NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Castrated Calf  (Read 747 times)

Faye.Lear

  • Joined Mar 2016
Castrated Calf
« on: March 25, 2019, 02:07:54 pm »
We castrated our bull calf at one week old with our usual practice of using a rubber band, this was the last week of November and they are still attached! Although shrivelled!

He's fine and it all looks ok but is this normal? I don't remember this with my others!
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2019, 02:22:51 pm »
As long as they’re shrivelled you should be okay.  It does take a while for the sack to drop off.

However, it’s probably worth checking he doesn’t have any remnants left inside.  It would take longer to come away if the band went around the testicle rather than the cords.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Faye.Lear

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 03:10:27 pm »
Thanks for your advice Sally,

Thinking I'm gonna get the vet out to put my mind at ease.
In the time since I last posted, it hasn't come away but it looks as if its tearing skin above the band, it just doesn't look right to me?

He himself seems fine and there's no swelling or nastiness.



arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 05:37:43 pm »
Merely as a matter of curiosity, a question:
When I was a lad piglets were castrated (by some folk I knew) with a razor blade and calves were done with a pair of castration "pliers/pinchers" or whatever they are called.  Big ouch! 

But who says putting a very tight elastic band around a bull calf's essentials is less painful/more humane? 

It sounds more humane, but those of us with a pair of b*****ks know how sensitive they can be.  I am just wondering whether the elastic band is any better than a short sharp crunch to connecting tissue.
Any thoughts anyone ??

[Edit: I actually typed the word "b o l l o c k s" into my post, but you will see it above as "b*****ks".  Well, I've just tricked the forum's word filter by this edit and I'm not going to apologise.]
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 06:20:06 pm by arobwk »

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2019, 05:44:19 pm »
I quite agree Arobwk. How on earth can cutting off the blood supply be painless. I no longer castrate my male lambs as I think it's cruel.
I have had bullocks castrated with Burdizzo pliers and a local anaesthetic and they don't appear to feel it. Seems much more humane than an elastic band.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 06:10:48 pm »
Bloodless castrators (burdizzo) would be my first choice, but it’s a two person job and the operators must be very skilled.  Now I’m on a very small farm with just two calves a year, I don’t have a second experienced person, so I go for the sure, safe, and if done correctly and within the first few days, appears to be no more painful than a dead arm when you’ve slept on it, elastration.  I was worried I maybe hadn’t got Luther’s, he showed absolutely no sign of pain or distress whatsoever.  (I had got them.)

It’s a trade off, whether to castrate lambs or not.  If you have the facilities to separate entire males from all the females at no more than fourteen weeks, and can cope if you have to keep entire males longer than planned, then not castrating is certainly an option.  It’s not for us, so we choose, again, elastration, in the first few days if the testicles are big enough.  As we increase the size of our sheep, small testicles should become  thing of the past, so we should be able to do everyone at 24-36 hours, when they show very little discomfort, and only fleetingly.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2019, 09:06:48 pm »
Over many years I have done all of the above methods personally ,  Piglets  with  a  scalpel    Calves   with  a scalpel / burdizzo /  rubber ring      Lambs  with  scalpel  / burdizzo / rubber ring  .   Burdizzo  causes the testes to swell  Scalpel  can get fly problems or infection  Rubber rings  can cause short term pain or rarely an infection .I am lambing outside and ring from 3 to 10 hrs after birth even in the rain , so long as they have suckled and see NO reaction at all in the lambs , this took a lot of thought and testing on my part plus discussion on other forums with braver people than me

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 12:07:42 pm »
Over many years I have done all of the above methods personally ,  Piglets  with  a  scalpel    Calves   with  a scalpel / burdizzo /  rubber ring      Lambs  with  scalpel  / burdizzo / rubber ring  .   Burdizzo  causes the testes to swell  Scalpel  can get fly problems or infection  Rubber rings  can cause short term pain or rarely an infection .I am lambing outside and ring from 3 to 10 hrs after birth even in the rain , so long as they have suckled and see NO reaction at all in the lambs , this took a lot of thought and testing on my part plus discussion on other forums with braver people than me


Agree I have not noticed adverse reaction from bull calves when we castrate with a ring. With lambs the reaction is less severe the younger you put the ring on, so I'll ring from 24 hours old. Even the lambs that do react within an hour they are back to normal.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 08:19:49 pm »
Fair enough - each to his own. What's an hour of pain between friends? :thinking: 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Castrated Calf
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2019, 09:59:25 pm »
If it was an hour, I’d agree with you.  Done correctly and when they are young enough, many walk like they’ve got a wet nappy for a few minutes, some lie down flat for a few minutes but rarely more than ten.  If a lamb is other than 100% right after half an hour there’s something very wrong, and it’s rare for it to be anything like that long.

As I say, we don’t all have the facilities to keep the males safely separate, especially those of us with slower-growing breeds who need or benefit from two summers, so it’s a case of choosing the appropriate solution for the circumstances.

I did use the burdizzo on my lambs when I had the option, but again, it’s a significantly worse option unless the operators are highly skilled.  Our vet wouldn’t offer it, only surgical castration at a month old, and I deemed the risk of flies on a wound to be the greater evil.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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