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Capitalize on calf implants

Faster horses

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From Drover's Journal:

In all of cattle management there are few things as easy to administer,
consistent in response or as well documented as the use of growth
promotant implants, says Virginia Cooperative EXtension veterinarian Dee Whittier. Good studies on implants are easy to do, he says, since treated animals and controls can be left together and treated the same. Whittier cites a U of Nebraska study as just one example.

This trial compared calves implanted with Synovex-S, Ralgro or Revalor-G
with non-implanted, 490 lb. steers over a 123 day grazing period
on native pasture. In this trial, Synovex-S steers gained 49.2 lbs. more than controls, while Ralgro and Revalor-G steers gained 50.4 and 52.9
lbs more than controls, respectively. Whittier notes the gains did not
differ much among implanted calves, which all out-gained control
calves by about 50 lbs.

But in spite of the added value, Whittier says, producers seem to be
implanting fewer calves today than in previous years. He suggests
reasons might include negative publicity regarding hormones and producers hearing about premiums for natural, non-implanted cattle.
He notes, though, that natural and organic beef account for just 5
percent of the total, sugggesting that most non-implanted calves
end up in conventional marketing chains. If you have a way to
market calves to a natural program and can get an adequate
premium to pay for foregone gains, you should take advantage
of that opportunity, he says. In the absence of having a way to sell
calves designated as 'natural', the market assumes they are implanted
and pays a price commensurate with that. "If you are in the
beef business to make money", he asks, "how can you afford to pass
up a $2 investment that can return $15 to $50?
---------------------
I read this with interest because I have noticed more producers
not implanting their calves. I also have not seen them get paid premiums
for 'natural' beef.

Does anyone here realize real premiums for 'all-natural' calves?
 

WB

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We currently don't implant. Have been getting a $10/cwt. on our home raised fat cattle (nhtc) as they end up in Europe. $7 corn has got me considering implanting and leaving the premium on the table.
 

Newborn

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Hi Fh! I can see where implants are irrelevant to those producing 'natural' or "organic' beef but how do the economics work for the small producer and those who have drought issues? As to the drought issues, is the implant in any way dependent upon what is fed, it's nutritional content, and how often?
 

cleland

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The nutritional value is directly related to implant performance. The more and better the forage the better the implant performance. Even if forage is poor or low and the producer gets only half the return of an ideal situation, according to the study that is 25 lbs! In that situation the reccomended implant would be a TBA and Estrodial implant vs a strait estrogen implant. With TBA it does not take the forage quantity and quality to get the performance that it does with a Estrogen implant. An example would be Component TEG with Tylan. T is Trenbalone Acetate (TBA), E is Estrodial, G stands for Grazing. A grazing phase implant allows for better performance w/o high quality feed.
 

Newborn

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Thanks Cleland! Right now I have virtually no grass on the ground (severe drought). So, it's pretty much hay and whatever else I can scrape up. This is something to consider if some cattle have to be sold!
 

Denny

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I think it's the feedlots that would like you to think they don't want them implanted what they should really say is they don't want you to do it they'd much rather get the extra growth on their feed.We implant.
 

Shortgrass

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I used them for about 6 years 20 + years ago. I could not see any advantage any of the years. I quit the year my unimplanted heifers outweighed my implanted steers by 4 pounds. You can do far more with genitic than you can implants. My experience don't jive with the "studies". Just one man's opinion.
 

BRG

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Shortgrass said:
I used them for about 6 years 20 + years ago. I could not see any advantage any of the years. I quit the year my unimplanted heifers outweighed my implanted steers by 4 pounds. You can do far more with genitic than you can implants. My experience don't jive with the "studies". Just one man's opinion.

I have a friend who runs about 500 cows. He has always implanted, last summer he did 1/2 of his steers at branding and then didn't do the other 1/2. He didn't see any difference. He tried it again this year, and will see at weaning time. He said if their is no difference this year, he will probably quite doing it.
 

cleland

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Guys, its not really fair to weigh calves and judge performance while they are on the cow. Who's to say that they implanted calves have mothers who milk better or not as well as the non implanted group. We need to remember when we are conducting our own trials that there are variables involved. The 2 groups need to be on the same nutrition for the trial to be accurate. Implants have been proven for 30 years to add lbs to cattle. Feed yards say they will give a premium/cwt on non implanted calves, but what are we leaving on the table if we lose 10, 20 or even 50 extra lbs?? How many $/cwt does it take to make that up. Im not saying anyone is right or wrong, but I will tell you that any cattle we buy, the first thing they get is a $1 implant. If its gains one extra pound it makes us money.
i will also tell you that once those cattle are in the feedyard, there is not one day that they dont have an implant in them
 

WyomingRancher

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What about Dectomaxing calves 45 days prior to weaning? I'm hoping to be better set-up to give pre-weaning shots on the forest next year and have been told to Dectomax them for another 20+ pounds of gain.
 

mrj

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Isn't production of more muscle versus more external fat on the cuts a major reason for implants, right along with the additional weight gained? Test after test has validated pounds gained with implants versus non-implanted calves, or so I've read in reports in reliable ag publications.

mrj
 

Shortgrass

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cleland said:
Guys, its not really fair to weigh calves and judge performance while they are on the cow. Who's to say that they implanted calves have mothers who milk better or not as well as the non implanted group. We need to remember when we are conducting our own trials that there are variables involved. The 2 groups need to be on the same nutrition for the trial to be accurate. Implants have been proven for 30 years to add lbs to cattle. Feed yards say they will give a premium/cwt on non implanted calves, but what are we leaving on the table if we lose 10, 20 or even 50 extra lbs?? How many $/cwt does it take to make that up. Im not saying anyone is right or wrong, but I will tell you that any cattle we buy, the first thing they get is a $1 implant. If its gains one extra pound it makes us money.
i will also tell you that once those cattle are in the feedyard, there is not one day that they dont have an implant in them

Whatever a man can make work for him is what he needs to do. I just did not have much success with implants here. With genetics, I have put 20 - 25 lbs on the calves while taking 30 days age off in the past 12 years. That seems to be working. I really like calving March 20 instead of Feb 21. I save lots of feed, labor, and calves by that management adjustment in this operation. I am pleased to actually see weaning weights up. I know they could be higher with earlier calving, but doubt it would offset the increased input. I am glad the implants work in your operation, but they are not for me. We both face another question: Can the advantage of implants offset the downward market pressure? For me, I am asking if I am getting the pounds I need to offset the downward pressure of white nosed Chars vs: blacks.
 

High Plains

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Shortgrass, I would make a guess that your white nosed Chars are eating up the scales compared to conventional blacks. Don't know how much you are seeing as a discount, but weight is likely in your favor to help adjust the net return. Now compared to real good blacks, oh I'd hate to say you have that big of an advantage. I may be biased? :wink: Glad to see that you are happy with your program and sticking to what works.

As much as pounds are worth today, I think I could be conviced to implant calves and advertise them as implanted with Ralgro or Synovex-C at branding. It's the "unkown implant history" that tends to get cattle discounted the most. The fella that runs my cows doesn't implant so I don't implant either. :D
 

George

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I implant at pre conditioning time and sell about 45 to 60 days later - - - - I know I will not get enough gain in that time to get my money back but I have sold to the same man for over a decade and he wants them implanted and is willing to pay a priemum for it so I do it!

I used to feed out about 500 head a year and I implanted them all - - I took the research from Perdue and felt I should - -- maybe I was just throwing my money away as I was to small to do a good comparison but I was making money and followed the best advice I could get my hands on!
 

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