Banding Pack Goats: How Long Should You Wait
Banding Pack Goats
Banding pack goats and when has been debated between the folks in the pack goat community forever. It seems to always get into hot debate and people are super passionate that they are “right,” yet their advise varies widely. So let me tell you how I have arrived at my conclusion of when I band my little ones. First, let’s speak about what both sides of the debate believe in, and why.
The 30 Days Crowd
Many knowledgeable people believe it’s best to band your pack goat kid at 30 days. The main reasoning being size, temperament and optimal ease of the process itself. Believers in this side speak about it being the best strategy for growing big goats. Dealing with “puberty” and then, the soon to follow rut, is very stressful and will decrease their size. They speak specifically to shorter leg length. They also believe their is a higher risk of aggression toward other goats as well as you, if they have more life with testosterone in it. And lastly, they believe the stress of the the banding itself and it’s best success should done when they are little.
The 6 Months Crowd
Others say around 6 months is the right time to band your pack goat. They feel this is the right choice for the following reasons. They believe pack goats will develop a stronger skeletal structure as well as become more muscled. They also vehemently believe it will help with urethra development (making it larger) and less likely to foster Urinary Calculi. The “opposed” to this theory say that the increase in size is so little, it’s not worth the overall “risk” of leaving them for that long.
So, here is where I stand on the issue. I feel that the opposing sides to this argument both have very valid stands and I agree with much of both positions. So…I shoot to error on the side of caution and I band at 30 days. I know…pretty wishy-washy, but here is my justification. I agree that UC is really not that big of an issue, as everyone I know who follows proper feeding and mineral practices doesn’t have issues with UC. (Diet is more important than when you band in my opinion). Click here for the suggested pack goat nutrition. So a small amount of increase is not worth leaving them longer.
It is FOR SURE that uncut bucks stay smaller and die early, by comparison to weathers. So, there has to be some validity to that part of the theory. I would also question the additional muscle as I’m looking for a lean strong “running back” style pack goat as opposed to a big chunky lineman. Too much muscle makes you slow and tire quickly. It’s just not efficient. Also uncut goats will grow MUCH larger horns. I can speak from experience that large horns look cool but are a bit of a pain to deal with. They can be harder on other goats and they make a goat harder to deal with as far as putting on gear and loading…they just get in the way. So, I’m positive some will disagree with my stand, but there it is regardless.
I hope that helps. Marc