Banding goats is a task that goat owners cannot avoid. Luckily, castration is not a too challenging procedure and quite easy on a goat. With or without a painkiller, the timely banding will help the animal overcome the castration with no pain and return to his normal life very soon. So when is it too late to band a goat? This article is written to provide you with an answer.
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What does banding a goat mean?
Banding is the widely chosen approach goat owners opt to castrate their goats. It is a simple, bloodless, and effective process in which a small and thick rubber band is applied to the top of the testicles using a metal tool called an elastrator.
After that, the testicles cease to develop and gradually detach from the body. Though there are different opinions about when goats should be banded, it is believed that if done in a timely and proper manner, it will be the safest method of castration.
Why banding goats?
There are several reasons why bucks should be castrated.
- Unless you raise them for meat, or else, as they grow with you, they are no longer cute and desirable pets.
- You just need only one buck to be a breeder. Choose the best of the best to breed. As a result, you will have the best herd. There is no point in keeping low-quality bucks for that purpose.
- We need to provide bucks with a separate living area to protect kids. This helps you control breeding.
- It can be difficult to handle bucks. They are more aggressive than boers or wethers, especially during the breeding season.
- During the breeding season, they really stink because they pee on themselves and their scent glands create a pungent odor.
If you would like to raise goats as pets, it is recommended to keep wethers instead of bucks as no matter how old they are, wethers are always sweet and easy to handle.
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When is it too late to band a goat?
If a goat is determined for the butcher, you can castrate it as soon as it is one week old. The ideal time to castrate a goat is when he is from 8 to 12 weeks old to allow for maximum development. The younger the animal is banded, the less stressful and painful the process is.
Too early castration can predispose goats to urinary stones as this process refrains the urethra (a tube that connects the urinary bladder to the urinary meatus to remove urine outside the body) from maximizing its size to the fullest.
Late castration can cause unintentional and unwanted breeding. Also, if castrated at this age, the animals might suffer from more medical issues and experience much discomfort.
It is said that no matter how old the goat is, whether it is 4, 6 months old or 1 year old, it is still fine to carry out the banding as long as his scrotum can fit the band. However, even at this young age, there will be precocious development and the constriction on the scrotum is much stronger. We have to put one testicle at a time into the band to perform the banding.
To answer the question “when is it too late to castrate a goat”, not all goats are actually the same, following the age suggestion is good but the banding moment sometimes needs to be based on each individual’s testicular development.
The older the goats are, the harder the banding is. Sometimes, we are not able to perform banding but operate surgical castration which involves sedation and might risk blood loss. The recovery might also take longer.
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How to band a goat?
Castration is not as difficult as it seems. If you are new to the task, ask a veterinarian or another experienced goat keeper to do it with you as this process requires at least 2 people. One will do the banding and another one will hold the goat.
Painkillers are not found necessary if the goats are banded in a timely manner. However, if you would like to do so, let them take aspirin 30 minutes in advance and 1 cc tetanus antitoxin to prevent tetanus. Though they might feel uncomfortable, they will quickly forget about it.
You need a band soaked in alcohol for some minutes on the prongs of the elastrator. This requires no disinfectant or cleaning as the whole procedure is bloodless.
Below are the steps to castrate a goat with an elastrator.
- Restrain the goat: One will keep it in the lap with his back to the chest, his face looking outward or straddle the goat, sit on his two front feet, and lift its back legs up.
- Face the prongs of the elastrator towards the goat, widen the band by squeezing the elastrator.
- Position the band over the scrotum and testes, close to the body so that both testes are under the ring.
- Let go of the elastrator and pull it from the band, ensure that the band is close to the body and the teats are not stuck in the band.
- If the band does not fit properly, or one of the two testes is not under the ring, remove the band and redo the procedure.
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1. How long does it take for a goat ball to fall off after banding?
A goat ball should naturally fall off after banding within 2 weeks at the soonest and 2 months at the latest. Check them regularly for infection.
2. Does banding hurt a goat?
It depends. Some goats will cry and thrash around, some will experience no symptoms and resume normal activities. However, slight swelling is not special. If you notice severe swelling and signs of infection such as redness, unpleasant smell, or discharge are seen, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Knowing when it is too late to band a goat is really important as it helps you determine the right moment to castrate it. Don’t wait until it is too late, I guess you do not want to see your goats end up going through a painful and bloody surgical castration.