Cattle Health: Implanting Calves Still Pays Dividends
Growth-promoting implants are a well-established technology in the beef business. For more than 30 years some of these products have been available to improve growth and feed efficiency in cattle. A great deal of the more recent product development has been with implants designed for use in feedlot steers and heifers. However, there are a few implant products that are approved for use and will effectively work in calves prior to the time of weaning.
The use of all of the implant products is monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Based on the research, FDA has determined that when used as instructed, implants have no withdrawal period.
Implants produce an increase in muscle growth, at the expense of fat deposition, in cattle of all ages. This growth effect is variable, and is affected by age and sex of calf, the calf’s genetic potential for growth, level of nutrition, and overall health and vigor of the calf. But in general, one implant administered preweaning generates from 10 to 25 pounds of extra pounds at weaning.