Eighteen spring-born Columbia ram, wether, and zeranol-implanted ram lambs were studied to determine the influence of castration or zeranol implants on intramuscular collagen (IMC) properties and muscle shear force values. Warner-Bratzler shear force values for longissimus muscle were greatest for ram lambs, intermediate for implanted rams, and least for wethers (P < .05). Nonreducible collagen crosslink concentration was greater in IMC of rams and implanted rams (P < .05). The IMC from rams compared with that from wethers contained proportionately more Type III than Type I collagen (P < .05); values for implanted rams were intermediate. Heat-soluble muscle collagen concentration was greater for rams and implanted rams than for wethers (P < .05); however, insoluble collagen concentration did not differ by treatment. Muscle collagen concentrations were not different for rams, wethers, or implanted rams. Increased shear force values in rams were associated with elevated collagen crosslink concentration and increased proportion of Type III collagen. Greater concentration of soluble collagen in ram IMC neither diminished nor diluted IMC crosslinking. The proportion of heat-labile collagen in the fractions did not reflect the IMC crosslinking profile for ram and wether lambs. Zeranol implantation modified IMC characteristics of rams such that shear force values and some collagen properties were similar to those of wethers.