Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science (PhD)

Degree Level



Animal Science


Elizabeth Kegley

Committee Member

Jeremy Powell

Second Committee Member

Jason Apple

Third Committee Member

John Richeson

Fourth Committee Member

Yvonne Thaxton


Beef Calves, Castration, Growth-promoting Implants, Zinc


In experiment 1, crossbred bull calves (n = 31; body weight (BW) = 114.3 ± 26.3 kg; age = 119 ± 18.4 d) were allocated to treatments by BW and birthdate. Twenty-seven bull calves were allocated to 3 injectable castration treatments (n = 9 calves/injectable castration treatment) to reflect 3 dosage levels of zinc. Intact bulls had greater (P < 0.001) serum testosterone concentrations compared to bulls injected with zinc. In experiment 2, crossbred beef bulls (n = 180) were blocked by initial BW (337 ± 10.9 kg; 6 blocks) and assigned randomly to 1 of 3 treatments on d 0: 1) INJ; received 1 mL (100 mg Zn) of a Zn solution in each testis, 2) BAN; banded, 3) BUL; intact. Final BW was greater (P < 0.01) for INJ (672 kg) and BUL (686 kg) compared to BAN (611 kg). Serum haptoglobin concentration was greater (P < 0.01) in INJ compared to BUL and BAN on d 1, 3, 5, and 7. Zinc injection resulted in sterilization but not castration in feedlot bulls although it was efficacious in castration of young bulls at branding. In experiment 3, crossbred beef steers (n = 106; BW = 96 ± 3.9 kg; age = 74 ± 2.0 d) were blocked by parity of dam (≤ 2 or > 2 parities), stratified by BW, calf age, calf sire, cow BW and body condition score to 1 of 4 treatments: 1) RALG, Ralgro, Ralgro, Revalor XS, at branding (D 0), weaning (D 156), and feedlot processing (D 325), 2) COMP, Component E-C, Component TE-G, Revalor XS, 3) N-REV, none, Revalor-G, Revalor XS, and 4) CTRL, no growth-promoting implants administered. Implantation of male calves at branding increased growth performance at weaning. At the end of the stocker phase on d 323, RAGL (330 kg), COMP (324 kg), and N-REV (318 kg) were heavier (P = 0.02) compared to CTRL (297 kg). Steers first implanted at weaning (N-REV) gained more during the stocker phase; however, steers implanted at branding had a 6 to 12 kg BW advantage at time of feedlot shipment.