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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a couple of bottle kids to raise, and I am planning to go look at some Alpines from a local show breeder (dairy). The kids are on the bottle. One is a month old and one is two months old. The issue is they may already be castrated.

I have read here that it's better to wait until 4-5 months of age. What I'd like to know is:

- Do I need to exclude these kids if they are already castrated?
- How are 4+ month old kids castrated? Are they banded at that age?

Thx,
Michelle
 

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Hello,

this kids may have a higher risk of complications due to urinary calculi. From the two goats at my place that had to deal with UC one had been castrated at age 3 days and the other at age 6 months. In both cases I could see other factors, an unbalanced mineral feed in one case and lack of water/drinking plus slightly overweight goat in the other case contributing to the whole problem.

I think that you would have to be more on your guard with these goats but nobody can guarantee you that a late castrated wether won't develop UC when his diet is poor and/or unbalanced or other causes add up.

Don't know what others recommend about the best castration method. In Germany banding is forbidden and the goats would either be castrated with burdizzo clamp or surgically. I personally prefer surgically, done at a clinic with sedation and local anaestetic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I found out that they aren't castrated yet! The breeder had kept them as buck prospects, and was going to band them if I wanted it done after I bought them. I am so pleased about that!

Can I keep them intact until Aug. or so and breed one of my milk does THEN castrate? That would be ideal.

I still am not sure how late they can be castrated, and what is the cut-off age for banding? I will def. check into surgical castration, but it is difficult to get vets here to work on goats.

It's very rural, and the local vets are all working out of their trucks, not in clinics.
 

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Hello,

yes, you can have them castrated later and also serve some does. I just inform the vet beforehand that they have been sexually active (the blood flow to the testes increases then and they have to take more bleeding into consideration).

We had bucks surgically castrated on pasture for some years. That's fine if the ground is clean and the vet gives them a tetanus shot and a longterm antibiotic.

I stopped doing it that way because in the last years I had more than two bucks and also had them castrated much older (around 18-24 months). I would take them into the house until they are fully awake after the sedation and the smell of these older bucks wasn't something I wanted to have inside (hard enough that you had to change clothes and keep them seperate). Therefore I was happy to switch to a clinic where I would bring them in the morning and pick them up the next day. But with only two you could think about castrating them surgically at home. Just mind that with every sedation there's a risk for ruminants.
 

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Amy and I went through this last year. Our boys were about 1.5 years old when we finally found a vet (our breeders) that we liked and hauled the boys over South Pass to get it done. They were sedated and surgically castrated outside at the vet because the smell was so bad nobody wanted to come near us or the goats, and they didn't want it in their operating room. It was difficult and traumatic for us and the goats, but in the end they were all fine and healthy and just miserable for a week or two. We kept a close eye on them and held their heads up (the ruminant issue Sabine mentioned) and they were fine. Teddy was the largest goat at about 178 lbs at the time, and he was the first to go down and the last to wake up. I was worried and the vet seemed a little worried, but there was nothing wrong with his breathing or heart beat, and when he woke up a little bit it seemed more like he was comfy and groggy from the drugs and just wanted to stay there sleeping. I would not wait until they are so old, but I did like that method even with all the worry and stress, and although they still have that buck look to them right now, it is going away, and I expect this growing season (2 year) they will start to look more like wethers. I think a lot of their size came from being intact until older. After the fact we learned of growth plates of some kind that close after puberty at around 6 months (I think, but look into it) and you need to get them cut before that so they can grow for longer.

One positive was that the head goat at the time was a real pain for the other two and just a poor leader and constantly harassing them. He took the ordeal the worst and wouldn't lay down for days, he slept on his knees so we would go out and let him rest his head on us and sleep (that isn't the positive part). That gave the little guy a chance to be on top because he took it so well. He was even worse as head goat, let the power get to his head. It did ultimately mellow out the head goat probably because of less testosterone but also the pain and hardship. Teddy the big one is now on top and is real mellow and dominates simply with presence and attitude rather than constant harassment. Of course the previous head is now the middle and much worse on the bottom goat, but it will work itself out in the wash, I'm sure, and the head goat interferes if it gets too bad. So does the Top Goat if it is really bad ;)


Hope that helps.

Gregg
 

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Hello,

I can remember how miserable the goats seem to feel with the "normal" method of surgical castration with leaving the scrotum cut open to allow the fluids to drain. In some cases it took three weeks until the swelling went dont.

The clinic I take them to now will do a complete scrotum removal and place a neat, surgical suture there. A bit higher risk should there be subsequent infektion but I believe from observing the goats that had it done that way much less painfull and faster healing.

But not every vet will do it that way.
 

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When we did Pig I was a bit concerned and asked to Vet lots of questions and wanted lots of guarantees. So the vet used gas. When I woke up the procedure was done, so I'm not sure what she did to the goat.

I will be sure to ask for gas the next time around too. ;-)
 

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It's not the age and it's not the mileage.... it's the wethering.

What she did to me was nuthin compared to what my wife did to me when she discovered she was pregnant at age 40. We laugh about it now, though perhaps at a higher octave.
 

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I clamped my 5 yo angora buck last fall.

I've clamped (burdizzo) about a dozen goats since being forced to find a way to wether my first 5 boys when my vet told me he "didn't work on goats as they are too likely to just die".

I'll never use another method to wether my goats.... unless absolutely necessary.
 

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We used the injection. Amy had spoken to a vet out of the University of Colorado who said gas is the best way to go, but our vet here couldn't use it because they were already too big, and the vet we brought them to I think just always used the injection, but it may have also been the size thing. I know a friend of mine just had his goats disbudded and his vet felt the injection was safer than the gas. I was so worried about them with the scrotum left on that I don't know if I could handle the vet removing it all together and just having a few stitches between one goats horn and the others innards. It seems to provide a protective layer from bugs and dirt as well. I would say that it did have a lot to do with why they were so miserable. Every time they move or lay down it is getting touched or squished by a leg and must be just excruciatingly painful. In the grands scheme of things, I don't think a few extra days of discomfort made much of a difference. Romeo sucked it up fast and started bullying the other two. Wicket, the big bully of the three, couldn't handle it and wouldn't go near the others for days after they were past it and doing fine. It is most important to find a vet you are comfortable with.
 

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There is another procedure that can be done on older bucks called calicrate castration. It's very efficient and involves banding with a relly heavy band, waiting a dya, somethines, to let the blood supply go away and then cutting below the band. That way things heal faster as there is no tissue to rot off. The goat can't feel the cutting as the blood supply and nerves are all numb.

I personally like burdizzo at about 3 months. You get a smaller testicle to work with and way less fussing afterwards if done right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks everyone - I think after all the discussion and some further reading, I'll try the burdizzo at 3 months and forget about breeding to one of them.

Eeep, that is coming up soon for the older kid!
 

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We used The burdizzo on my two wethers that will be cart goats when they were about a month or two. They are now they are now a year old and they are doing great. We have also banded bucks but we prefer the burdizzo.

We have found this website to be very helpful. www.fiascofarm.com It has a section on banding and the burdizzo. (How do you make it so that you can click on a link :oops: )
 
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