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Ask a Vet: Tips for choosing appropriate implants for dairy-cross beef calves

Jacob Carlson for Progressive Dairyman Published on 11 March 2019
Dairy-cross beef calf

Implanting is a proven strategy to help improve feed efficiency and average daily gain (ADG). The basic premise of implanting is to start with the least potent implant, moving up to the most potent implant based on days on feed.

Implanted calves will produce more pounds of beef in a more efficient manner compared to non-implanted calves. The return on investment for implanting is one of the highest-return management practices a cattle feeder can do. There are many implants to choose from, so please consult your veterinarian or professional nutritionist to assist in making the right choice for your cattle.

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Tips to administer implants:

Expected improvement form using implants

  • Must administer on the back side of the ear, in the middle
  • Use the applicator gun manufactured specific for the implant you selected
  • Follow label directions

o Don’t crush implants

  • Improper placement can cause:

o Abnormal behavior
o Prolapses
o No activity

Implant recommendations:

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  • The last implant given should contain trenbolone to achieve the greatest increase in feed efficiency

  • Implants will not replace proper management. Focus on:

o Nutrition
o Bedding/cleanliness
o Feed management  end mark

PHOTO: Dairy-cross beef calf with some feed. Courtesy photo.

Jacob Carlson is a professional services veterinarian for Animart. Email Jacob Carlson.

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