Effects of Growth Implants on the Average Daily Gain of Suckling Calves Rotationally Grazing ‘Ky-31’ Endophyteinfected Tall Fescue (Festuca Arundinacea) and Non-Endophyteinfected Tall Fescue

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Hunter Galloway (Director), Linda Brown, Fred DeGraves

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


Demands are placed on cattle producers to provide a steady supply of beef at a competitive price. Producers must maximize beef output while minimizing input expenses without compromising product quality. The use of growth implants has become a common practice among cattle producers. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of two implant strategies on the average daily gain of suckling calves rotationally grazed on Kentucky – 31 endophyte-infected tall fescue and Kentucky – 31 non-endophyte-infected tall fescue. Eighteen cows with spring calves (N = 18) were used in this study. Calves were grouped by birth date into four blocks. Within each block, calves were stratified by sex and 45d of age body weight into three implant treatment groups for a total of six calves per treatment (n = 6, control 90.3 ± 9.7 kg, zeranol 102.9 ± 10.9 kg, and progesterone (100 mg) and estradiol benzoate (10 mg) 92.4 ± 10.3 kg). Calves were weighed and re-implanted at 129 d of age (84 d after initial implant). Zeranol treated calves were re-implanted using the same implant as the initial implant. Progesterone and estradiol benzoate treated calves were re-implanted after reaching a minimum body weight of 181 kg with either 200 mg progesterone and 20 mg estradiol benzoate or 200 mg testosterone propionate and 20 mg estradiol benzoate depending on sex. Data were analyzed using the REPEATED function in the MIXED procedure of SAS. No interactions were found among sex and treatments for 84d weight gains and 140d weights. There were also no main effects found for 84d weight gains and 140d weight gains. Forage analysis suggested that low crude protein and energy content may have contributed to the low ADG. Low endophyte concentrations may also have played a role.


Agricultural Economics | Agriculture | Animal Sciences

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