Castrating calves

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Rob30, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a couple short horn bulls about 6 weeks old that need castrated. Are they to old to pinch? A guy I know has some pinchers. If I have to cut them is it the same as a pig? Just cut and pull.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    AT 6 weeks the simpler thing IMO is to apply a band. I have banded hundreds and I have not knowingly had a problem. I like the bands for several reasons. One is it is effective, you only have to count to 2 to verify that everything is correct. There is seemingly no discomfort, the calves just ignore the band. They respond to the ear tagging much more. There is not open wound. It is inexpensive. I can do the deed by myself.
     

  3. Celtic Herritag

    Celtic Herritag Celtic Heritage Farms

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    I also Like banding, it is much more safer than cutting. And even if you mess up you just have a chriptorchid who can't really breed anything. But it's not really frequent that you do have a problem
     
  4. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    They're never too old to pinch (they call it "clamp" around here.) We did some a couple months ago that are 2 years old.
    Yeah, you cut them just like you would a goat. Gets a little touchier if you let them get real big. Still works fine, you just need to shred the cord/vessels good with the edge of your knife blade instead of pulling - helps make sure things clot up good.
     
  5. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    I agree my friends that banding is the way to go. I band a dozen animals per year all with positive results. Painless, a one person operation, add some liquid iodine once the band is in place and periodically give the area a look see for any problems (rare) or when the sack has been pinched from the body. If finding both testicles becomes a problem just wait one more week and try again. I personally can't imagine performing this any other way. Hope our info helps....TN John
     
  6. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    If I had my druthers and time, help and the right size clamps I would always use the burdizzo.

    I like the bands, but the Ag people say it is the worse way to castrate. I bought a bander and the second calf I banded turned out badly. A non-functioning bull that brought $.55 when steers were bringing $.90. I quit that.

    Right now the penalty on a bullock is no more than $l5 per head, and a bullock will put more than enough extra weight on to offset that. I doubt that I will ever use the bander again.

    Ox
     
  7. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Ox, we banded a couple this spring and one of them swelled up terrible above the band. It almost looked like an udder. We had to catch him up and give him abx. It finally drained and now looks almost normal.
    I like the clamp better too, even though banding is so much easier.
     
  8. john in la

    john in la Well-Known Member

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    I think the burdizzo method is the best of all if you have help.
    I am usually by myself so I use the rubber bands most times.
     
  9. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    Here is another vote for banding.
     
  10. midkiffsjoy

    midkiffsjoy Bedias, Texas

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    I admit, I band my goats......but when it comes to calves it's cut em everytime. We used to make a race outta it, who could get the calf to the ground fastest and then dad does the cutting. If we only had a couple he makes one cut and then pulls out the white stuff (grin) and cuts them off. If we had lots to do and he was tired, it was one cut and then just rip those bad boys out. Only lost two in 30 years. One, he cut the DAY it was born and it bled out. The other was a yearling and it too bled out. Takes me longer to band a goat than it ever did to cut a calf.
     
  11. Celtic Herritag

    Celtic Herritag Celtic Heritage Farms

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    Well it's not exactly painless, specialy for docking. The poor things lie on the ground and wail for about half an hour. Poor things they look so pitifull
     
  12. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    I'm with the "banding brigade" every time for both calves and lambs, goats too I suppose if I kept them. It's quick, less stressful for the calf, doesn't leave open wounds prone to infection. In 30 years I've had one rig and he was processed through the works as a bull and I got big dollars for him.

    While other methods of castration were once used extensively here, they are now outmoded and banding is now the method of choice. It is also illegal to castrate a calf over a certain age (I think it's 5 months). Anything older has to be done under veterinary supervision. It is not seen as good stock handling or management to be have rodeo's to castrate older animals, to be putting them through that stress and pain, when it can be done much more easily at a much younger age.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  13. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I personally don't like banding. I use a scapel and with removable blades. I can castrate one in less than a minute, spray on some antiseptic and they're usually up running around the next day.
     
  14. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    No doubt about it i'm all for banding. I've heard of too many problems the other ways. By far the easiest. I just put the bander in my back pocket and band any new calves when I go out to feed them. It takes me longer to walk out to the calf barn than it does to band a bull calf. Deffinately takes the stress out of the process. Just make sure you don't wait too long.
     
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    My cattle calve year around. During fly season I do not want an open wound. Here is a little trick that will help a novice apply a band and get both testicles each time. Get a piece of flexible plastic about the size of a playing card but thick enough to be stiff. In the center of the plastic drill a 3/8 inch hole and then cut a slot from one side to the drilled hole forming a slot. When you are ready to band the calf restrain him on his back, reach into the belly area above the scrotum and work both testicles into the scrotum and place the plastic card between the scrotum and the belly. In so doing the testicles cannot retract and you can easily apply the band and trap both testicles below the band.
     
  16. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Question:

    Every Bander I have seen prominently displays a warning that the calf should be given a shot of Tetanus antitoxin at the time of banding.

    Do any of you banders do this? Has anyone lost an animal to tetanus?
    Ox
     
  17. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I do not give a shot and todate I have never noticed a problem. I have banded hundreds! It probably is a good idea but then what would be the consequence of the injection? I have had 2 calves that I observed to have a problem with the ear tag however. I do not put anything to sterilized the site on the pierced section of the ear either.
     
  18. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "Every Bander I have seen prominently displays a warning that the calf should be given a shot of Tetanus antitoxin at the time of banding.

    Do any of you banders do this? Has anyone lost an animal to tetanus? "

    Wouldn't it just be easier to vaccinate the calf against Tetanus within a week after birth and make sure the cow was vaccinated near the end of her pregnancy?? We always do that for our sheep. As my Vet says "its much easier to prevent than to cure."
     
  19. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks
    I think I will ask my neighbour to pinch them
     
  20. warrior

    warrior Well-Known Member

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    Done it both ways myself (cut and band). Seemed to be about the same if done right, though I have seen more problems with the band. The key seems to be age. If you do either method as early as you can locate those things the fewer the problems, though even then the band can be a little trickier to make sure everything is in place. Cut is so much more of a straightfoward process cut, locate, remove, repeat last two steps. The problems I have seen with the band is putting it on calves that are older and it is tempting to let them get older so that it is easier to make sure everything is on the right side of the band when it is applied. All said I prefer the band as I don't like the thought of open wounds. (I remember screw worms)