Undergraduate Research Journal


A small-pelleted implant placed under the skin on the back of the ear of a calf can help increase average daily gains (ADG) by 10-20% when compared to non-implanted calves (Payne 2012). As a result of increased feed efficiency from the implant(s), less feed is needed, which in return decreases the costs of production by 5-10% (Payne 2012). Implants can influence weight gain in cattle, resulting in an overall increase in beef supply for producers. Implants work by slowly dissolving under the skin to release a small amount of artificial hormones daily anywhere from 60 to 120 days. They are approved and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Nationwide, 33 percent of cow/calf producers use growth implants.

Using proprietary data and comparative analysis, this study compares the average weight gain per calf among calves who received two implants over a five month period to those who received no implants over the same time period. The results are based on the unique data gathered from Boyce Land & Cattle, which includes: implants given, individual calf weights, and group weights, if and when taken. Unlike previous studies that focused on studying the comparison of weight gains, different carcass values, marbling, and many other factors, this study covers the average amount of weight steers gain from two implants compared to no implants in the same environment and conditions. In the next section, the approaches and major findings of the previous literature are reviewed.

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