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Old 02/05/04, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Southeast Iowa
Posts: 639
What age should I band a ram lamb?

I have a ram lamb who is two weeks and a few days old. We banded his tail on day 3, but I'm not sure when the best time for castration is...I have heard differing stories. Does it really matter? I will be raising him for eating and don't want the testosterone in the meat, but is it too early? Should I wait another week or two? Or is now okay to do it? or does it really matter as far as growth and health are concerned? Looking for the maximum growth without the hormone...and don't need to be waiting long enough for him to be mature enough to take on his sister! But am honestly, not sure when that is! (I'm so new to this...*sigh*)

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Old 02/05/04, 06:52 PM
Ross's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ontario
Posts: 13,055
I don't actually castrate ram lambs, I band the sack leaving the testies in the body. This leave the testoserone producing organs and should help promote lean growth. I don't find these guys become aggresive until they are around 8 months and few make it past that anyhow. To properly castrate use a band as soon as you can pull both testies into the scrotem and get a band securly above them. Its more a weight thing and there will be breed differences, but I haven't done all that many to say exactly.
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Old 02/06/04, 01:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 73
I prefer to band the testicles at 2-3 days old (provided the lamb is strong and healthy), the same time I dock and tattoo. They are sometimes not descended, but I can always apply a little pressure on the abdomen above the scrotum and pop the little testicles into the scrutum and then band. The younger they are, the easier it is on them, or so it seems. I have a week-old ram lamb that needs to be docked and castrated. It was so cold when he was born and he was chilled on day 3, so I delayed it a little until he was stronger.
I'm thinking about casterating with a scalpel this year, just to reduce stress in the lambs. I know how, and I know how bloodless it is, I'm just not sure if I'm brave enough yet. I dock with a double crush emasculator (crushes and cuts) and I know it can be used to castrate, but I'm not quite sure how to do it. The more I think about, the more I feel confident to try using a scalpel so maybe I'll think about it some more
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