Massey researchers in animal growth and production work to advance scientific knowledge of animal production, welfare, health and biology. We work with a range of animal science, veterinary, agricultural science and extension expertise across the university.  We regularly consult with industry professionals and producers and undertake quality research consistent with the needs of the industry.

Research expertise

Beef growth and production

Our research focuses on ensuring that beef cattle finished on pasture-based systems grow to the desired target carcass weight as quickly as possible, to meet carcass and meat-quality target parameters.

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Deer production and growth

We are evaluating forage species for growth and production to produce quality venison for market needs. This includes evaluation of the establishment, management, nutritive value and persistence of alternative pasture species, and impacts of forage species on health and well-being.

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Meat processing

Research in meat science and technology is focussed upon production and processing factors that influence the textural and flavour properties of meat, refrigeration and packaging systems and on the identification and extraction of bioactive components from meat. Research is also carried out on further processed meat products and pet foods.

These research programmes cover the beef, pork and sheep meat sectors.

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Modelling nutrient flow and growth

We are investigating growth and product quality in animals by developing growth models. All available information about nutrition, metabolism and genetics is synthesised, transformed into mathematical algorithms, and integrated into a simulation computer program.  

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Production health and management

We are investigating growth and product quality in animals by developing growth models for poultry. All available information about nutrition, metabolism and genetics is synthesised, transformed into mathematical algorithms, and integrated into a simulation computer program.  

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Ruminant physiology

We have expertise in ruminant physiology, and the effect of various factors, including nutrition, genetics, and breeding on physiology. Our scientists have particular interest in the physiological function of internal organs and metabolic processes and their impact on growth and development, reproduction and meat quality.

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Sheep growth and production

Improving live weight gains in lambs to achieve maximum carcass weight while ensuring carcass and meat traits and meat-eating quality are not compromised. We have researched lamb live-weight gains, carcass and meat quality on different forages. We have a fully equipped meat laboratory and consumer taste panels.

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Research projects

Services

Farm Services Clinic

Massey University’s Farm Services Clinic provides on-farm treatment for all farm animals as well as in-clinic consultations as required. We have a large animal hospital in Palmerston North providing ongoing care as well as advanced diagnostic imaging, intensive care and surgery for our patients.

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Research centres and groups

    Beef Research Centre

    Our aim is to undertake quality research consistent with the needs of the New Zealand Beef Industry and to advance scientific knowledge of beef production, welfare, health and biology.

    Beef Research Centre

    Dairy Research Centre

    This Centre consists of scientists, technicians and veterinarians with expertise across a broad range of dairy system and dairy animal research projects. We operate a commercial Farm Services Clinic. We also work with some other milk-producing animals including sheep and goats.

    Contact Danny Donaghy

    International Sheep Research Centre

    The focus of the Centre is to advance the scientific knowledge of sheep production, husbandry, welfare, health, nutrition, reproduction and biology of sheep.

    Contact Steve Morris

    Monogastric Research Centre

    The Centre is an Australasian Centre of Excellence on monogastric species. Research focuses on feed evaluation, nutrition, husbandry and welfare. It provides a focal point for the New Zealand monogastric industries and has extensive international linkages.

    Contact Patrick Morel

    Departments and staff

    Find out more about the departments and staff involved in animal growth and production research at Massey.

    Animal expertise

    Massey University scientists also have expertise across some key animal types. Find out more about study options, research, facilities, services or resources to do with these animals.