The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Primitive Sheep => Topic started by: messyhoose on May 24, 2019, 09:21:53 am

Title: castration dilemma
Post by: messyhoose on May 24, 2019, 09:21:53 am
hiya, its been years since i had a male lamb to look after (got 5 ladies) but this year got given an abandoned ram lamb (north ronaldsay). They dont castrate early up here, and ronnies are so tiny they generally dont have anything to castrate for at least a month. Which goes against the "within 3 days of birth" policy- which i also believe is very early and predisposes to urolitholiasis problems.
I always want to do the humane thing, these are pets not farmed animals but i can not get him to a vet for an anaestetised castration (live on island- plane wont take lamb, boat 2 x a week takes 3 hours) so it is likely i will have to get a neighbouring farmer to do the open cut method they tend to use.
so- my question- im pretty sure it was on here someone offered me local anaestetic or something (maybe used for dehorning calves) when i asked about pain numbing agents in the past. Can anyone tell me how i can get hold of a lamb sized dose so i can make lamby as comfortable as possible when the deed is done? i know it sounds woosy ut i wouldnt expect to have surgery myself without pain relief and feel my pets deserve the same consideration. I can not leave him entire or in future he will be unable to socialise with the rest of the flock (incl the female lamb he is being reared with) Anyone help?

Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: shep53 on May 24, 2019, 10:43:50 am
Couple of points _ rubber rings are within 7 days of birth and  do not increase the chances of urolithiasis , all castration methods increase the risk BUT only if the wether is fed the wrong type of cereal based feed .   The law says that surgical castration of a lamb of any age MUST only be done by a VET .  I would suggest  BURDIZZO as a suitable alternative under 3months of age
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Fleecewife on May 24, 2019, 12:30:12 pm
What's woosy about it?  It's humane treatment of your lamb.


All the primitive breeds, especially Soay and North Ronaldsays, are near impossible to ring in the first week of life, and problems with getting a testicle caught in the ring, or both slipping back through the ring to give a rig are frequent.  So even here on the mainland, you have to choose your options.  The ruling was made for big sturdy commercial sheep, for whom the ring is the right size, not for little chaps with tiny testicles.  We no longer castrate our males as by the time they are big enough, they are impossible to catch!
With Soay, we would find that about 3 weeks was the right time to ring them, and I would argue that in Court if it came to it.  It did not cause them pain, unless it was done wrong, in which case the scissors on a swiss army knife can remove the ring promptly, to try another day.  The same thing can occur in a younger lamb.  Medics used to believe that human babies when born prematurely didn't feel pain, so some terrible things were done to them without anaesthetic, in that belief.  The age of the lamb makes no difference to any pain experienced.  I think maybe the 7 days ruling (which is more of a suggestion I think) is because by then the testicles of the average commercial lamb are too big to take either the ring or the applicator.


I'm sorry that I can't help about pain killers for the wee chap if you get someone to do an open castration for you - I would never go that way because of infection as well as pain.  I struggle with  the idea of a burdizzo too, and I think they need whoppers to get a good grip.  It makes my knees go weak.  All in all I think the normal ring, accurately applied, at three weeks could be your best choice - the rules have to be adapted by good sense and your special circumstances on a remote island.






Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 24, 2019, 01:20:42 pm
Burdizzo must be applied by vet at over one month, iirc.

If there’s someone on the island very experienced with burdizzos and has a sheep-sized set, it’s very effective and doesn’t seem to hurt at all.  You probably want him to be about a month old, I’d think.  But I cannot emphasise enough that the operator needs to be experienced.  (Experience with cattle will be fine.)

