Banding versus Surgical Castration in Our Situation?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by shedevil, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. shedevil

    shedevil New Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    Hi All,

    Our new little Nigerian Dwarf buckling is going on about 10 weeks old. He was mostly weaned (but apparently not completely) when he arrived at our home over the weekend.

    He is currently settling in with our 3-to-4 year old Saanen doe, Blanca (she was a rescue, so we aren't sure of her age) - she had lived with us for the past 2+ years with her own daughter, who was a day old when we rescued them both.

    We completely unexpectedly lost the daughter a bit over a week ago - and suddenly Blanca was an only goat, deprived of her companion (her daughter) with whom she had spent the last 2 years, 24/7, in our yard.

    Jack has been brought in as her companion, and they are still negotiating... Blanca alternately ignores him, sniffs him, chews on his ears, and bashes him quite hard. We are currently crating him, within the goat pen, at night, to make sure he is safe because when she does bash him, she squashes him against something hard - but the bashing is diminishing, as she is getting used to him.

    During the day they have free range of our large, enclosed back yard. Jack's favourite place to "get up to Blanca's size" and to see 'eye-to-eye' with her, and to be safe from her when need be, is on top of our hay box (a Rubbermaid Tough Shed about waiste-high, which just fits two bales, by the pen).

    (Wow, having a goat that can jump and climb like that is new to us!)

    So, with that background, and then generally speaking, we're trying to determine the best method of castration for him - surgical, or banding?

    Our concerns, in order of importance, are:

    1. Safest for Jack in the long run

    2. Least painful for Jack

    3. Least traumatic for for Jack (2 and 3 may or may not be the same).

    4. Quickest recovery in terms of being able to let him run around all day and be around Blanca without supervision.

    5. What the optimal age is to castrate him?

    6. How long we should wait (if at all?) to do this given that he is still just settling in and recoving from being removed from his previous home, his mother, and his little herd.

    Thank you for any advice, insights, suggestions, etc.!

  2. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    This is just what we do, all of us have our own way and thougths on this.

    1. With the heat and flies, if bad in your area, surgical might be the way to go.

    2. We band our boys, they are fine and up and running and playing not long after we band. Never had one surgically done so not sure. They can sometimes be sore and mopey the day they are banded.

    3. Once again we band so not sure, but our boys are up and playing not long afterwards.

    4. See # 2 and 3

    5. We do not band younger than 3 months.

    6. once again I would wait till he is 3 months old unless he starts mounting and doing the normal buck behavior.

    * When we band the boys, we just let them dry up and fall off. But you can wait until approx 10 days then cut the dried scrotem off, and spray with blue-kote.

  3. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I band at 7 weeks, boys are not happy about it but are themselves after they run to mama, usually lay around for an hour or so but I've never had an issue.
  4. Polarhug

    Polarhug New Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Southcentral Alaska
    Hmm so I've heard from

    1. 2-3 days old
    2. 7 weeks old
    3. 3 months old (12 weeks I guess)

    Do I just go with an average here?
    I'm curious too. Mine is 2 weeks + 3 days old.
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Banding isnt traumatizing

    I band at 8 weeks old - 10 weeks he might be a bit big but it can be done if you know how to put one in and then the other. I just did some who were almost 12 weeks and they are fine.

    The banding method is actually bloodless so there is less of a need to worry about flies. If you put the band to far down though it causes more issues so be sure to get the band high near his belly.
  6. logansmommy7

    logansmommy7 New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Since I have done it a few times, I think I will weigh in here. I vote for banding. It causes little (if any) trauma/pain and is over very quickly with no blood. If it is hot where you are, keep an eye on the area and if flies start to come around, spray some blu kote on there and you should have no problems. Good luck!
  7. elchivito

    elchivito Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    We have been very lucky over the years and have only had to castrate two bucks prior to this season. both of those we had done surgically. There are issues with bleeding, flies, infection etc. This year we had an excess of boys born and decided to try banding. I will say this much, every boy we banded rolled around on the ground and acted like they were dying for about a half hour, then moped for a day and then were fine. It seems to be taking forever for their testicles to fall off. There IS a bit of a wound involved as fresh flesh is exposed once they start to turn loose. We're putting SWAT fly repellent on our one remaining boy who's going to stay here. He hasn't lost them yet and it's been about a month. He's close, but it's taking a lot longer than I'd like. There are basically three methods, banding, cutting and emasculation. With the last method, they get to keep their sack and there is no wound whatsoever. I've seen it done and it sure doesn't look like any fun. Anyone you talk to who espouses any particular method will tell you their favorite method is more humane than the others. I've decided that NONE of them are particularly humane and ALL of them are in one way or another unpleasant and painful for the buckling but none the less unavoidable. Bucklings are sweethearts. Bucks, not so much. My main concern with banding in the hot months is flies, so the most wound-less method is the best, and whatever you do, do NOT castrate unless your boy is current on tetanus vaccine.
  8. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Very well put elchivito...there are no humane ways to castrate or even dehorn, but they must be done to ensure the longevity and health of goats. With any type chosen there are risks involved as with anything we choose to do in everyday life.
  9. logansmommy7

    logansmommy7 New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    It DEFINITELY seems to take FOREVER for the testicles to fall off but they eventually do-USUALLY with very little open concern was summertime as well-but so far, so good. One has lost them, and one is almost gone. I think it is definitely the least stressful approach.
  10. DPW

    DPW New Member

    Mar 13, 2010
    Crow, Oregon.
    I agree with elchivito. No such thing as stress free castration.
    I do not wish to be argumentative but not everyone believes banding is non stressfull or the most humane.
    As most of you here already know Molly Nolte at Fias Co Farms has been raising dairy goats for quite some time. Here are her thoughts on using the banding method.

