Anyone Using The Callicrate Bander?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Ed, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Ed

    Ed Member

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    I'm preparing to purchase a Callicrate bander and would appreciate input from anyone who uses one.

    I've read that delaying castration improves weight gain and that banded calves are typically 20 lbs heavier at weaning than surgically castrated calves. I've also read that bulls typically gain 15% faster and convert feed 20% more efficiently than castrated steers, due to testosterone. Reportedly, castration at five months should be done if the calves are left with open cows, and eight months if they are weaned or running with bred cows. Anyone have experience with these numbers?

    Many producers castrate when preconditioning shots are given, but I've heard that some producers are allowing their bulls to get very heavy before castrating, but not too close to finish age. Can this work? I'd always thought that delaying castration would adversely impact on meat quality. What's been your experience?
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I have never banded calves, but I sure would like to start doing it that way. Easier on everyone.

    My husband will not allow banding for some of the reasons you mentioned. He thinks that they grow faster. His biggest reason is that he wants to see how they look as they grow before he cuts them. He's afraid of cutting a potential $20,000 bull or something.

    So we cut them after they have been weaned awhile. I got several waiting for the knife as we speak. I really need to get them done soon! Cutting right at weaning time is too stressful IMHO, so we wait at least a month. Ok, so this time it's been more like three months :)

    Once cut, they lose ground for a bit. You can't see a lose in condition, but I think they quit gaining and it takes them quite some time to recover. I've never had one get an infection or die, but that is also a risk.

    I don't have any problems with meat quality and I think it takes longer for that to become an issue.

    Jena
     

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We have one and have used it for years and I think it's the only way to go. Typically, castration occurs at the same time as branding and up here that's the heat of summer and the height of fly season. To date, we've never had a problem and I know that one of the big feedlots near us is using them regularly and report the illnesses and mortality rates with this method to be way below that of surgical castration. You'll get a video with it and take a few minutes to watch it, that should answer any questions you might have.
     
  4. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Yes, bulls have higher daily gains and better feed efficiency than steers. Historically, the problem with delayed castration (if knife-cut) was that cutting set them back some and there is the greater risk of complications.

    Everyone I've talked to who has used the delayed castration with these high-tension banders has been very satisfied and not reported complications or "set-back."

    Keep in mind, though, if you aren't feeding them out and planning to sell as feeders that some auctions want steers that are knife-cut prior to weaning.
     
  5. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    A thing with banding is there tends to be a puss pocket left by all of this. Then when the steer is processed, the cutter sees that and wants to dock you.

    If we didnt cut calves and I was doing what you are doing, I would use and emasculatome. A big one, like what you use for sheep...but bigger. This is instant, no irritation. Just crunch each side twice and you're done.
    Problem there, if you sell in a sale ring, they will see a little sack from the shrinkage, and want to dock you then too. If you sell private, there would be no issues.

    Better yet...feed heifers, they grow fastest.
     
  6. Tom S

    Tom S Member

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    I've used the C bander for 5 or 6 years now on 500 to 600 lb angus bull calves. It's great compared to cutting. After an hour or two of discomfort life goes back to normal for the newbie steers. Used to cut at that time but one bleeder a few days later changed that forever. At a local sale in early January our steers topped the sale, so I wouldn't worry about any discounts. Just make sure the banded scrotums have dropped.
     
  7. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    One of our milk customers banded one of my young barn cats a week ago, but I haven't noticed any weight gain. He did pout for a couple of hours though. :haha:

    He and his sister run the barn yard and hold the mice at bay. Well, that and mooch milk at milking times and beg for petting now that the machine is doing all the work.
     
  8. Guinea mama

    Guinea mama Well-Known Member

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    We had the vet castrate one of our bulls and he was none too happy, and the other was freaked out. So we let him get much bigger and then we took him to a different vet and they banded him, said it would be less stressful and easier at his age and size. He did not seem to have a problem getting over it in the least, although they did look nasty for 10 days til they fell off. We have banded all our younger bulls when they were still small and they seemed to handle it well and it didn't bother them in the least.
     
  9. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    We banded our stocker steers last year for the first time after years of cutting them. My husband liked it a lot. You have to sure to give them tetanus immunization. We were concerned for a little while because it took a little longer than we expected for the sacs to shrink and drop off. They eventually did. We had an excellent year last year, One of our steers gained 100 pounds a month, with the rest following along right on his heels. The big fellow was a little larger than norm at the sale, at 1082 pounds, but we got top dollar for the rest of them. They were all red angus, black angus and black ballies.
     
  10. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    We band ours, and experience no problems. Instead of it being fast, its slow and seems painless, I mean they aren't crossing their legs or walking funny. We have a steer that is about a yr, he weighs 860lbs, I banded him at about a month, boy that was fun! He was 200lbs then, and I was rolling around with him, weeee.



    Jeff
     
  11. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What size bands are you talking about? We use an elastrator and ring the calves at 1 day old with bands that would be no bigger than a quarter before stretched. :confused:
     
  12. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Shazza, the bands we're talking about are larger than the small rings. They are actually made from surgical tubing with a sliding clip (for want of a better word) the adjust the size & tension of the band. Instead of the pliers that you apply the little bands with, this is a tool that is generally a rachet, allowing for proper a proper fit based on the age of the animal.
     
  13. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like our bands. We banded them at 400 to 500 pounds while we had them in the squeeze chute to vaccinate them for blackleg and BVD. We also hot branded them and dehorned some of them at the same time. Be sure and get that band tight. A few days later you should run them into the chute again and feel the scrotum. It should feel cold. If it feels warm you've got to tighten that band.
     
  14. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    I used the cheerio sized bands. But those other types ill have to look into, whats the brand name? But the cheerio ones, no problems. I do it standing up sometimes too, and they fall off in a few weeks.



    Jeff
     
  15. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    We use the callicrate bander. The first time our 12 year old son helped when we got to the end, Ross stepped back and stated "I sure am glad WE are the dominate species". Seems to make you wonder!

    We only had one that was a problem. We didn't get him quite all the way apparently and he had a vein that stayed alive in there. We ended up cutting the sack off and laying in a driving thunderstorm applying pressure to keep him from bleeding to death.

    Ours are done at 500 to 800 pounds (The 800 pounder was 10 months old and the one with the problem). Nice beef. We had a bull that was castrated by the vet and that is why we do the banding. Had problems, seemed quite traumatic for him.