Personally in your circs I would use the elastrator, with anaesthetic first if you can get it, as he’s your pet.  For all the reasons FW gives.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: messyhoose on May 24, 2019, 07:12:13 pm
i know, i know. i agree with the law but in the real world many many folk are doing things their own way. It would cost a lot to get a vet over - but i have already asked them to call me if they are due here for another reason (eg cattle blood testing seems to be fairly regular) so they will see to lamby while here, that is my prefered route. But i am nothing if not a planner and i need a contingency plan if they do not come in the month- which locals will be castrating their own sheep (open method- i was a lambing assistant donkeys years ago on a welsh mountain farm and they did testicles AND tails at the same time by this method- tbh the lambs seemed less affected than the newly ringed lambs id seen at my previous job.
regardless of open, burdizzo or being slowely squeezed by a ring id like to offer my lamb some relief from the initial pain of any of these methods. Maybe ill see if my dentist will give me some of that magic paste he put on my gums prior to injecting anaestetic for an extraction- i didnt feel a thing and was AMAZED!
thanks for help anyhoo.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: twizzel on May 24, 2019, 07:36:44 pm
As above, surgical castration by anyone other than a vet is illegal and could land you in a lot of trouble especially when you’re discussing doing it on an open forum. Again pain relief is a prescription only drug so must come from your vet. Human local anaesthetics are not licensed for sheep so your dentist would be breaking the law and so would you. All in all I think you either wait for the vet to come for another farmer and get them to surgically castrate, or you take it on the boat to the vet if you cannot wait. Or you put it in the freezer before autumn.

Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: messyhoose on May 25, 2019, 08:55:01 am
i know you are only trying to be helpful but i really wish i lived in your world Twizzle :/
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: twizzel on May 25, 2019, 09:58:49 am
 :-\  Nobody should be advising you to go against the law though it’s there for a reason and farmers surgically castrating lambs themselves would compromise welfare.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Sbom on May 25, 2019, 11:30:52 am
:-\  Nobody should be advising you to go against the law though it’s there for a reason and farmers surgically castrating lambs themselves would compromise welfare.

I am aware of the law but...
Out of interest...how does it compromise welfare?  If done exactly the same as a vet does it using anaesthetic, painkillers and antibiotics?
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: shep53 on May 25, 2019, 01:35:49 pm
Personally what I or any one else do  in relation to the law is my / their decision , but this is a public forum and I feel that  it was necessary  to point out the  pieces of the welfare code that are law ,  which is there for every one to read , what any one does with this information is up to them .    There is a device called NUMNUTS  which delivers anesthetic  and puts on a rubber ring  available in Austrailia but would still be against the law here , but given time ??
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 25, 2019, 01:53:19 pm
:-\  Nobody should be advising you to go against the law though it’s there for a reason and farmers surgically castrating lambs themselves would compromise welfare.

I am aware of the law but...
Out of interest...how does it compromise welfare?  If done exactly the same as a vet does it using anaesthetic, painkillers and antibiotics?

When it goes right, it won’t, of course.  It’s when it goes wrong. In theory the vet can provide a more comprehensive repertoire of fixes if it starts bleeding out, or whatever.

But frankly, any farmer who’s castrated hundreds of tup lambs a year this way for his or her whole working life has way more actual experience than any vet, so is probably going to get fewer problems than some vets might. And have seen the things that do go wrong more times, too.

The law is there to stop inexperienced people doing things that cause animals unnecessary suffering.  Farmers are used to making decisions which teeter on the thin line between the law and the practical.  And island farmers (with sheep who are, sadly, almost worthless ::)) even more so, I’m guessing ;)
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Me on May 25, 2019, 08:49:21 pm

[/quote]


But frankly, any farmer who’s castrated hundreds of tup lambs a year this way for his or her whole working life has way more actual experience than any vet, so is probably going to get fewer problems than some vets might. And have seen the things that do go wrong more times, too.
[/quote]

You should get yourself a job in one of the vet schools
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 25, 2019, 09:28:52 pm

But frankly, any farmer who’s castrated hundreds of tup lambs a year this way for his or her whole working life has way more actual experience than any vet, so is probably going to get fewer problems than some vets might. And have seen the things that do go wrong more times, too.

