I…ah…WE survived another farmstead FIRST. It’s our third freshening (that’s when you breed a goat and she kids) and I’ve had the luxury of ‘the breeder’ castrating my buck kids for me. This freshening however, I had to fess up and perform the dastardly deed myself…castrating the buckling goat kids. You may think I’m cruel, but it is very necessary. While I do not own a buck (for breeding my girls), I get very attached to my goaties and much rather find good homes for my pet wethers…rather than putting them in the freezer.
A goat kid of either sex can be – that is ‘physiologically’ speaking – fertile at 7-weeks of age (though they should not be bred at that age). Intact bucks and does over 8-weeks of age should NOT be kept together because a young buck can, and will, breed a female at 2-months of age, including his mother and 2-month old sister!
I know of two methods of castration:
Cutting: This entails cutting the bottom of the scrotum off and pulling out the testicles, and/or
Banding: This requires using a tool called an elastrator to put special heavy-duty little rubber bands around the scrotum leading to the testicles. The blood circulation stops and in about 10 to 14 days, the scrotum and testes will slough off ( ie. the scrotum and testes die, rot and eventually fall off).
I prefer the ‘cutting’ method – it’s immediate and after a day or so, the kids act as if nothing happened (well, perhaps they’d tell you otherwise)?!! All went very well procedurally, although it was more difficult to grab a hold of those slippery testicles than I had imagined!!
I’d like to end on a good note! My wethered goat kids and Tinkerbelle’s twin ewe lambs have a wonderful new owner and home with Bonnie at The Lamb’s Tail. They’re only a few miles down the road…so I’ll get to visit them often…and browse the barn for great antiques too!
Tink and her lovely Shetland gray katmoget ewe lambs…