Date of this Version
This study was conducted to assess the impact of implanting intact beef males with protein anabolic agents at varying intervals throughout life. Ninety-six intact males were assigned to three implant treatments: 1) not implanted, 2) implanted at 9 wk of age, weaning and at 56-d intervals thereafter with a 36-mg zeranol implant or 3) estradiol implant at 9 wk of age and 68 d post-weaning. During the 118-d, post-weaning growing period, eight animals per treatment (one replication) were castrated. After a 114-d finishing period, cattle were slaughtered (average age of 13 to 14 mo). Feedlot performance, carcass and palatability data were obtained. Average daily gains and feed efficiency did not differ (P>.05) between zeranol and estradiol-implanted intact males. Regardless of implant treatment, steers had lighter carcass weights (P<.05) and higher (P<.01) quality grades than intact males. Implanting either intact males or steers with zeranol or estradiol resulted in higher (P<.05) numerical yield grades. Quality grades were higher in zeranol-implanted cattle than the non-implanted or estradiol-implanted cattle. Intact males implanted with zeranol were similar in carcass fatness to zeranol-implanted steers. No differences (P>.05) in tenderness or connective tissue were detected. Implanting intact males early and throughout life with zeranol made them similar to steers in fatness, while estradiol implantation had few effects on carcass and palatability traits of intact m d s or steers.