Castrating Almost 8 Month Old Buckling?

Discussion in 'Pack and Working Goats' started by Caileigh Jane Smith, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Well-Known Member

    503
    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    So here's the story:
    I have a buckling. His name is Kip. My original plan was to keep Kip, breed him to one of my does for a couple of breeding seasons, then sell him.
    But I am getting attached. And he is very smart, calm, and eager to please. And as I've been hauling hay and 5 gallon buckets of water to my buck and wether who live far down the hill from me, my thoughts have been, 'you know, I could teach one of the GOATS to do this for me...'
    I think Kip would be very easy to train. I am just wondering how to go about castrating him...or if I should even still try. His testicles are big. He is starting to act bucky, so I think if I want him to be a reliable working goat rather than a breeding buck, I should probably act quickly to curb those hormones. I know some pack goat people castrate their bucklings later, so I'm wondering what's the best way to go about this. Buy a bigger bander? Burdizzo? Get a vet involved? If it's going to be hugely traumatic for him or cost me lots of dollars, I will just stick with my original plan for him and start the process of training a working goat or two from this year's kid crop.
    @Damfino , I feel like you will have some good input here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
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  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    You can use a cow bander. You can do the burdizzo or just have a vet do it. Definitely not too late.
     

  3. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Many of my packgoats are castrated after they've completed a season in the breeding shed, so they're a good 8 months or older. I just banded two of mine who were seven and eight months old. Since I often castrate late, I invested in a Callicrate Pro Bander, but you don't want to spend $250 on one buck. A burdizzo will work as long as the jaws open far enough. If you don't have the tools you need, call some vets in your area or cattle ranchers. One of them is bound to have a ratchet bander or burdizzo and can probably do the job pretty inexpensively. Surgical castration is a lot more expensive, the pain seems to be worse, and the recovery time is much longer.

    The best way to keep the experience from being traumatic is to get the job done quickly, and make sure he gets treats beforehand and lots of sympathy afterwards while he feels sore. I give a shot of banamine about half an hour before the procedure. It takes a few hours for the pain to subside, but usually by next morning they are completely fine.

    You'll enjoy having a goat who can work for you. My boys often haul hay and water to the pens in wintertime. I've also had them haul firewood for me. They love having a job. Good luck!
     
  4. wheel-bear-o

    wheel-bear-o Well-Known Member

    138
    Jul 6, 2020
    Vermont
    That's awesome info, Damfino. I've got a 10 month old wether who would be perfect for hauling water for us, which is something I can't do anymore because I'm disabled and have to usually rely on my menfolk. Do you have any good resources for starting a training system for them?
     
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  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  6. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I wrote several articles that you can read on my website:
    https://www.goatorama.com/articles/

    Here are my fellas helping me haul firewood last spring:
    https://www.goatorama.com/2020/03/20/fetchin-in-the-firewood/
     
  7. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Well-Known Member

    503
    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    Thanks, everyone, for the input! I truly do appreciate it! We have some nice neighbors who do cattle, so I may ask and see if they have something that will work.
    Thanks for sharing those posts, @Damfino ! We haul firewood out of the woods, too, so I could definitely use him for that when he's big enough. I've got another wether who is as a strong as an ox. I may try to teach him, too, but he is older and much more set in his own ways, so I think teaching him new things would be harder.
     
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  8. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Actually, the more "stubborn" they are the better they seem to be at pulling. Training a goat to pull (not drive--that's a whole other matter) doesn't require any training at all. All he needs to know is to lead (or at least follow some treats). In my experience, the strong headed, stubborn types tend to rebel against pressure and react to the load by really leaning into the harness and pulling as hard as they can. As they succeed at pulling the load, they pull harder, and if they get rewarded for it at the end they discover they love the job. It's hard to discourage this type of personality. The main thing is training them to leave the barn.

    The sweet, willing types are more likely to get discouraged and stop if the load feels heavy or the footing is bad, so you have to be careful how you train them. They need more positive reinforcement, and you have to make sure you start out with light loads and work up carefully so they don't learn to balk or pout. Good luck!
     
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  9. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    I want to use my boy Gideon as a service/light load pack goat is the process the same? He’s eager to please but also a snuggle bug.
     
  10. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Well-Known Member

    503
    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    Thanks for that input! This wether, Huck, does not have good lead manners at all. I didn't get him as a kid, and really did not even start thinking about teaching leading manners, etc., until this last year. Normally, this isn't a problem, as he is usually quite good about following me. His buck buddy flips out whenever he is left alone, so I usually just move them around as a pair. But I will definitely be thinking about how I can work with that. I know I can teach him, I just haven't put forth the effort.
    The thing I like about Kip is that he is independent. He likes being around the other goats, but doesn't seem to get too insecure when he's separated. I think this would make him much easier to train to do things by himself...hopefully.
     
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