You should get yourself a job in one of the vet schools

Not sure what you’re saying, @Me
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Me on May 25, 2019, 09:32:34 pm
It was in response to your post stating that farmers castrating a few lambs is greater experience than "any vet"
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 25, 2019, 11:41:38 pm
It was in response to your post stating that farmers castrating a few lambs is greater experience than "any vet"

Lol, you’re misinterpreting me and you know you are. :stir:

It’s a fact that no modern, young vet in the UK will have castrated as many lambs as a sixty-year old farmer with a flock of hundreds of ewes that’s been doing it that way since he were a lad.  Old farmer does hundreds every year, has done probably 10,000 or more over his working life, and most vets these days don’t get asked to castrate lambs very often. Whether grizzled old vets like yourself have done literally thousands over a working career, I wouldn’t know, but with current legislation, vets entering practise now won’t be getting called upon to do it much, will they.

I made the point clearly, I think, that the vet would have been trained to do it, and to do all the things he or she might need to do if things went wrong.


Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Me on May 26, 2019, 09:18:35 am
Noel Fitzpatrick will be relieved
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 26, 2019, 10:51:12 am
Noel Fitzpatrick will be relieved

 :roflanim:

See, I’d never say anyone but him is more experienced at fixing skeletal issues in domestic animals.  But I suspect I’ve castrated more lambs than he has ;)
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 26, 2019, 10:51:55 am
Although I now remember he’s from farming stock, so I could be wrong at that  ;)
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: messyhoose on May 26, 2019, 11:35:01 am
i havenr had time to read all the comments but Twizzle- actually the code of recommendations for livestock (sheep) states that only a vet can do surgical castration in animals OVER 3 months old- , therefore the trained/ competent farmer CAN LEGALLY preform open caastration in under 3 month olds- these lambs will not even be 2 months when done here. Also it IS ILLEGAL to use th rubber ring method after the first week of life. NOw this is a nonsense aas ronnies are no way developed enough at even a month for any type of castration! The law was designed for commercial lambs maturing much sooner than the rare breeds.

i didnt mean to start an arguement on here i just wanted some pain relief. we are NOT breaking the law- the vets here know exactly what is happening on island but this lamb is my pet not a destined for meat locker animal, and as a point of view i dislike all castration without pain relief, but going to the vet in mainland is not an option :(
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Fleecewife on May 26, 2019, 02:34:43 pm
Never mind their squabbles messyhoos.  They are enjoying themselves  ::) .


You are the one in the real situation, you know the local ways and what is allowed.


Anyway, I've lost track of whether or not you have found an accessible pain reliever for your little chap, as that was your original question.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Sbom on May 26, 2019, 02:45:58 pm
Interestingly last year I  bought a  box of castration rings from the vets, while waiting to be served I was reading the packet. It stated lambs must be done within 4 weeks of being born! When I turned the box around it said made in Australia.

Strange that different countries have different rules. 4 week old testicles on a lamb can be massive ????
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Backinwellies on May 26, 2019, 04:23:52 pm
The UK law on castration: 

61 Castration may only be carried out in strict
accordance with the law (see box below). The
procedure should be performed by a competent,
trained operator. Once a lamb is over three months
of age, castration may only be performed by a
veterinary surgeon using a suitable anaesthetic.

Shepherds should only carry out surgical castration
after having first considered and ruled out alternative
methods, in discussion with their veterinary surgeon.

Under the Protection of Animals (Anaesthetics) Act
1954, as amended, it is an offence to castrate lambs
which have reached three months of age without the
use of an anaesthetic. Furthermore, the use of a
rubber ring, or other device, to restrict the flow of
blood to the scrotum or tail, is only permitted
without an anaesthetic if the device is applied during
the first week of life.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Fleecewife on May 26, 2019, 05:06:28 pm

Furthermore, the use of a
rubber ring, or other device, to restrict the flow of
blood to the scrotum or tail, is only permitted
without an anaesthetic if the device is applied during
the first week of life.


As I said, I would argue the toss in COURT if necessary about the use of elastrator rings on primitive lambs, which have such small testicles that they can slip back through the ring, or worse, get trapped halfway through, which would cause agony.  It's time this rule was reviewed and clarified in light of what we experience in the field with such small lambs.  There is no evidence I am aware of that the rulemakers considered primitive sheep when reaching their decision on an age restriction.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 26, 2019, 05:28:40 pm
I empathise, FW, but am of mixed feelings.

