Implants provide the greatest return per dollar invested of any management practice.
Like a trusted horse, certain stocker-essential technologies are too easily taken for granted.
Gerald Horn, a stocker expert at Oklahoma State University, reminded folks of that at last year’s BEEF Stocker Field Day at Kansas State University (see “KSU Stocker Conference to Address Key Challenges & Opportunities”).
Horn offered a systems perspective to managing yearlings. Along the way, he shared what he terms, “bellwether management practices for growing cattle on pasture.”
Among them, Horn explains, “Implants provide the greatest return per dollar invested of any management practice.” By delivering growth-promoting anabolic compounds, Horn says average daily gain increases, protein deposition increases, fat deposition decreases and the growth curve shifts to the right.
A couple of recent studies Horn shared were for wheat pasture steers grazing 89 days. Steers that were implanted gained 11-15% more than control groups.
Horn also advises: “Strive to get an efficacious dosage of ionophore into your cattle.” In combined studies shared by Horn for steers grazing wheat pasture, the control group gained 1.56 lbs./day. A group receiving mineral mix without Monensin gained 1.8 lbs. The group receiving a mineral mix that included 1,620 gm/ton of Monensin gained 2.03 lbs/day.