Busting The Myths About Implanted Calves

Two recent reports help producers move past common misconceptions about selling and buying implanted calves. 

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.1 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.1

“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.2 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.2 

“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. 

Learn more in this podcast featuring Drs. Sides and Short.

Additional resources, such as how-to videos on proper implanting techniques and more, can be found at NoStressSynovex.com.

Do not use Synovex products in veal calves. Refer to label for complete directions for use, precautions, and warnings.

About Zoetis
Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2017, the company generated annual revenue of $5.3 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit zoetisUS.com.

For more information, contact:
Kathleen McGinty

Lori Maude
Bader Rutter

1Data on file. The effects of special management programs and preconditioning programs on the sale price of beef calves marketed through Western Video Market, Zoetis Inc., 2017.  

2Time of suckling implant influences on weaning weight, post-weaning performance, and carcass traits in steer calves. South Dakota State University. 2015. https://www.sdstate.edu/sites/default/files/ars/species/beef/beef-reports/upload/08-Pritchard-Time-of-suckling-implant-influences-on-weaning-weight.pdf 



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