We offer you a step by step guide to Elastrator band, bloodless castration.
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Castration is defined as the destruction or removal of the testes, epididymis, and a part of spermatic cord from a male animal e.g. ram, buck, bull. In goats, buck castration makes him a wether. Castration should be done at the youngest age possible since the stress of castration can adversely affect growth in older animals and the chances of complications increase. Castration can happen when the testicles descend into the scrotum, this can take a few days up to a few weeks. You will need a Banding tool, called an elastrator, that opens bands, someone to hold the young buck, & the bands. This one comes from Jeffers and opens approximately 1.75 x 1.50. The bands are a thick rubber ring that comes in packages of 100 count. Do not use household rubber bands! This banding method involves cutting off the blood supply to the testes with a heavy rubber band or ring. This method is most effective for young animals whose scrotal tissues have not yet become well developed. In 10 to 14 days, the scrotum and testes will slough off. Refrigerate the bands to prevent them from breaking down until it is time to use them. Band castration is a fairly easy process. It is not necessary to disinfect the elastrator or rings since this method is bloodless. If you are nervous your first time, have a sheep or goat friend assist you, or ask your veterinarian to guide you. Take a second kid, you can observe the first one, and have them instruct you while do band the second one. This castration method is the one most used by herd owners for goat castration. It is easy, quick, reliable and bloodless. The kid will experience some discomfort but quickly get over it. Administering the Tetanus antitoxin injection is covered on this page. Once experienced, you will be able to set up a medical station and vaccinate, castrate and band tails alone if necessary. Hold 1: Position the Kid on his side with his back to your assistant. Your assistant will restrain the hind legs and front legs. Hold 2: Your assistant can hold the kid in her lap, facing outward with his back to her chest, or she can straddle the goat and lift the kids back legs up so he is standing on his two front feet. Hold 3: I set them on their butt, squeeze them between my knees/calves, give the Tetanus antitoxin injections under the skin of their front leg, and apply the castration band. I stand them up, turn them around, straddle them, head first between my knees/calves and band the tail. READY? 1. Restrain the animal as described previously. 2. Even though this is a bloodless procedure, the tetanus organism can gain entry through the irritated tissue around the rubber ring. Tetanus antitoxin injections are recommended in conjunction with castration procedures. I do my injection before placing a castration band. Administer of an injection of tetanus antitoxin does require direction at first. Instructions are noted here. 3. Place a rubber ring on the prongs of the elastrator. Push it back, to close to the edge and it can release early. Turn the elastrator so that the prongs face the animals body. Expand the ring by squeezing the elastrator handles together and place over the scrotum (sack) and testes. 4. Manipulate the scrotum, straightening it and position the open band as close to the kid’s body as possible without interfering with the rudimentary teats. 5. Confirm that both testes are descended below the ring. I have found, pushing a high testicle down, into the scrotum, works better than trying to pull it down. 6. Release elastrator handles, closing the ring, and carefully, roll the ring off while you pull the elastrator away from the body, displacing the ring from the prongs, thereby positioning the ring. 7. Check to confirm that both testes are below the ring! If they are not, cut the ring off and start over.