Castrating Questions

I couldn't find a category for this, so I thought this might be an ok place to ask.  If a buck is not going to be used for breeding, what age do you castrate him?  I've heard 4 weeks, I've heard 8 weeks.  I have a 6 week old that I will be keeping intact and he is already acting very bucky.  I have a 4 week old that is going to be wethered, and he is not bucky at all, so I'm guessing the change will take place before he is 6  weeks old.  If I wait untill he is 8 weeks old, will he revert to being sweet once he is castrated? 

Also, how do you all do it?  I am mostly interested in hearing about the bloodless methods, such as the Ritchey Nippers or the Burdizzo and their success rates and ease of use.


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  • Between a month and two months. I like to get that stress out of the way before they're weaned and go to their new home.

    Katie L Zollinger said:

    Deborah, what age do you castrate at?

  • Deborah, what age do you castrate at?

  • I have not yet decided if I will wether Oviedo. He seems to be taking the dairy type body where his brother Santiago is very masculine. He could probably use more with but he has excellent length and top line which I can never catch on camera. If I decide to do it I will be using a bander.
  • Some people wait until at least two months because they think that it lessens the risk of urinary calculi (stones). Other say it is 100% diet related -- don't feed grain or alfalfa to wethers, and they won't get stones. If you're planning to use him as a teaser buck or heat detector, then leaving him intact longer seems to make him more useful in those roles.

    The acting bucky thing varies from goat to goat. Some bucks act like that when they're a day old. Some does even act like that sometimes. I know there are people on the net who say they've had a two-month-old buck impregnate a doe, but IF that happened (and it wasn't someone else jumping a fence), it is really rare. I've had six month old bucks who couldn't figure it out. I think sexual maturity can vary a lot from one line to another. Jobi goats seem to mature early; Rosasharn much later -- just two examples of lines I'm familiar with.

    I've tried surgical, banding, and the Burdizzo, and the Burdizzo is my favorite by far. It's the only way I do it now. There are instructions for using it on FiasCo Farm's site, and she recommends it over the Ritchey Nippers. As far as I know, I've had no failures. I hold the cord with one hand while I crush it with the other. From what I've heard, the people who talk about failures are talking about cattle, which is a lot harder, because you're using a much larger Burdizzo that requires two hands to operate, so you can't hold the cord while you're doing it. If you hang on to the buck for at least a couple weeks after castrating, you'll know if it was successful, because the testicles start to shrink pretty fast -- the younger you do it, the faster they shrink (probably because they're smaller).

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