NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: castration dilemma  (Read 1021 times)

messyhoose

  • Joined Nov 2017
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #30 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!)
Voss Electric Fence

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #31 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 ?

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #32 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!".
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #33 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.)
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

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #34 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. 
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: castration dilemma
« Reply #35 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

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #36 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 :(
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

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #37 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 

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2019, 05:46:37 pm »
Sally I think they have become a victim of their own success

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #39 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.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #40 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.
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

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #41 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.
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Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #42 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!
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #43 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

messyhoose

  • Joined Nov 2017
Re: castration dilemma
« Reply #44 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! :)

 

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