I think it’s about age and stage at least as much as size. If we had tiny rings for our tiny sheep, we’d have no issue doing it by 7 days, would we.  Their testicles drop by about day 3, if not present straight away - or at least, most of my primitive boys’ have.  So if the limit has been set with reference to the feelings - physiological and emotional - of the lamb, then it is less than ideal that we can’t ring them within the 7 days.

I’ve given it a lot of thought over the years. I’ve wondered whether maybe the Combined Flock Book, the Rare Breed Survival Trust, and the relevant breed societies could get together and organise the manufacture of tiny rings and tiny elastrators. But no doubt the setup costs would be huge, and the market extremely limited.

With my flock in Cumbria, I mostly found that if I couldn’t do them by day 3, I wasn’t going to catch them easily, so would gather the new ewes and lambs up once or twice a week and do anyone not yet done, if possible.  Some would escape the gather and then be too big, or one or two might have one testicle not fully descended the first time, and be a little too big the next time.  So we bought sheep burdizzos and did anyone I’d missed when they came up to the farm - but depending on the year, they might be around 3 months old at that point, and the testicles would be a fair size.  One year we asked the vet to castrate the 4 I hadn’t ringed, and they did, but said they’d rather not do them at older than one month in future.  Well if we were bringing them up to the farm at one month, we could burdizzo ourselves, so that’s what we did thereafter. 

Now I’m without an experienced burdizzo operator, so I’m back to doing it with rings.  All the crosses are fine, I can pretty much always do them by day 7. And the fields are smaller here, so I can get them caught ;).

This year I used a Shetland again on my new entrants, both of whom are crosses, and no problems.  But last year I’d used a Heb tup on my first timers (both crosses again, and neither as small as a Heb) and one other sheep, and the tup lambs were a nightmare.  Tiny testicles, slow to drop, if you thought you’d got them and they slipped back, the scrotum was so woolly it was really difficult to remove the band....  I said never again.  If Hebs were my breed, I’d have to decide, as you have, to ring later than the guidance, or else to get someone else trained with the burdizzo.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: shep53 on May 26, 2019, 06:29:59 pm
i havenr had time to read all the comments but Twizzle- actually the code of recommendations for livestock (sheep) states that only a vet can do surgical castration in animals OVER 3 months old- , therefore the trained/ competent farmer CAN LEGALLY preform open caastration in under 3 month olds- these lambs will not even be 2 months when done here. Also it IS ILLEGAL to use th rubber ring method after the first week of life. NOw this is a nonsense aas ronnies are no way developed enough at even a month for any type of castration! The law was designed for commercial lambs maturing much sooner than the rare breeds.

i didnt mean to start an arguement on here i just wanted some pain relief. we are NOT breaking the law- the vets here know exactly what is happening on island but this lamb is my pet not a destined for meat locker animal, and as a point of view i dislike all castration without pain relief, but going to the vet in mainland is not an option :(     
   READ The Prohibited Procedures On Protected animals  2010  sheep  this adds to the 1954 code and states that  surgical castration at any age must be performed by a vet
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Fleecewife on May 26, 2019, 10:43:28 pm
From SallyintNorth:  <<<This year I used a Shetland again on my new entrants, both of whom are crosses, and no problems.  But last year I’d used a Heb tup on my first timers (both crosses again, and neither as small as a Heb) and one other sheep, and the tup lambs were a nightmare.  Tiny testicles, slow to drop, if you thought you’d got them and they slipped back, the scrotum was so woolly it was really difficult to remove the band....  I said never again.  If Hebs were my breed, I’d have to decide, as you have, to ring later than the guidance, or else to get someone else trained with the burdizzo. >>>

