Several implants are approved for suckling steers and heifers, including replacement heifers.
It is nice to see the spring rains come to get the grass started; hopefully timely rains will continue. I have been hearing some grumbling about the persistent rains, and after trudging through considerable mud and rain today, I understand the frustration, but these days will pass. As we see the tremendous flooding to the East and the Southeast, and yet the devastating drought in the South and Southwest, we can consider ourselves fortunate in most of the Intermountain and High Plains area.
Many brandings are currently being planned, and yearling cattle will be going to grass very soon. As we plan to put suckling calves or yearling cattle on grass, one management tool that should be considered is growth implants. Growth implants provide one of the highest returns on our investment, yet a very high percentage of suckling calves are not implanted. Data consistently shows that implanted nursing calves will gain 4-5% more than non-implanted calves, or a 550-lb. calf will be 20-25 lbs. heavier at weaning. If that added weight is worth $1/lb., that equates to about a 12:1 return on the investment for the implant – not bad.
In yearling cattle where gains often exceed 2 lbs./day, implants will increase gain 7-10%. If 250 lbs. of gain is achieved on grass, then implanted steers will be 17-20 lbs. heavier in the fall.
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