Goats: Castrating

  • Goats should be castrated around 12 weeks (or older) so their urethra has time to grow. Stones can be deadly to goats and a small urethra can’t pass a large, sand size, stone.
  • Castrating early can cause urinary calculi (commonly referred to as UC), which is a deadly condition that is difficult to treat.
  • Some meat markets don’t want castrated goats, so know your market.
  • Males can breed as young as 7 weeks of age so separate bucklings from does, including the mother and sisters, till it’s time to harvest or castrate.  

Banding can cause infection or tetanus.  Should be done between 10-12 weeks of age (older is healthier).  The wether should be acting normal after two days or so. No blood loss, no cutting. No danger of missing as long as both testicles are caught in the band.

Give a shot of banamine for the pain about 20 minutes before banding. (1cc/100lb subcutaneous with an insulin needle).  Give a tetanus antitoxin shot. Put the buckling in a stanchion with his favorite treat, wash the testicles with iodine, and band both testicles.  In about 6-8 weeks the scrotum will shrivel up and fall off.  Without the banamine, he’ll probably react to the pain in about 15 minutes – don’t freak out to his reaction.

Burdizzo (a brand of emasculator) is designed to break the blood vessels leading to the testicles.  Once the blood supply is lost, the testicles shrink and eventually deteriorate.  This method has a lot of room for error and takes a lot of hand strength. The best age to use the burdizzo method is around 12 weeks or older. It can take a few months to know if the burdizzo worked.

Cutting has fewer complications, is effective, and has immediate results.  Different methods include cutting off the tip of the scrotum and pull the testicles out, cutting off as much of the cord as possible.  Dose with iodine and that’s that.  Avoid doing this three days before, during, or three days after a full moon or they’ll bleed more. It isn’t moon magic, but there’s some truth to it.

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