Thursday 6 September, 2012
When we started keeping Shetland cattle, the plan was to castrate any bull calves and run them on for beef. Our heifers carry Boris / Rasmie genetics at a level judged by SCBA to be too high to be the best. Funnily enough, on the Shetland trip, I never heard a breeder talk about Boris / Rasmie – their interest was in phenotype rather than genotype. But that’s another story.
Anyway, the bulls we used – Stanemore Odin and Collafirth Viking – are B/R free and when George was born, another breeder approached me and suggested that she take George for breeding. For various reasons, that hasn’t happened so we’ve reverted to Plan A.
The vet came last Wednesday and castrated George. He used a bloodless method – the Burdizzo – because of the flies at this time of year.
To be honest, George didn’t seem too bothered. In fact, Dan, who was at the head end, didn’t even know the procedure had been carried out as the calf made no reaction at all.
We also took the opportunity to tag Annie. This should have been done at birth but for various reasons was put off until this week. We won’t do that again – both the castration and the tagging would have been much easier when the calves were tiny. Both of them took a bit of holding. :-)
Still, good jobs done. If I’d stuck to Plan A and not been distracted, I’d have saved the registration fee for George and the cost of a vet visit but hey, ho, we live and learn.