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Discussion Starter #1
My kids are 4 weeks old on Wednesday. Two are bucklings and the gal that disbudded them for me was kind enough to give me a bander. When I first felt sacks a few weeks ago... they felt empty. Yesterday, there were definitely little "grapes" inside. What's the earliest I can band them? One in particular has been "bucky" since birth. Both are going to a beautiful farm-style bed and breakfast as pets, where they'll be getting lots of attention, so I'd like to prevent as much buckiness as possible and keep them sweet like they are now.

I dont want to cause any problems - but I know in my domestic animals... I STRONGLY prefer to have them fixed as soon as a vet will do it. Really seems to help with creating sweet personalities. Since the testes have dropped... is there any problem with banding them now?
 

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Yep I always did it at three months.
 

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I do it a 12 weeks as well. They are at less risk for UC later on if the banding post-poned because they have more time to develop. And as far as waiting too long, I haven't had a problem with them not being sweet, my adult bucks are very sweet.
They should make great pets for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I thought I'd read that the ND's get fertile super early. Do I need to separate them if I wait that long? Also... I thought 8 weeks was typical "go to their new home" age... but then the new owners would need to bring them back to get banded? I assumed they'd already be banded by then. If I should really wait that long, I'll have to talk to the owners about a new pick up date, as I know they aren't going to want to bring them back.
 

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All bucklings are fertile early on, not just the ND's. You can send them off at 8 weeks, can they band them? It wouldn't kill them to be banded by 8 weeks, I've heard of people doing when they are born. Just personal preferance that I do it at 12, to attempt to avoid an issue, but they can get UC even if you band later.
 

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Male goats are fertile at 9 weeks, and at 10 weeks the sperm have motility. I learned this from and old timer. I would like to wait until 12 weeks, but I do it at 8 because when I send my babies to their new homes.

Little Bits is right. They can still get UC if banded later, though.
 

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is there any problem with banding them now?
You can band anytime from birth to a year or more of age - it is your choice. The testosterone produced by the testicles tends to give them an advantage on weight gain, but where they are going to be pets it isn't as important as if you were raising goats for slaughter. It has also been stated that bucks banded later have less of a problem with urinary calculi, but that can be controlled with diet and, for every study that says that is true, there appears to be one that says it isn't.
 

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I would really wait till they are 12 weeks. I usually don't let my kids go to new homes until they are 12 weeks or older. I guess you could do it at 8 weeks, but I'd wait.
 

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I band at three months,both my bucklings ran with my doe full time,I would be surprised if a buckling younger than 4 months could get the job done!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I'll talk to the owners and see when they want them. They wont want to band themselves I'm sure. Though if they're fertile at 9 weeks with motility at 10... then I think I'd want to band at 8weeks anyway. I dont need my does getting pregnant again. Better safe than sorry on that count. They're already quite a bit larger than the girls, so not too worried about development - and like someone else said... they're going as pets, so size isn't very important. In fact, smaller is probably better. Still... I want what's best for them in the long run. But I also want it to be easy on the new owners. Even if I band at 8 and keep them a few more weeks, they'll still be uh... hangin'... when they go to their new home. I'll just let the owners know what to expect. :)

As for UC... I thought that was mostly due to grain/alfalfa (excess protein??) given to bucks and wethers. ?? Curious why age at banding would have any effect. These will be the only two goats they have... so I would imagine they'll have a pretty simple diet. My understanding is that it's mostly us dairy folk that spend the big bucks on alfalfa and grain? They mentioned having a male goat previously, who died of old age... so they seem to know what they're doing.
 

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As for UC... I thought that was mostly due to grain/alfalfa (excess protein??) given to bucks and wethers. ?? Curious why age at banding would have any effect.
UC is due to an improper balance of calcium and phosphorus in the diet. One balances out the other in a perfect feed ration. When that does not happen, stones can form. The earlier a buck is banded, the smaller his urethra is, and that can interfere with his ability to pass the stones.
 

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I band at three months,both my bucklings ran with my doe full time,I would be surprised if a buckling younger than 4 months could get the job done!
Sexual maturity varies from breed to breed. It is generally accepted that if a buckling can fully extend his penis, he is able to breed - at least from what I've read. There is also the fact that banding (or castrating) does not immediately render bucks unable to breed due to the sperm that is already in the vas deferens. It usually takes a couple of weeks for that to either die or work itself out.
 

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Goat Crazy is right. UC are caused by the metabolic problems associated with an imbalanced calcium:phosphorus ratio. The minimum requirements are 2:1. Do a search for "Sue Reith calcium phosphorus ratio" and you'll come up with her very excellent articles on this topic.

The urinary tracts of females and males are different. The doe's urethra is such that stones are passed. Bucks have a little less chance of developing UC than wethers. This is because after mating there is some part of his uro-genital tract that breaks off. I do not know the name of the part, but I was pretty astonished when I read that! :eek:
 

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There's one more part to this though.
The pizzle, the funny piece that allows a buck to spray, is glued to the end of the shaft at birth. That makes the opening very tiny and makes it so that if there is a small stone, the pizzle can't be cut off to release it.
Most times the pizzle unglues itself through play mating and such by about 6 weeks old. This is what you're actually waiting for.
 

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You can check by sitting them on their rump and extracting the penis. The worm shaped end should be free before wethering.
 

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Very good point, Goathiker, and I stand corrected. Thank you for pointing that out, I do appreciate it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you goat hiker. I'd not heard of that so will be sure to check prior to banding. I'm really gonna feel like a perv when I search Google for a visual on that tho. Lol
 

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It's not hard to find Jen. Heck I could take a photo of Dante's he has it out all the time lol.
 

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Thank you goat hiker. I'd not heard of that so will be sure to check prior to banding. I'm really gonna feel like a perv when I search Google for a visual on that tho. Lol
Hey Farmer Jen, don't feel too bad! I'll bet there are a whole lot more pervy searches than that one!
 
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