soluble and readily available to the body for absorption. Therefore the objectives of this study were to determine if source of gestational and post-natal Cu and Zn affects cow reproductive performance, calf health, feedlot performance, carcass traits, and overall meat quality. Commercial cows primarily of Angus genetics (n=287) were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: 1) Maternal/pre-weaning – Inorganic (MPW-INORG): cows were supplemented with 15 mg/kg DM Cu and Zn in the form of CuSO4 and ZnSO4, 2) Maternal/pre-weaning - Organic (MPW-ORG): cows were supplemented with 15 mg /kg DM Cu and Zn in a proteinated form. Cows began to receive their assigned mineral supplement 30 d prior to timed artificial insemination (AI) in the spring of 2012. Cows were maintained in separate pastures by treatment group and received their treatments via free choice loose mineral. Cows and calves remained on treatment supplementation until weaning in October of 2013. Cow and calf liver biopsies were collected for analysis of mineral content. Cow BCS, BW, and pregnancy data were recorded, along with calf WW. Blood samples and nasal swabs were collected from calves to evaluate measures of calf health prior to weaning. After weaning and arrival at the feedlot, calves (n=168) were allotted into 24 pens based on BW at weaning so that the average pen weight was consistent between all pens and pens were blocked by sex, resulting in 7 calves per pen. Each pen contained 3 calves that had been previously liver biopsied. A crossover design was utilized such that half of the calves from the MPW-INORG treatment remained on inorganic mineral supplement while in the feedlot (FL-INORG), while the other half from the MPW-INORG treatment switched over to organic mineral supplement in the feedlot (FL-ORG), and half of the calves from the MPW-ORG treatment remained on organic mineral in the feedlot and received the FL-ORG treatment, while the other half from the MPW-ORG treatment were switched over to the FL-INORG treatment resulting in four treatment combination in the feedlot 1) MPW-INORG/FL-INORG, 2) MPWINORG/ FL-ORG, 3) MPW-ORG/FL-INORG, 4) MPW-ORG/FL-ORG. Liver biopsies were collected to determine change in mineral content during the feeding phase. Calf BW, ADG, DMI and G:F were recorded to determine feedlot performance. At harvest, carcass data was collected, and one striploin (n=161) was collected from each carcass for meat quality analysis. Overall mineral supplementation improved Cu status in cow liver (P < 0.0001), and Zn liver status during gestation. However, Zn liver concentration decreased during lactation (P

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef cattle -- Effect of metals on.
Calves -- Health.
Calves -- Physiology.
Copper -- Physiological effect.
Zinc -- Physiological effect.
Beef -- Quality.


Includes bibliographical references (page 138-152)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Meat Science Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright