We Help Cattle Grow

Implant Selection and Administration

Determining your implant strategy

Few beef management practices are more cost-effective or offer a higher return on investment than properly used growth promoting implants.

Implants play an important role in the cattle industry. They have proven their value to individual producers as well.

A well-planned and properly introduced implant program can:

  • Increase the rate of weight gain
  • Improve feed efficiency
  • Increase profitability

Studies have shown that there are a number of factors to consider when selecting the right implant(s) to help you meet your production goals. These factors include:

  • Targeted finish weight
  • Energy of available feed ration – Low to high
  • Body condition – Thin to fleshy
  • Frame size – Small to large
  • Weight to insert implant
  • Carcass quality tools

If you have any questions regarding Revalor® or Ralgro® implants, or if you require further guidance, please contact your veterinarian, or your Merck Animal Health representative. 

Implanting guidelines

Proper storage and handling of implants are critical to achieving optimal weights and decreasing losses at slaughter.

The guidelines below apply to all Merck Animal Health cattle implants.

For more specific information about implanting with Revalor® or implanting with Ralgro®, please click on the appropriate link above.

Four easy steps to implanting

1. Restrain the animal.

  • To help make things easier, the use of a chute and a head gate with neck extenders or calf table is recommended.

2. Locate the implanting site.

  • Locate the needle insertion point on the middle one-third of the back of the ear, below the middle ridge and not within a finger-width of an old implant or tag. This location avoids the major veins of the ear.


  • Make sure the implanting site is clean and dry. If necessary, use a stiff brush or scraper to remove mud, dirt and manure. Scrape, disinfect and dry the ear before implanting.

3. Deposit the implant between the skin and cartilage of the back of the ear.

  • Penetrate the skin and insert the length of the needle under the skin and parallel to the ear. Penetrate the skin for the implant to work properly. Don't insert the needle at too flat an angle, or the implant may deposit between skin layers, preventing proper absorption.

4. Squeeze the applicator trigger.

  • While squeezing, slowly withdraw the needle to ensure the implant pellets remain aligned.
  • Inspect for proper placement by feeling the implant site with your thumb. Pinch the incision to help seal the wound.


  • Sharp needles make the job easier and faster. They also help prevent ear damage and infection. Replace needles as needed.
  • Disinfect the needle between animals by wiping both sides of the needle on a roller or sponge treated with a chlorhexidine solution. Replace the disinfecting solution when it becomes cloudy, or between pens of animals.
  • Keep trays, sponges, rollers and implant guns clean.
  • Protect implants from dust, dirt or manure during processing.
  • Open implant cartridges should be stored in a sealed plastic bag or other container, to avoid contamination between processing periods.

Please click on one of the following links for more specific information about implanting with Revalor® or implanting with Ralgro®.

REVALOR® is a registered trademark of Intervet International B.V. Used under license.
RALGRO® is a registered trademark of Intervet Inc. Used under license.