Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Castrating Soay lambs.  (Read 9058 times)

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2017, 08:54:26 am »
If in doubt check again in a few weeks time but it sounds good.  Going by mine once they have been done some continue to grow horns but they are much reduced in size and thickness others don't appear to continue to grow at all. I have no explanation for the difference but those that do very often end up losing them as they are fragile and break more easily.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2017, 07:18:27 pm »
They've fallen off @kanisha so think all is well!  ;D

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 10:53:59 pm »
They've fallen off @kanisha so think all is well!  ;D

Sorry, but if the testicle slips back through the ring, you won't see anything external and the little sac will still dry and fall off.  When he's older - like three or four months old - tip him up and run your hand firmly across his lower belly, below the navel and across between the hind legs.  By then, if one or more of the testes slipped back, you'll feel them inside the belly.

Another year, when you ring, after you've taken the device off, count the number of testes you have snared in the sac.  If it's not two, cut the ring off and try again a few days later.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2017, 06:32:15 am »
Oh bother! @SallyintNorth ! I *thought* I had captured both testicles when I did it, but it's the first time I'd done it unsupervised, so don't really trust my judgement. He is quite head butty (have just posted a separate post about this in the main sheep section) - could that be a sign?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2017, 07:48:03 am »
It's really not ambiguous when you've just ringed - you'll know to check another time.

The butting may be a sign, but could be coincidental.

Apart from horn growth and behaviour, a rig is only really a problem in extremely cold weather - the body heat will kill any sperm in there unless it's sub -10C.  (Many of us had unexpected fatherings after a snap of -20C a few years back :o).
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SoaysRUs

  • Joined Apr 2018
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2018, 10:44:11 am »
I've found this useful thread in my search for the same information.  I'm used to big sheep suffolks/texels and big goats Anglo-Nubians.  Applying elastration rings was never a problem (I've done loads) - never any issue with whether the testicles were in the sack.  It's not the same with my Soays - I've got two ram lambs and I can feel the testicles still up high above the scrotal sack several days after birth.  In my opinion there is no point in applying an elastration ring until I am certain that the testicles are in the sack.  Where I stand if this hasn't happened in 7 days I don't know - it will cost an arm and a leg to surgically castrate them.  I've also seen the website that states 8-14 weeks (which is quite an excessive time IMO), but that is not a UK website.  I am quite sure that elastration rings weren't initially tested on native breeds like Soays, but that view-point still doesn't defeat the UK law vs. animal welfare.  What a conundrum - any thoughts would be welcome.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2018, 08:46:35 am »
A lot of us with tiny and primitive breeds do have to stretch a point with the 7 days with some lambs.  I find most of mine are do-able by day 7 but the occasional one needs a few days longer - but I don't have Soay and they are even smaller!

When I was on the Cumbrian upland farm, the farmer there was very experienced with burdizzos, so I used to ring the ones I could by 7 days or thereabouts and anyone not ready would get burdizzoed by the end of the first month.  We found it very effective, although you really do have to have someone with heaps of experience to be sure it's done right - the testes shrink to nothing very very slowly, so if the job wasn't done properly you would have viable tups of which you weren't aware.

One year we had 4 we hadn't burdizzoed within the first month so I waited until the vet was coming for something else and got the vet to castrate them.  That vet made it clear he would prefer to do the job before the end of the first month, and in fact I felt the burdizzo was a better option for the lambs too, so we made sure we burdizzoed all the unringed ones after that.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2018, 12:38:09 pm »
I don't think the castration police will come and check on you if you ring Soay later than your 7 days window.  Soay testes are tiny and pop back up quickly.  I see it as a welfare issue to ring too early, as the ring being the size it is, there is a likelihood that even if you get it on, the testes will slip back through it, or part way through it, which would be exceedingly painful.  Back when we kept Soay, we did on occasion not ring until 3 weeks, with no noticeable pain to the lamb.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

SoaysRUs

  • Joined Apr 2018
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2018, 02:56:43 pm »
Thank you both for your replies, it sounds as though there might be a fair amount of welfare sense in checking regularly until we are sure that things are where they should be and ringing as soon as we feel confident that things are where they should be and a suitable size.  I don't think I would feel confident with a set of burdizzos.

Black Sheep

  • Joined Sep 2015
  • Briercliffe
    • Monk Hall Farm
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2018, 06:16:35 pm »
Asked our vet a similar question recently as our Hebridean tup lambs' testes were too high/small to ring at 7 days. Although that is the legal limit for elastration without anesthetic the vet can do them later - with a local - or with a burdizzo or surgically. Estimated cost around 10 for them to do a later elastration. So could add up and will affect the finances for some, but is cheaper than having a whole load more fencing done to keep them in separate fields from 4 months.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Castrating Soay lambs.
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2018, 08:50:53 pm »
Well, I've tried to be strictly legal this year, and have now had to remove the band from two lambs when one testicle slid back as I removed the elastrator.  Bear in mind I have successfully castrated literally hundreds (possibly over a thousand) lambs over the last 12 years, and have previously only had to cut a ring off on maybe three occasions.

I will continue to stretch a point on the primitive and primitive cross lambs; no question the higher welfare option is to wait a few more days if they're not quite ready.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

Foxes and Soay lambs

Started by Birchlea (10.16)

Replies: 5
Views: 2631
Last post July 18, 2017, 11:56:36 am
by Davea321
Castrating Shetlands!

Started by Lorenza (7.26)

Replies: 10
Views: 4050
Last post July 18, 2017, 03:39:39 pm
by NethertonSH
will castrating 2 year old ram tame him?

Started by islaSkye (7.18)

Replies: 2
Views: 3715
Last post February 23, 2019, 06:58:04 am
by bj_cardiff
Soay prices

Started by namethatsheep (6.25)

Replies: 9
Views: 5392
Last post September 15, 2015, 02:55:15 pm
by harmony
Soay Sheep

Started by Coximus (6.25)

Replies: 3
Views: 3002
Last post June 19, 2016, 02:30:51 pm
by Coximus

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2022. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS