Busting The Myths About Implanted Calves

Myths about calf implants

From cow/calf to feedlot operations, there are two common myths about implanted calves:

  • Myth No. 1: Nonimplanted calves bring more profit on sale day than implanted calves.
  • Myth No. 2: Nonimplanted calves outperform implanted calves in the feedyard.
  • Two recent studies clear up these misconceptions, according to Gary Sides, PhD, managing nutritionist with Zoetis, and Tom Short, PhD, associate director in Outcomes Research with Zoetis.

    Busting Myth No. 1

    Implanted cattle actually bring slightly more dollars per pound on sale day. Based on video auction market sales data from 2014-2017, the data revealed nearly equal prices for implanted and nonimplanted cattle. It also showed no statistical difference in sale price between implanted and nonimplanted cattle throughout the four years recorded. In fact, implanted lots of cattle sold for slightly more, numerically, than nonimplanted lots --184.12 versus 183.03 $/cwt.

    “If producers are not implanting their cattle, they may be leaving money on the table,” Dr. Short said.

    Busting Myth No. 2

    A South Dakota State University study reported implanted calves outperform nonimplanted calves in the feedyard. In the report, steers implanted with Synovex C were compared with nonimplanted steers from weaning through harvest. The findings revealed hot carcass weights were 8 pounds heavier for implanted calves versus those not implanted.

    “The nonimplanted calves never caught up in the feedyard,” Dr. Sides said. “This is an amazing use of technology, as well as a little management that can help feedlot managers make the most gain and profit possible.”

    Cattlemen can optimize implant results and profit for every dollar invested in their implanting program by working with processing crews to implement best-practice implanting techniques.

    “If you balance your management program, as well as leverage an implant, you can really add some pounds at the end of the day,” Dr. Short said.

    With a wide variety of implant options available, specifically formulated for cow/calf, stocker and feedlot segments, producers can increase their operation’s profitability.

    About the author: This content was originally provided by Zoetis, with minor additions included from Valley Vet Supply.

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