It's not the Hebs we have had problems with, other than trying to catch them, it was the Soay,( more 'primitive'), which were poorly endowed, when we have kept them in the past.  Our Hebs seem to have been more generous in the scrotal department than your experience and I suppose we are used to the woolly aspect :D .  Catching the Hebs had to be done individually, by rugby tackle, not as a flock, because every round-up knocks the horns off at least one four horned ewe lamb.  So really my comments are about Soay, as they are the only tiny primitive we have kept.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 26, 2019, 10:44:24 pm
Ah, thanks for the clarification.  That makes sense.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Me on May 27, 2019, 12:34:39 am
Noel Fitzpatrick will be relieved

 :roflanim:

See, I’d never say anyone but him is more experienced at fixing skeletal issues in domestic animals.  But I suspect I’ve castrated more lambs than he has ;)

And yet you are not confident in using a burdizzo
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 27, 2019, 08:22:30 am
Noel Fitzpatrick will be relieved

 :roflanim:

See, I’d never say anyone but him is more experienced at fixing skeletal issues in domestic animals.  But I suspect I’ve castrated more lambs than he has ;)

And yet you are not confident in using a burdizzo

I’ve castrated many thousands of lambs using the elastrator and am totally confident with that.

I’ve helped a very experienced burdizzo operator do maybe thirty calves and similar lambs.  I do feel confident in my own ability with the burdizzo, but not sufficiently to feel I should train someone else. 

Why is it bothering you to admit that farmers have a great deal of experience, Me? 
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: messyhoose on May 27, 2019, 09:07:17 am
ah i see Shep, yes it seems the farmers here are living in a pre 2010 era! i wonder if they are aware- i will bring it up at the sheep court. It will cause significant difficulty, but as i said before i am against non pain relief procedures i would be happy to see the law effected. Indeed i was actually at the Farm Animal Welfare Council AGM the year they discussed this issue and i stood up and asked if there were a potential for a local anaestetic for a layperson to be made available (much like for dehorning calves). They said no and suggested i change management processes to avoid having to castrate if i was unhappy about it. They seem then to have ammended the Law so the most painful procedure is supposed to be only carried out by a vet (so maybe that change was my fault!! :O ) Now thats all very well but as i said before my lamb will grow up in isolation if i do not get him castrated. I am an advocate for high welfare standards and spend time campaigning to do so. This lamb was a rescue case himself. Hence the original enquiry.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: messyhoose on May 27, 2019, 09:10:28 am
oh and when i saw it being done in Wales that was in the 90's so was still legal then. Laws change, we have to keep up with the times, and i for one am happy about that (so will the lambs be i suspect!)
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: shep53 on May 27, 2019, 10:18:02 am
There are constant changes that we as farmers ( especially us old one's ) either don't know about or just ignore , I personally have over the years surgically  castrated thousands of lambs quite a few calves and piglets   and never liked doing it  so embraced rubber rings  for calves and lambs since the 80's , I never came across the amendment so would have still performed castration with a knife in complete ignorance .  Some one must have burdizzo's and be able to help you ,  does no one have local anesthetic for dehorning calves ??                            On a different point is the lamb tagged ?
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Womble on May 27, 2019, 12:17:14 pm
I'm staying right out of the debate on the legals.

However, it may be helpful to say that if a lamb's testicles haven't dropped, (or if they head straight back from whence they came, the moment you approach them with the elastrator - I know mine would  :o ), you can usually press / massage the lamb's abdomen gently to encourage them back down.

Also, I've found that it's easiest to hold the open elastrator over the scrotum whilst doing the massaging with the other hand. Then once you're sure you have both testicles in the scrotum, you can hold them safely there with your free hand whilst you release the elastrator. Then it's just a matter of ensuring the ring isn't too high up (e.g. both of the little nipply things are outside the ring), and he's all done.

There really is a technique to it and it's only after five years that I'm finally starting to feel confident about it (even though I did do the course, etc etc). Also Sally, just to give you a laugh, we had a qualified vet staying with us for lambing this year. When I asked her if she had any tips, she replied "I was going to ask you that - you've probably done more than me now!".
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 27, 2019, 03:32:45 pm
There are constant changes that we as farmers ( especially us old one's ) either don't know about or just ignore , I personally have over the years surgically  castrated thousands of lambs quite a few calves and piglets   and never liked doing it  so embraced rubber rings  for calves and lambs since the 80's , I never came across the amendment so would have still performed castration with a knife in complete ignorance .

