MILLSBORO, Del. (July 3, 2008) — Research completed by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, involving more than 18,000 head of cattle provided significant insights into best management practices for feeding Zilmax (Zilpaterol hydrochloride). One of the most notable is a recommendation to observe a 20-day feeding regimen for Zilmax.
Zilmax is a feed ingredient that enables a beef animal’s natural metabolism to more efficiently convert feed to protein. It is designed to improve production efficiencies, such as average daily gain and feed efficiency, in steers and heifers during the last 20 to 40 days of the feeding period prior to harvest.
Post-approval research conducted in conjunction with several universities and private feedlot-research organizations indicates that feeding Zilmax for the last 20 days on feed — the minimum number of days indicated by its label — adds 25-30 pounds of carcass weight while increasing live weight by only 18 pounds. Based on an assessment of these most recent studies and all other available data, the 20-day feeding recommendation provides the optimal balance of performance and quality.
Right Cattle, Right Time, Right Market
To achieve the optimal balance of performance and quality, Intervet encourages cattle feeders to focus on the three best practice areas for feeding Zilmax: selecting the right cattle, feeding for the right period of time and marketing cattle on a carcass basis.
“Cattle feeders can make the most of Zilmax by utilizing systems to manage heavy carcasses,” says John Hutcheson, Ph.D., Intervet Director of Performance Technologies. “Cattle feeders must pay attention to the type and kind of cattle they put on a Zilmax program in order to maximize carcass benefits and deliver product consistent with industry needs.”
Research indicated feeding Zilmax the recommended 20 days consistently increased the number of Yield Grade 1 and 2 cattle while reducing the total head of Yield Grade 4 and 5 cattle by half. Additionally, the dressing percentage of 20-day Zilmax-fed cattle increased an average of 1.4 percentage units, improved ribeye area by 1.2 square inches while reducing the rate of USDA Choice and above carcasses by only 8 percentage points.
“Selecting the right cattle is the key to maximizing beef production when using Zilmax,” says Hutcheson. “Target cattle that can benefit from improvements in yield grade, carcass cutability and/or enhancement of ribeye area, such as Holsteins or other light-framed cattle, are ideal candidates.”
Post-approval research also confirmed that 20 days provided the greatest return on investment for the cattle feeder. Within that timeframe, Zilmax delivers practically all of the performance benefits and the smallest reductions in quality grade.
“It makes sense that cattle feeders using Zilmax should market cattle on the rail,” adds Hutcheson. “It’s the difference of 30-pound carcass value compared to 18 pounds of live-weight price. The economics of the business dictate the value of selling in the carcass.”
In most public grids, the premiums for improvement in yield grade cancel out the discounts for quality grade, notes Hutcheson. The value of feeding Zilmax to the feeder is the added carcass weight.
Zilmax is the first beef-improvement technology to add real value to the entire U.S. beef system by helping the industry more efficiently produce a safe, quality product. For more information about Zilmax, visit www.zilmax.com.
Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health-care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription and consumer products as well as to animal-health products. Schering-Plough’s vision is to “Earn Trust, Every Day” with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is www.schering-plough.com.
Intervet is a leader in research and dedicated to the development, production and marketing of innovative, high-quality animal-health products, such as Zilmax® feed additive; Revalor® implants; Vista®, Vision®, Once® PMH, NeoGuard® and Onset™ IN vaccines; Fertagyl® hormone preparations; Chorulon® gonadotrophin; and Safe-Guard® dewormer.
Revalor, Zilmax, Vista, Vision, Once PMH, NeoGuard, Fertagyl, Chorulon, Safe-Guard and BluShadow are registered trademarks and Onset is a trademark of Intervet Inc. or an affiliate.
For more information, contact:
Keri Geffert English, 816.472.2900, or
© 2008 Intervet Inc. All rights reserved.