Work reported by a team of Kansas State researchers earlier this month followed a set of 267 steers known to be in good health and grazed at a stocking density of 253 pounds of animal per acre for 77 days starting in April. Steers were assigned to one of three treatment groups: no ear tag, one tag or two tags. All calves, including the controls, were treated with a pour-on permithrin before turnout.
When the calves were pulled from the pasture the second week of July, due to drought, the tagged calves were found to have substantial improvements in gain over the 77-day grazing season. However, the improvements were not statistically significant, because the relatively small number of calves in the study combined with the shorter grazing season because of drought didn’t give the researchers sufficient statistical power to prove significance. In addition, the prevalence of pinkeye was relatively light in the study, with only one group (one of the two-tag treatment paddocks) showing five calves that had to be treated for pinkeye.
||One tag||Two tags
|Extra gain vs. no tag
|Value of added gain
Cells with different colors within the same row are significantly different.Assumes a value of $1.45 per pound liveweight and cost of $2 per ear tag.
Source: Hill SE, Vahl CI, Oleen BE, Hollenbeck WR, Blasi DA. Insecticide Ear Tags Numerically Improve Grazing Cattle Performance. Cattlemen's Day 2013 Beef Cattle Research SRP 1083. Manhattan, KS: 2013. pp. 6-7.
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