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· Registered
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When would it be considered to late to start packing with grown billy thats been in service. Here's some questions:

Can you cut and train a billy that is about 4-5 years old?
After being cut will he settle down and stop trying to "impress the girls"?
How aggressive would he be to other wethers?
Different breeds do better with being cut later?
Will they still maintain their scent problems Ive been informed about?

Feel free to add any other points of Intrest i should consider.
Looking into a Togg that is been in service for 2 years.

Thanks for your help.

· Registered
764 Posts

first, I don't have experience with a buck that old, only with bucks that served two seasons and got cut at age 2 years.

Both settled down fine but are still a bit more "picky" about what they are comfortable with what I'm doing with them than the younger cut wethers.

But, this could also be because of

- breed: one is a alpine mix and I know from his breeder that the mother's a sensible goat, too

- companions: the other is head of the young bucklings and has to be very strict with not being challenged when they are near him. I'll see, if he settles down more when the others become wethers this fall and the competing stops.

The alpine mix lives in the big herd with the does and I see him fight with the old boss for dominance when the does are in heat but he's not THAT interested in "impressing the girls", more in improving his status against the old boss. Yesterday, f.e. both were fighting/sparring while another wether was actually flirting and mounting the doe in heat.
The alpine isn't overly aggressive towards the other wethers, he's no. 2 or 3 in the picking order and the others defer to him. The lower they rank, the more he leaves them alone. Occasional fights and dominance behaviour occur between him and the older, high ranking wethers (who's going first through a narrow passage, who's allowed first at the mineral lick, that stuff)

I've had a stallion that served and was cut at age 5 years and he turned out to be a sweet guy, easy to handle, no problems with geldings, best "foal uncle" one could want.

No scent problems remain.

I would look at the buck if his character now is what you want in a packgoat. He can only get more mellow with castration so if he's a sweet guy already, that will remain. If he's bossy, aggressive, not easy to handle, this will get better to a certain degree. Check with the owner how much of his behaviour may be related to being untrained or mishandled and what is his original character.

About training: you can train a goat that old. BUT it depends on what the life of this goat was in these years if and when he will become a reliable packer. If he lived the sheltered life of a "barn potatoe" it will be a hard transition to become a working goat. If he's shy, this is a hard habit to break. How has he lived: did he have the chance to build stamina and coordination in rough terrain or has he lived in a pasture without any stimulation to climb, run, jump = he may be clumsy at first.

Was he sheltered from environmental influences: weather, rain, cars, noise, dogs, etc.?

The more sheltered/pampered his former life was/is, the harder the transition will be for him. He can be trained but you won't know for several months if he will turn out to be a packer.

· Premium Member
595 Posts
I have cut them as old as 6. They do settle and if they weren't aggressive before they will not get worse, but better. This is a good way to give an animal a new life. I've done several at around 4.

There's a saying in horses, good stallions make great geldings. Applies to goats too. Make sure that you have a vet doing the procedure. There is a risk of some serious bleeding if not done properly. Callicrate banding where there is a large band put in place and left for awhile before the testicles are cut works very well but any surgical castration works. Usually there is at least one stitch involved to keep things from bleeding.

· Registered
1,020 Posts
I know several people who bought intact Bucks and had them castrated to start their pack strings. About half of them worked out. The others decided they had spent a life of leisure and were not about to start working. I think the younger bucks would adjust easier than older ones.

They will eventually stop their bucky behavior and settle down. The horns on a bucks will be significantly larger than on a wether so their social standing will generally be higher in horned herds.

· Senior Member
299 Posts
WOW!!! I just checked out the Calicrate Bander and am glad I did. That is going to be my piece of equipment. I just had to surgically castrate and adult goat yesterday and I cant help from getting woozie from the blood. This is why I didn't continue onto vet school. Wish I knew about this two weeks ago. I would have ordered one immediately if I knew. Thanks!!!!!
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