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Enhance Cattle Growth with Ear Implants
Ohio Ag Connection - 11/20/2023

Cattle steroid ear implants are a type of growth promoter used in beef cattle production to enhance growth rate, improve feed efficiency, and increase carcass leanness. These implants are typically composed of hormones, such as estrogens, progestins, or androgens, which are slowly released into the animal's bloodstream over a period of several months.

Hormones Used in Cattle Ear Implants:

Three main types of hormones are used in cattle ear implants:

• Estrogens: Estrogens can be either natural, such as estradiol-17β, synthetic, such as estradiol benzoate, or estrogen-like compounds, such as zeranol.

• Progestins: Progestins are typically synthetic versions of progesterone, the naturally occurring hormone.

• Androgens: Androgens, such as trenbolone acetate, are synthetic versions of testosterone.

Types of Cattle Ear Implants:

Cattle ear implants vary in potency and are commonly classified as low-, medium-, or high-potency implants depending on their active ingredients and the concentration of their active ingredients. Less potent implants are typically used for younger cattle, while more potent implants are used for older cattle.

Benefits of Cattle Ear Implants: The use of cattle ear implants has been shown to provide several benefits, including:

• Increased growth rate: Cattle treated with ear implants typically gain weight faster than untreated cattle.

• Improved feed efficiency: Cattle treated with ear implants convert feed into muscle more efficiently, resulting in lower feed costs.

• Increased carcass leanness: Cattle treated with ear implants typically have a higher percentage of lean meat in their carcasses.

Safety of Cattle Ear Implants:

The use of cattle ear implants is considered safe for both humans and animals. The hormones used in these implants are naturally occurring in animals and are present in very low levels in meat from treated cattle.

Withdrawal Periods:

All cattle ear implants have a withdrawal period, which is the time that must elapse between the last implant and slaughter to ensure that there are no detectable levels of hormones in the meat. Withdrawal periods for cattle ear implants typically range from 14 to 28 days.

Cattle ear implants are a safe and effective tool for promoting growth, improving feed efficiency, and increasing carcass leanness in beef cattle. These implants have been shown to provide significant economic benefits to cattle producers.

For more information on cattle ear implants, please consult with your veterinarian or animal nutritionist.

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