Castrating

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Ofsailsnbales, May 2, 2005.

  1. Ofsailsnbales

    Ofsailsnbales Member

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    Greetings!
    I asked about docking and found great help! Now I'm wondering how you folks feel about castrating? Why do rams have a reputation for being so cross? Are they cross often or are is it just them being cautious towards humans? Hope to hear some opinions, farewell!
     
  2. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Unless I had a ram lamb that I thought would make great/outstanding material to add to mine or someone elses flock, they were banded.
    Sold the wethers either as pets, if they had really good fleece and good temperaments.... All others would end up on the dinner table.

    Now, if you are in an area with a strong Ethnic market, many of them like the Ram lambs with all their parts.

    Just all depends on what you want to do.

    But I do strongly believe in banding anything that will not improve the breed.
     

  3. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree, I intend to band all of my ram lambs. I think it should be done when they are ten days old. I'll have to double check that. I haven't had a ram lamb yet so I'm not sure. Mine can breed around 2-3 months old so I don't want to take any chances on them breeding their mother or aunts.
     
  4. HunterTed

    HunterTed Rockin B Farm

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    I usually wait and see how the young rams horns are coming along then I decide wether or not I am gonna castrate them. Of course I always castrate the ram lambs that are not colored right. But this is for Barbados and Black Hawaiians. All the rams that have good horns are taken to South Texas to sell to hunting ranches. The wether lambs are sold for meat or butchered for my own consumption. A very small amount of the wethers are sold as pets or for companion animals, but I usually reccomend goats for people that want a pet.
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    No, rams arn't being cautious towards humans, they are being rams and it is us that should be cautious. Pet rams or rams that have been quietened can be dangerous to the unwary. So, one good reason for castrating unwanted ram lambs.

    The other is that they are quite capable of breeding within the first year and unless you have lots of paddocks with excellent fencing to keep them separated, they can create havoc with breeding as they go back over their sisters, mothers........

    All mine are castrated. As Bergere has mentioned, if you have an ethnic market and good fencing, you can take them through as rams or cryptorchids.

    Docking and castration is usually done at the same time, along with any ear tagging of ear marking that might need to be done.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  6. Ofsailsnbales

    Ofsailsnbales Member

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    Thank you for all the replies!
    Why is that? I've never lived with goats, so I haven't been around them much, what makes them better pets?

    Now that you say that, I remember hearing that. I guess what I really wanted to ask was this: Are feral rams as "cross" as the domestic ones have a reputation of being? I have seen wild rams fighting, and they were very powerful! But would they fight like that often?

    By unwanted do you mean unwanted for breeding? Or does that include those you don't want to live with as "pet" rams as well?
     
  7. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    NEVER make a ram a pet. They are very dangerous animals especially if horned. I would think that feral rams are worse its just that they don't come in contact with humans and still retain that fear of us that is essential with rams. Once the fear is lost so is the respect and there have been some really scary posts about attack rams on here. If you want a pet, use a ewe (best) or a whether. Here is one of those posts http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=78051&highlight=ram
     
  8. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Goats tend to be far more pet-like in their attitude towards humans. Like the difference between a cat and a dog. Cats are nice, but dogs are your buddies. If you want a buddy, a goat tends to be more social. There are exceptions, of course, and I've had a couple of ewe lambs that would climb into your lap, but I sure wouldn't want a ram lamb that friendly.

    Wild animals are leary of humans, so if you're walking along a mountain trail and come across big horned sheep they'll likely move out of your way. However, if a ram is in rut, you may be plowed under. Most wild animals will avoid you, but not during mating season. It's only worse with domestic rams because they see you everyday and have lost that natural fear.

    The ram I borrowed last fall took out three fences, two of which were walls to my heavy dog kennel. He absolutely wouldn't be parted from the ewe I didn't want bred.

    Like tail docking, castrating isn't that hard. I had only one ram lamb last year and sold him intact, but this year I had only one ewe, so I had to learn how to band. I was warned that they'd be down for a few hours, but it wasn't that long for any of them. I just put them into stalls and small paddocks where their mammas couldn't wander off to graze until they were up on their feet again. Happily, most of them were up within an hours time.
     
  9. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    I have a question about casterating as well. Has anyone had trouble with the lambs testicles falling. We haven't had much of a problem until this year, alot of the ram lambs, testicles haven't fallen or they suck them bakc up so that you can't get them in the elastic. Also what is the age everyone casterates and tail docks?

    Thanks, Melissa
     
  10. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    This is common with lambs, goats, calves, etc. etc. It just takes a bit of manipulating with your hands to get both testicles back into the band. If you place your fingers on the abdomen around the sac, you can usually get them to drop again. Once you realize what you're supposed to be doing it is much easier than the first time, practice makes perfect just like with anything else!! :)
     
  11. SandraD

    SandraD Member

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    Does anyone know the minimum AND the maximum age to band goats and sheep?
     
  12. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    Well, I think it's a matter of being too big to be banded rather than too old. You can band as soon as you can get both 'nuggets' into the sac to band, and can band up until the 'nuggets' don't fit in a band. However, there are banding tools made for bulls that I've used on older ram lambs with good success, they're expensive tools and there is a science to it but if you know someone you can borrow the bander & a few bands from it's definitely worth it, in my opinion.