Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hello all!

Today Will and I castrated three kids using the Burdizzo emasculatome for the first time (last year we banded, but after extensive reading and deliberation, I decided to make the switch).

I'm already glad we switched, because now I don't have to worry about infections and stinky rotten tissues!

BUT. I observed that spermatic cords are reluctant to be crushed, and a person has to pay close attention to keeping them from slipping out of the clamp until the job is done. Trouble is, I didn't think it was hard until I was on the second step (6 steps for three boys--2 per kid). So  there's a chance that I missed one testicle--the first one--by not noticing it rolling around.

Here are my questions to you if you use this castration method:
1) Have you ever experienced a fail?
2) If so, how long did it take for you to see uneven growth?
3) Did you observe it because you were watching for it out of suspicion? Or simply because it was obvious?
4) After letting them recover for a day or two, will I be able to feel the difference in the cord itself? Or do the properly crushed cords still roll around like before?
5) And finally, does anyone have an informed opinion on how long I should give a kid between procedures? Is more or less painful/inhumane to do it soon? (Probably completely subjective, I realize, since it seems impossible to gauge their pain.)

Thank you for sharing any of your experiences!

Views: 63

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

1. Yes, one testicle.

2. About a month.

3. It was obvious. This was on an 11 month old buckling, so I was making sure to take a good look once/week to make sure everything was shrinking. And after a month he was undeniably lopsided.

4. Don't know, but once the swelling goes down I doubt you'd be able to feel the difference. But now I might go feel the 4 month old bucklings that were castrated two weeks ago to see if I notice a difference.

5. I would wait a few weeks until you know for sure by sight. Depending on the age of the kid in question, maybe separate him if you're worried about accidental breeding.
The buckling I had to redo was definitely aware of what was about to happen and harder to handle, so doing it again in a few days 'just in case' wouldn't pass the humane test for me. But everyone's opinion and comfort level when it comes to these practices is different. If I decided to do it again just to make sure, I'd give him a week between pinches.

Thanks for your feedback, Jess!

Ugh--there's no way I'm doing it again unless I KNOW it has to be done. Trouble is, they're sold and leaving us next week. I suppose I'll have to just inform the buyers of my thoughts and if it needs re-doing, I can pay them a visit. I guess I was just hoping I'd be able to feel a flat spot in the cord or something, lol. I'll be interested to know if you feel something in your 4 month olds.

Thank you for sharing your experience!

We've never experienced a fail in goat kids, but I did have several failures in rams that I castrated at 6 months. I think it happened because they had wool on their scrotum, and I think that cushioned the cord enough to cause several to not crush the cord. Unfortunately I didn't realize it until several months later. I'd been using a Burdizzo on goats for several years at that point with zero fails, so I didn't realize I needed to keep an eye on them. It was quite obvious at that point! There was one giant testicle!

Now when I castrate, and I'm selling kids, I show the buyer how long the scrotum is by measuring it against my fingers. I put my middle finger against the base of the scrotum, and usually at two months, it's almost as long as my middle finger. I tell them to check every week or so to be sure that it is not getting any larger, and to check to be sure that the two are the same size. I've never had it fail on both sides on one sheep, so comparing each testicle to the other on a goat also works well. I think you start to see shrinkage within a couple of weeks at least, but not growing is also important. When they're young, the scrotum grows crazy fast.

There are some people who actually crush twice on each side, but since I've never had a failure, I consider that excessive. However, if I ever have any doubts about whether or not a cord was crushed, I do it again at that moment. I figure that he's already unhappy, and a second crunch now is better than another one down the road. Plus when I'm selling kids, I don't want anyone to have to bring a kid back for me to redo.

Didn't see this until I'd posted my original answer. I'd go ahead and "measure" the scrotums now and then check again the day they leave. If one side failed, I'd think you'd feel the difference fairly quickly because one should start shrinking and one would still be growing. Within a month, the scrotum is visibly smaller in kids that were castrated at 2 months or earlier.

Naomi D'Andrea said:

Thanks for your feedback, Jess!

Ugh--there's no way I'm doing it again unless I KNOW it has to be done. Trouble is, they're sold and leaving us next week. I suppose I'll have to just inform the buyers of my thoughts and if it needs re-doing, I can pay them a visit. I guess I was just hoping I'd be able to feel a flat spot in the cord or something, lol. I'll be interested to know if you feel something in your 4 month olds.

Thank you for sharing your experience!

Thank you for your feedback, Deborah. I know sometimes you get busy and don't weigh in right away...but this time I hope the slight delay means you have been enjoying sweet little baby cuddles!

I really should have thought of doing it right away like you said. I seem to completely lose my wits when it comes to causing the kids pain.

