Why Cattle Implants Pay

Implants are a great investment technology for cattle producers with one of the highest returns on investment.

How do implants work, and how do they actually pay off in the long run?

How Implants Work

Implants are small pellets inserted into the ear of a calf that slowly release a growth stimulant to help increase growth factors. These pellets help cattle utilize nutrients from their feed more efficiently, resulting in faster growth and improved muscle development (more lean muscle).

There are two different types of hormones used in beef cattle implants:

  1. Naturally occurring hormones

  2. Synthetic hormones

Naturally occurring hormones include:

  • Estradiol

  • Progesterone

  • Testosterone

Synthetic hormones include:

  • Zeranol

  • Trenbolone Acetate

Zeranol mimics estradiol and trenbolone acetate mimics testosterone. 

Learn how to properly implant cattle with step by step instructions and a demo video here.

How Implants Pay

Implants have a very solid ROI. On average, producers can expect daily gain increases of 15-20% in the feedlot, and using an implant containing both estrogen and androgen improves feed efficiency by 6-14%.(1)

While the use of implants can reduce marbling scores, they can increase ribeye area by 3-4%. Overall carcass weight at harvest also increases when an implant is present.(1) 

When it's time to design your implant program, it's helpful to consult with a professional. They’ll be able to help you maximize the benefits of an implant program, minimize the negative effects and help you meet your marketing goals. 

Food Safety

Growth-promoting implants are approved and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Beef from cattle that have been implanted have similar estrogen levels as beef from non-implanted cattle. 

This chart from Texas A&M University shows estrogenic activity in a variety of foods. For scale, a nanogram is the equivalent of one blade of grass on an entire football field. 

Source: https://beefskillathon.tamu.edu/implanting-beef-calves-and-stocker-cattle/

Shop Animal Health Products from FBN Direct®

If you're ready to shop implants to increase ROI for your herd, the FBN Direct Animal Health store offers a wide range of implants from manufacturers including Elanco, Merck and Zoetis.

With a broad variety of key animal health supplies, an easy online checkout process and direct-to-farm shipping, FBN Direct has the products you need to maximize your ROI and keep your livestock operation running smoothly.

  1. https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1302

Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First" and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. 

FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LCC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply.

All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.

Individual results from use of implant products may vary and are dependent upon additional factors, including but not limited to weather, agronomic conditions and practices, animal diet, time, method and manner of application, application rate, and geography.


Connect With a Member of Our Livestock Team

Complete the form below or call (877) 218-9411 to connect with a member of our livestock team about FBN’s liquid feed supplement.