Thank you shep53, you’ve just furnished me with an argument to give people who ask why they should buy Red Tractor products over non-farm assured. 

To be Farm Assured, you are inspected most years, and any lack of compliance with new legislation would be picked up and addressed very promptly.

There are of course Defra inspections of all farms, not just of those which are farm assured, but these are relatively few and far between. 

So Red Tractor really does deliver higher welfare standards :idea:

(And I’m sure the same will be true of Scotch Assured and the Scottish equivalent of Defra, whose name I cannot recall at the mo.)
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 27, 2019, 03:37:16 pm
Yes that did make me laugh, thanks Womble.

The thing about these tiny primitives which you’ll only know if you’ve ringed pure ones is that at 7 days the testicles may only be very slightly wider than, or even not wider than, the hole in the middle of the standard ring.  So even someone with a perfect technique can end up with a testicle shooting back up as you remove the elastrator. 
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: shep53 on May 27, 2019, 05:23:35 pm
Sally have been farm assured since early 90's  had a number in the early 800's   and every year they send out a rule book but the inspection  only focuses on certain things eg the medicine book , holding register , is feed bought from a farm assured source and stored correctly , are dippers covered  and handling pens safe for the sheep  ,is the medicine in date and able to be locked up and the chemical store lockable , is the stock trailer fit for purpose and clean  , same for the cattle  then a quick look at some stock and a tick list   , they are more and more under pressure  to do a certain number of farms per day
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 27, 2019, 05:33:34 pm
Wow  :o

Our guy in Cumbria was excellent.  Reviewed all our documentation when I took it on (which includes statements about castration, etc, so gives them visibility of your practises), updated us each year on legislation which would affect us.  Did the checks you list and maybe two or three at random each year, so would over the course of a few visits pick up a lot of areas where we might have needed some guidance.

However, it was just becoming computerised as I left Cumbria, so could well be a different story now :(
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Me on May 27, 2019, 05:43:58 pm



Why is it bothering you to admit that farmers have a great deal of experience, Me?

Because they don't. 99.9% of farmers do not have the smallest amount of surgical skill or experience compared to even a day one vet, they are farmers not surgeons. Speaking as an Nth generation stock farmers son 
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: shep53 on May 27, 2019, 05:46:37 pm
Sally I think they have become a victim of their own success
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: twizzel on May 27, 2019, 06:07:21 pm
One of the new criteria for farm assurance this year is your vet must complete your health plan inc castration, docking, tagging protocols, vaccine protocol, antibiotic summary, illness and mortality data etc.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 27, 2019, 06:45:14 pm

Why is it bothering you to admit that farmers have a great deal of experience, Me?

Because they don't. 99.9% of farmers do not have the smallest amount of surgical skill or experience compared to even a day one vet, they are farmers not surgeons. Speaking as an Nth generation stock farmers son

In general, of course I have to agree that no farmer (except those who are vets, of course) has the breadth of experience of a fully-trained vet.  And nothing like the training to underpin decision-making when something goes wrong. 

I was citing the experience in the one specific procedure and instance, being an older farmer castrating a lamb with a knife, where it’s always been a farm with several hundred ewes, and the farmer has been castrating lambs with a knife all their life. On pure numbers, that farmer has more experience of that procedure than a modern vet is going to have.

I’m sorry that you have chosen to interpret this as a slur on the value of veterinary training and expertise.  It didn’t leave me as such.

I like to live in a world where each of us is able to recognise, value and respect the experience, training and competencies of each other.

I know that some farmers can be dismissive of “college boys” (as I’ve heard them refer to the educated but often practically inexperienced people who tell them how to farm under the various environmental schemes, etc).  And some vets - usually the more recently qualified ones, in my experience - can be equally dismissive of some of the old farmers and their practises.