    "Pros: Inexpensive
    Cons: Least humane way of neutering; faulty castration technique results in retention of one testicle. Risk of tetanus.
    Notes: Some European countries have banned elastic band castration because officials consider it's use inhumane.
    I personally I feel banding is extremely inhumane. I strongly urge people to have compassion for the animal and not to use this method. Imagine putting a rubber band around your finger and then leaving it there until your finger fell off. Now imagine putting a rubber band around you own testicles and leaving it there until your tentacles died, rotted and fell off. Animals feel just as much pain as you would, and it is just as traumatic for them as it would be for you.
    Materials needed: Elastrator (instrument used to apply the bands), Castrating bands or rings (Do not use household rubber bands!) and tetanus antitoxin.
    Age of kid: Any time after the testicles descend.
    Technique: .....

    Note: I provide as much information on this site as possible so that people can make their own choices about how they wish to raise their own animals. But, I have come to the conclusion that I feel banding is so wrong and I am no longer going to provide the instructions on how to do it here on my site. I am a strong advocate of animals rights and of the compassionate treatment of all living creatures and I cannot bare the thought that information I provided would cause a living creature so much suffering. Just because it is inexpensive and relatively easy to do for the human, does not justify it as a right way to treat an animal."

    I believe more goat breeders use bands over any other method. And I have heard about very few problems. Simply wanted to offer a different point of view from a goat savvy individual.
  11. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    When it comes down to it, choose the method that is right for you, banding is the most economical way to go as the bands and tool to use them are less than $20 and don't require the extra skill to use them or the extra $ for a vet.

    The surgical methods are as efficient as the band but do require skill and possible a vet.....and with such an open area of raw flesh, the risk of infection is much greater, the burdizzo is bloodless, no open wounds, takes practice to do it right and hurts just as much. The tool to do this is much more expensive $40 and up.
    Comfort of the animal is always to be considered when doing neccessary things to them, as I said in my above post "there are no humane ways to castrate or even dehorn, but they must be done to ensure the longevity and health of goats. With any type chosen there are risks involved as with anything we choose to do in everyday life."
  12. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I banded my boys this year but I also took in a young wether that had been castrated. Both ways seemed fine. If this is your only little guy and you don't mind the vet bill, then consider castrating. You just need to watch for flies but there are also products that can be put on open wounds to keep flies out. Your vet should have those sprays.

    I have to say, for cost effectiveness, I really did like banding. Like others have mentioned, they acted up for about 1/2 an hour and then mopey the rest of the day. No doubt that they hurt. But it has to be done and for multiple males, this was the way to go for me.
  13. shedevil

    shedevil New Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    I *really* appreciate all the thoughtful replies!

    Question: is there anything you can give the little guy beforehand, and after maybe, to alleviate the initial pain? Kind of like they recommend giving Tylenol before an immunization for children?

    Thank you!

  14. Lexibot

    Lexibot New Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    We went to ban Goat Goat at age 8 weeks, his sack hadn't dropped just yet though, so to be sure it was done correctly, we waited until I could basically see them without lifting a leg. When they weren't hiding no longer (about the size of a Ping Pong ball), we banded him. He moped for a day or so, and was back to "normal" shorty. it took 2 or 3 months for them to fall off. I checked often, when they finally disappeared and fell off, I didn't see any wound, so I left it be. He didn't even seem to notice that he was missing anything.
  15. PznIvyFarm

    PznIvyFarm New Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    I was planning on banding, but when i went to Fiasco Farm site, they seemed really opposed to it, and said it was inhumane. On the other hand, i can't afford the vet to do 4 boys, and i don't know if i have the skill level to use the burdizzo. (my friend who helped me do the dehorning does not wether her own boys, but on the other hand, she generally has one at a time, possibly two, making the vet a bit more affordable)

    Any thoughts on this? What about this pain tincture they were discussing on Fiasco Farm, has anyone tried it? Or would the Arnica montana work better? Or aspirin? (although i didn't find aspirin to be all that helpful for Bailey post-birth, the Banamine was WAY better ...............and WAY more expensive :)
  16. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    did you even read the above posts? Im not sure what more you want to know?

    This is what I already wrote
    As to the pain tincture I dont know what it is. I just use banamine if mine seem in overall pain but most are fine within a day
  17. Polarhug

    Polarhug New Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Southcentral Alaska
    Banding was WAY less traumatic to my buck than I thought it would be.
    They castrate huge steers that way so I don't think the age of your goat will matter.
    Its OK, you can do it.

    The Fiasco site is GREAT!.... but they kind of anthropomorphize a little heavy (give the animals human emotions).

    As for my banded buckling .... He never winced. Was "mopey" maybe 1 day. Back to bouncing and humping the girls after that. Testicles fell off cleanly 6 weeks later.

    Your choice but I would do it as soon as you can either way. :)
  18. GoldenSeal

    GoldenSeal New Member

    Sep 13, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Arnica should never be used on open wounds.. I made this salve a while back for external pains (sore muscles) and it had Arnica and St John's Wort. My hubby used it on an area that was chaffed (I didn't know he had) said it burnt like hell. I would not use it on broken skin.
  19. PznIvyFarm

    PznIvyFarm New Member

    Jul 25, 2010

    No, i didnt see those posts - I did a search and it pulled up a couple messages and i didn't see the rest. Sorry. Thank you .