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Massey University scientists work to improve beef production from pastoral-based systems through scientific experimentation and working with industry and farmers.

Research expertise

Beef cattle behaviour and welfare

Our research expertise is in validating assessment of welfare on pasture-based beef cows and calves.


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.



We have research expertise in all areas of beef cattle genetics and breeding, including quantitative and molecular genetics. Projects include feed efficiency, dairy beef and performance of breeding cows.


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.



Our research has looked at alternative herbages for growing young cattle, and wintering systems for cows and growing young cattle.


Reproduction and breeding

Our scientists have expertise in improving systems to breed beef cow heifers efficiently and safely. This includes calving intervals and examining means of reducing postpartum anoestrous.


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.


Research projects


Massey Farms

Working with industry and research partners, Massey Farms run research and trials in areas of significance to science, the industry and consumer. There are eight farms as part of the group, including conventional and organic dairy units, sheep, beef and deer breeding units and a mixed enterprise/grazing/cropping unit over 2000 hectares.

Massey Farms


    Livestock production in New Zealand

    The complete guide to the management of dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, deer, goats, pigs, poultry, horses and working dogs in New Zealand. Written mainly by experts from Massey University’s School of Veterinary Science, it is of value and interest to everyone from students to farmers, right across New Zealand’s agribusiness sector. Edited by Kevin Stafford.

    Find out more

    Sward stick

    A printed 'yardstick', this tool was created to show the relationship between seasonality, the height and yield of herb pasture mixes in the field and whether stock should then be grazing, or not. The stick aims to assist farmers' understanding of the management of 'new' forage pasture types.

    Contact Paul Kenyon

    Research centres

      AL Rae Centre for Genetics and Breeding

      The Centre ensures sustained development and application of knowledge in quantitative genetics and breeding to enhance the profitability of New Zealand's primary industries.

      Find out more

      Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre

      The Centre focuses on animal welfare in a diverse range of human-animal interactions. This includes the use of animals in research, teaching and testing, on farms, in the home, for sport, recreation and entertainment, in service roles, in zoos and the wild, and in other arenas.

      Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre

      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

      Hopkirk Institute

      The Hopkirk Institute is a joint institute – scientists are from both AgResearch and Massey University. It has the southern hemisphere's largest concentration of health sciences for pastoral-fed animals.

      Scientists collaborate on researching solutions for the sustainable control of parasitic diseases, primarily in sheep and cattle including:

      • evaluating more effective vaccines to combat infectious disease, including tuberculosis, Johne's disease, mastitis and pneumonia
      • identifying and predicting food poisoning threats in New Zealand and devising strategies to minimise their prevalence and impact.

      Find out more


      Massey works closely with industry across our areas of expertise, partnering on funding research and equipment to produce knowledge that is relevant and useful to industry and to progress scientific work. Key partners in our beef research are:

      Animal expertise

      Find out more about research, facilities, research degrees, services and resources to do with production animal specialities at Massey University.