As a well-educated woman myself, who came to farming later in life but had the opportunity to work with a third-generation farmer on the Cumbrian uplands, I found it endlessly fascinating and enormously enlightening to open myself to the benefit of that man’s lifetime’s experience, and the received wisdom of his family and friends.  For sure, some of the practises he and his peers undertook could do with phasing out, but in general, if the reasoning was sound, they were not resistant to doing so.  Thankfully we had an excellent vet, of farming stock himself, who treated us with respect and was accorded the same.  We developed a mutually rewarding working relationship over the years.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Fleecewife on May 28, 2019, 12:55:51 am
I think we are drifting off topic here, with a lengthy discussion, which is interesting but does not answer the OP's initial question about sourcing painkillers for his lamb.  I don't think anyone has answered that yet.
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: kanisha on May 28, 2019, 05:42:23 am
Speaking personally and having looked at this subject for the very reason the op posted. Firstly the seven day rule is based on a study where the maximum age for castration was done at ......7days becausr i'm guessing no one thought it necessary to continue the study beyond this .....  As i can legally band beyond 7days here and Ouessants are not easy or reliably done at this age. I personally have never managed before 10 days at the earliest. I have found through trial and error erring on the earlier the better that this isn't the case.


Doing the lambs at a very early age before the testicles are loose and dangly seems to be more un comfortable not less. Optimum range is around 20 days with the proviso that some are not ready until a little later.


Banding is done with elastic band and no local having discussed this proceedure with my vet he is happy for me to do up until the age of four months there is no legal ruling here.  To the op do as you feel is right with the situation and circumstances as they are. Do your reasearch i looked at a study where a comparison was based on a variety of techniques if memory serves me right castration with local produced a higher cortisol result than without!
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: shep53 on May 28, 2019, 08:09:54 am
  Some one must have burdizzo's and be able to help you ,  does no one have local anesthetic for dehorning calves ??                            On a different point is the lamb tagged ?
Fleecewife
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: messyhoose on May 28, 2019, 09:29:41 am
thanks guys. yes i do extensive research (that ammendment to law never came up in my searches until i actually typed in the title of the ammendment.) Having previously discussed with my neighbours as to what they do, it has opened up the whole issue here now too! Seems folk didnt know of the ammendment, and they are all keen to do best practice, so look forward to seeing new ideas to address the whole castration dilemma.
no, i think everyone has angus cattle here, which being naturally polled means farmers dont have to do dehorning here!!
yes my guys are ear tagged. as a point on that when i worked down south with goats and sheep i always took the goats to the vet so they were disbudded, castrated if necessary, AND ear tagged all while fast asleep- goat kids make much more expressions of pain to procedures- though i am not saying sheep are hardier- it is just sheep instinct to not show pain/ illness (stoic as a sheep indeed). I never had ram lambs to castrate (the few we had were sold as breeding rams).  I dont ear notch, though it is still practiced here :/
i have just joined a new vet practice (there are only 2) who it seems all the farmers here use- meaning they are more likely to visit the island, meaning i will be able to get lamby "done" by a visiting vet in due course! :)
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: Fleecewife on May 28, 2019, 03:59:44 pm
  Some one must have burdizzo's and be able to help you ,  does no one have local anesthetic for dehorning calves ??                            On a different point is the lamb tagged ?
Fleecewife


 ??? ???
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: shep53 on May 30, 2019, 03:27:00 pm
You said no one had answered the original question , Local anesthetic  is used by farmers to dehorn calves and by vets to castratre
Title: Re: castration dilemma
Post by: messyhoose on June 07, 2019, 10:06:08 pm
hi shep as i said no one here has horned cattle so no dehorning anaestetic available. also vets cost bout £500 for a private visit on island (but that is not the only problem- when i had a sick ewe last year i tried to get them to come but they were short staffed and would not visit) hum. but thankfully there is a visit to the island scheduled for next week so hope the wee lad will get seen then (tho see other posts to see why not!!)