Cutting Bucks

Cutting Bucks

There is an age-old debate going on about when to castrate bucks and how to do it. Honestly, a lot of it is a personal preference and depends on what you are doing with your bucks. If you are going to use them as pack goats, we recommend banding them at 4-6 months because it allows their urethra to more fully develop to prevent urinary calculi and prevents them from going into a rut which will save your nose from their stinky smell and wacky behavior.

Cutting before rut also helps with their overall demeanor and bonding for packing. If you plan to use your bucks for breeding before you cut them, consider the California Bander, Burdizzo or surgical castration method. The buck’s testicles will be too mature for the standard banding method. Adults can still be banded with the proper tool but many in the community frown on this. You will need to decide for yourself, and your environment and an individual buck will be factors in that decision.

The California Bander with larger testicles is preferred method.[video_embed url=”https://youtu.be/a8YAsUqyF4Q”]

Banding Method:

Banding is a very simple method of cutting bucks. We recommending doing it at about 4-6 months of age. This is because it allows the urethra to fully develop, but their testicles are small enough still that you can get the band around them. The constriction of the bands causes the testicles to die on their own. After about 2 weeks, the testicles and tissue will be dead, cut the scrotum off below the bands and allow to heal. The band and remaining tissue “button” will fall off naturally. Using two bands ensures they work and you can cut between them once the tissue is dead. It is possible to use a calf bander or a California band for mature bucks.[video_embed url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjQqtLgebCY”]

Burdizzo Method:

This method can be used for any aged goat. It is a crimping tool that allows you to crush the spermatic cord (Vas Deferens) which then causes the testicles to naturally shrink inside the goat’s body. This method is great because it does not cause any open wounds, but it must be done properly in order to be successful. Success is determined in the following weeks by noticeably smaller testes that continue to shrink over time. If testes do not begin to shrink, or only one does, this process must be repeated until proven successful.[video_embed url=”https://youtu.be/vyzxohLX2Js”]

Surgical Castration Method:

Surgical castrating must be done by a vet. It’s a more involved and painful process for a goat. This is a great method for older bucks when banding is not an easy option due to the size of the buck’s testicles and the stress that it puts on them. The negative side of this method is that it creates an open wound that the vet will have to preemptively treat for tetanus. The vet will cut the testicles off and leave it open to drain and heal.[video_embed url=”https://youtu.be/9scy4fekWVI”]

After Cutting Bucks:

Banamine (must be purchased from a veterinarian in advance of banding)  Banamine can do a lot for your goat after any method you choose. It helps relieve pain and inflammation as well as reduce fevers. The dosage is dependent on the weight of your goat and you just pour it down their back. From experiencing all three methods done, we recommend the banding method. The Burdizzo is our second choice followed by castration. Any method will do, it is just up to you! Our goal is to provide as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision on what’s best for your goats. Remember your goat’s temperament and your environment may influence your decision.[video_embed url=”https://youtu.be/1WJAhJ48glY”]It is important to test both your Water (Calcium Carbonate) & Grass/Alfalfa for Calcium & Phosphorus levels.  The combined ratio should be 2:1 or 3:1 at its highest.

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