Elastration (a portmanteau of “elastic” and “castration”) is a bloodless method of male castration and docking commonly used for livestock. Elastration is simply banding the body part (scrotum or tail) until it drops off. This method is favored for its simplicity, low cost, and minimal training requirements.
Consider carefully whether castration is necessary within a particular flock. Castration is unlikely to be necessary if it is certain that lambs will be finished and sent to slaughter before reaching sexual maturity (4-4.5 months of age). For example large singles may not require castration if they are sold as fat lambs at 12-13 weeks of age. However, lambs that take longer to finish or are sold as stores will need to be castrated. • Castration should not be performed on lambs until the ewe-lamb bond has formed and become established. Castration with a rubber ring is usually performed at about 24 hours after birth. • Under the Protection of Animals (Anaesthetics) Act 1954, the use of a rubber ring, or other device to restrict blood flow to the scrotum, is only permitted without an anaesthetic during the first week of life. • Consideration should be given to the use of analgesia as basic standard good practice e.g. a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (under the cascade) or a specialised ring applicator, combined with an injector that dispenses local anaesthetic. • Under the Veterinary Surgery Act 1966, only a veterinary surgeon may castrate a lamb which as reached the age of 3 months. Legislation and codes of recommendations What analgesia could be given when performing ring castration? What is the maximum age for rubber ring castration without anaesthetic?
How long after I band the bull until the scrotum and testicles drop off?
This will vary with the size of the bull and environmental conditions. Generally, the scrotum and testicles will fall off in 10-50 days
Does banding goats hurt them?
Banding goats when they are younger seems to cause them less discomfort; however, banding them too early can lead to problems with urinary calculi (see Goat Wethers & Urinary Calculi). This can be very serious and even fatal.
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