Date of this Version
Two trials were conducted to evaluate effects of Synovex C® implant on replacement heifers given at two different ages. Crossbred heifer calves (n =370) were allotted to four treatments: 1) non-implanted controls, 2) implanted at 2 mo, 3) implanted at 6 mo, and 4) implanted at both 2 and 6 mo of age. Heifers implanted at 2 mo gained 7 kg more (P =.01) by 6 mo than those not implanted 2 mo. No differences were found in 22-mo weights. All implanted heifers had larger (P = .01) yearling pelvic area than controls. All heifers implanted at 6 mo continued to have larger (P = .01) pelvic area at 22 mo. All implanted heifers had higher (P = .05) occurrence of non-ovulatory estrus. No differences were found among treatments in percentage of heifers puberal before breeding, in estrus first 21 d of breeding, or in first-service conception rule. In only one trial, pregnancy first 21 d and total pregnancy in 63-d breeding season were decreased (P = .05) by implanting at 6 mo. At subsequent calving, an interaction existed between the effects of the 2- and the 6-mo implant for calf birth weight and pelvic area:birth weight ratio. A single implant at either 2 or 6 mo decreased (P=.01) calving difficulty score; and implanting at both 2 and 6 mo showed the greatest reduction in calving difficulty. Implants had no significant long-term effect on reproduction or calf production of 2-yr-old cows. Results showed implanting at 2 mo of age increased early weight gain and decreased calving difficulty scores; implanting at 6 mo increased pre-calving pelvic area and decreased calving difficulty scores; and implanting at both 2 and 6 mo increased early weight gain, decreased calving difficulty scores, but tended to reduce early fertility.