Observations so far, which are surprising to me: This was three days ago, and their testicles continue to seem swollen and stiff even today. I keep reading that people think the kids bounce back the same day, but our boys were mincing around gingerly for at least two. In fact, today was the first day I saw any normal jumping and running. And finally, I can see minor abrasions where I applied the clamp. I did not administer tetanus antitoxin prior to clamping. I wonder how commonly people end up scraping kids, and wonder if there are tips for being better at this.

I've never checked the testicles daily, so can't say how they feel or appear every day afterwards, but if they are all the same on all four testicles, then you probably did the deed because you only had doubts on one. So, it's likely that they all succeeded because I doubt they would have all failed. And I really would not expect a testicle to feel swollen and stiff if you had not changed something about it -- in other words, you castrated them.

I'm not sure why you would see abrasions from the Burdizzo. I only see a little crease in the skin. It's described as bloodless and that it doesn't break the skin, so no chance of tetanus, and that has always been my experience. Did you just close the Burdizzo straight down and then release? Did you have someone else holding the kids' legs securely so they couldn't kick. Did you actually see blood, or did it just scrape the top layer of skin?

I like doing blind tests with family members whenever I try something new like copper boluses or a new castration method. The first time I castrated kids with a Burdizzo, my daughter didn't know it. She came inside, and I asked her how the bucklings were doing. She said they were fine and asked why. I told her that I'd just castrated them about 15 minutes earlier, and she was really shocked because she had no idea. 

Yes, I have been enjoying my grandson. My daughter finally had her baby -- Edward Grady Barfoot. It was quite an ordeal that kept me busy all week. She spent all of Sunday in prodromal labor, which is like real labor, but she wasn't dilating. Then she went into real labor Monday night. The baby was not born until noon Wednesday. So, I spent the rest of Wednesday sleeping. Then I went back to the hospital Thursday and spent the night with my daughter so her husband could come and get a good night's sleep before bringing baby home on Friday. I've been here since August 15, and since the little stinker took so long to make his appearance, I have to leave when he is only four days old, which is tomorrow.

I ended up feeling little bumps on the cords of the bucklings that were castrated a couple of weeks beforehand.

Oh my god, I feel silly for not thinking of using my fingers to measure against! Seems so obvious.

I observed what may be considered minor abrasions at the clamping site, too. No blood, but the skin definitely was roughed up a bit.

Congratulations, and so sorry you only had a short time to enjoy little Edward!

Thanks again for your feedback. Yes, I felt that Will did an excellent job holding the kids as still as possible, I did a straightforward job of clamping, and saw no blood or anything at the site right then--just a pink line on the skin. That's why we were surprised the next day to see redness, but just like what Jess describes above--roughed up skin is a great description.

All are well now! The buyers are coming today, and I'll be sure to employ and demonstrate your technique of measuring scrotum for future reference! Thank you as always for the tips!


Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

I've never checked the testicles daily, so can't say how they feel or appear every day afterwards, but if they are all the same on all four testicles, then you probably did the deed because you only had doubts on one. So, it's likely that they all succeeded because I doubt they would have all failed. And I really would not expect a testicle to feel swollen and stiff if you had not changed something about it -- in other words, you castrated them.

I'm not sure why you would see abrasions from the Burdizzo. I only see a little crease in the skin. It's described as bloodless and that it doesn't break the skin, so no chance of tetanus, and that has always been my experience. Did you just close the Burdizzo straight down and then release? Did you have someone else holding the kids' legs securely so they couldn't kick. Did you actually see blood, or did it just scrape the top layer of skin?

I like doing blind tests with family members whenever I try something new like copper boluses or a new castration method. The first time I castrated kids with a Burdizzo, my daughter didn't know it. She came inside, and I asked her how the bucklings were doing. She said they were fine and asked why. I told her that I'd just castrated them about 15 minutes earlier, and she was really shocked because she had no idea. 

Yes, I have been enjoying my grandson. My daughter finally had her baby -- Edward Grady Barfoot. It was quite an ordeal that kept me busy all week. She spent all of Sunday in prodromal labor, which is like real labor, but she wasn't dilating. Then she went into real labor Monday night. The baby was not born until noon Wednesday. So, I spent the rest of Wednesday sleeping. Then I went back to the hospital Thursday and spent the night with my daughter so her husband could come and get a good night's sleep before bringing baby home on Friday. I've been here since August 15, and since the little stinker took so long to make his appearance, I have to leave when he is only four days old, which is tomorrow.

Reply to Discussion

RSS


Order this book on Kindle!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Need goat equipment?

Yogurt Maker

2-quart milk pail


Mineral feeder (put minerals in one side and baking soda in the other!)

© 2017   Created by Deborah Niemann-Boehle.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service