The effects of implant strategy on finished body weight of beef cattle.
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We summarized experimental data to quantify the change in final BW due to a particular implant strategy when cattle are adjusted to the same final body composition. The database developed for this study included 13 implant trials involving a total of 13,640 animals (9,052 steers and 4,588 heifers). Fifteen different implant strategies were used among these trials, including no implant (control), single implants, and combinations of implants. Individual carcass data collected at slaughter were used to calculate the adjusted final shrunk BW at 28% empty body fat (AFBW) for each treatment group within a trial, then the implant treatments were grouped into categories according to their effect on weight at 28% empty body fat (four groups for steers and two groups for heifers). All differences in AFBW between categories were significant (P < 0.01), indicating an incremental anabolic implant dose response in AFBW over unimplanted animals. Values for AFBW ranged from 520 kg in unimplanted steers to 564 kg in steers implanted and reimplanted with Revalor-S. For heifers, AFBW ranged from 493 kg in unimplanted heifers to 535 kg in heifers implanted and reimplanted with Revalor-H. After accounting for differences in mean BW and composition of gain, implanted steers and heifers had 4.2 and 3.1% higher apparent diet ME values, respectively. Increasing the anabolic implant dose increases the weight at which animals reach a common body composition. This study indicates that anabolic implant response is due to a combination of a reduced proportion of the DMI required for maintenance, reduced energy content of gain, and efficiency of use of absorbed energy.