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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

We have a dexter bull calf that needs castrating. We plan to get the vet to do it surgically. Can anyone advise on the latest that this should be done so as not to taint the meat. (Someone has told us that the meat gets tainted if left to long.)

many thanks

D
 

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Hi,
I've heard that also, but just to let you know from another angle I just put a 2 year old Dexter bull in the freezer and he tastes great!!
I would call your vet as there are a couple of ways that it can be done, so see which way your vet does it maybe. Some people have it done around six months old and some band their calves at a few days old, talk to your vet though. Your vet may also require that you have a headgate or a chute to contain an older calf, so keep that in mind.

Carol K
 

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I don't think that it taints the meat in cattle. We had a bull that was 2 years old that we planned to keep for a bull. He got bad about getting out, so we penned him up & fed him 60 days & butchered him. We didn't castrate him, because he was so big & it would have taken him too long to get over it. The meat was very good. On the other hand, if you do plan to castrate him, the younger he is when you do it, the easier it will be on him.
 

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MacCurmudgeon
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Rumor has it that the main reason for early castration of bulls is so that the physiology of the animal will be changed to make him grow faster and put on more weight for the amount of food consumed. Economics, not flavor and tenderness apparently is the issue.
 

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Haggis said:
Rumor has it that the main reason for early castration of bulls is so that the physiology of the animal will be changed to make him grow faster and put on more weight for the amount of food consumed. Economics, not flavor and tenderness apparently is the issue.
Obviously a false rumor.
 

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MacCurmudgeon
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It is quite widely rumored.
 

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Haggis
Your rumor is based in a lot of fact. The quality that packers want is much better with steers, they will marble and grade better on the average than bulls. There tempermant is better in the feed lot and they don't waste time and energy fighting and breeding anything that will stand still :D Bulls on the other hand do grow very well and if handled properly make very good beef, one of the best eating cattle I ever ate was a young bull that was on feed with a pen of steers. The worst draw back is handling bulls at slaughter, if they go directly from truck to kill floor as a group they are usually ok, but if they get riled up before hand there will be a lot of ''dark cutters''. The meat has a very dark color that has little eye apeal :no: it does not cause it to have an ''off'' flavor but it does not sell in the meat case. If you have a single bull that you can feed away from your other cattle and he is slaughtered without undo stress he should still make you some very fine beef.
Mr Wanda
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Discussion Starter #8
Seems like we can have him castrated any time without affecting meat taste which is good news. Many thanks to all who replied .

D
 

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I was told, castrating male animals makes them think about eating and gaining weight, so they do not think about anything else. :)
 

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We do all of ours at around four to six months, there is little point to doing it when they're older, if you butcher at 16 months or there about, if they're that old, you may as well save the vet bill.
Earlier is easier on all concerned, its very easy for yourself or a vet to handle a four week old compared to a four month old.
Avoid the banding, its not reliable, and if your not experienced its guaranteed to fail.
Its only harder on older bulls as the cut is larger, and has a higher infection/healing risk.
And higher stress of any kind can produce "Dark Cutters"
Nobody can tell the difference between a young bull and a steer sitting on the dinner plate, the "tainting" is really only a possibility when the bull is several years old, and even then, he isn't tainted, just a little tougher, if you have concerns, just hamburger the big guy !!! :)
 

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Taint is a term coined by meat packers. In reality, castration probably gives them the consistancy they are looking for an sets a standard for cattle producers to meet. Having ranched for years, I've ate just about every kind of meat we've grown and I've yet to find any inedible. Bull meat can simply be of a stronger flavor but it depends on if he's been breeding and and for how many years. On the other hand, a cow that is hormonal (perhaps she lost her calf or is cycling when killed) will have a less firm meat and can have a totally different taste as can grass fattened beef instead of a grain finish. If your butcher has some skill they can practially eliminate variances in flavor.
 
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