castrating older ram lambs

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Scomber, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Scomber

    Scomber Well-Known Member

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    We need a wether to keep our Jocob ram company when we separate him from the flock (one three month old ewe, plus a similar aged goat that he can't have) in order to delay breeding. (We're trying to avoid winter lambing.) We've been looking for an appropriate wether, but so far all we've found is a three month old Shetland ram. What do people have to say about getting him snipped at this stage? What are our chances of success? What method would work best at this point? Bare in mind that we do not have a large animal vet available. This would have to be a DYI operation.

    Dan
     
  2. spinnDrSandy

    spinnDrSandy Active Member

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    We snipped our year old ram and it made him very ill. The vet did it in the barn after putting him to sleep. He wasn't given any antibotics thinking the area was clean. When he hadn't snapped back by the next day, I notified the vet and was given some antibotics for him. It took a while for him to get back to normal. We just had our 6-week old rams fixed and they are fine. But as you know, the younger the better. Just make sure he is covered in case of infection.
     

  3. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    If the Shetland is only 3 months, I'd make sure he's up to date on tetanus shots, & go ahead & band him. I usually wait a bit to see how horns, conformation, & temperament are developing before I castrate them, & Shetlands are smaller (fit in the bander longer), so I often band between 3-4 months. They usually go off & lie down & think it over for a while, then start running around & playing as if nothing happened. Wasn't near as happy with the ones I had the vet cut at around 5 months. Were mopey for days, & more skittish around people, plus had the risk of flies.
     
  4. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    It may not apply in your case but if you have a larger ram that has a nutsack that won't fit in an Elastrator bander there is a product called a Callicrate or No Bull bander that uses latex tubing and is used on bulls. I've used this on some of my older ram lambs and it worked quite well. It's relatively expensive so a borrowed one is best!

    http://www.nobull.net/

    The key is getting the band to the right tension without overextending it as they can at times snap after application if it's too tight. Additionally, if it's not tight enough it won't cut off blood flow and you'll have a ram with a very sore, very swollen nutsack. When I used to do custom cattle processing we once had to re-do a whole mess of in-house processor's failed bandings and it wasn't pretty at all.
     
  5. Scomber

    Scomber Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. Based on the encouraging feedback we got here, we went to look at this young ram yesterday. As it turns out, the boy in question is part of a small flock that's virtually unhandleable. Essentially wild. They broke into their owner's greenhouse the other morning and ate all the vegies being grown for his CSA. I saw one of the flock hit a woven wire fence head first at full speed, bounce off, and run the other way with no loss of momentum. They have no respect for any fence, especially the poorly set up electronet they nominally are penned up in daily. To add insult to injury, while they always escape, they'll never set out cross country never to be seen again. I think, if their owner can catch them one last time in a small enoguh pen, that perhaps they should simply be shot. I certainly wouldn't want them here at our farm.

    We drove away feeling wonderfully smug for realizing that these particular sheep were a bad idea. Sometimes the best deal is when you go away empty handed.

    Dan
     
  6. stellie

    stellie Well-Known Member

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    Virginia
    Sometimes the best deal, if both parties are not interested in keeping/purchasing, is gathering up the entire herd to a small pen, loading them up and hauling them to slaughter. You could have gotten a grand deal on the whole flock if he wanted to be rid of them ;)

    I never turn down a problem sheep -- an entire flock of them is no different. They are soon put in their places by ourselves (we quarentine for a month, so that's a barn for those guys for thirty days with people-exposure ALL THE TIME, woo!) and if that doesn't sink into their thick skulls, the home-flock will put them right.

    Ah, the good old days of picking up the cheapest thing around and making a quick buck as well as breaking in a few good animals for the old flock. How I miss it -- I'd ask where your man's trouble-flock was, but I'm stuck in Virginia and do not wish to travel more than three hours for a good deal (unless it's a horse, then I'll go ten-ish).