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Advice on Castrating- No help

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brandonm_13

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Anyone have any advice on castrating calves by yourself. More times than not, I find myself without help, and I would like to castrate bull calves as newborns, but I'm not a fan of banding. Is there any other option. BTW, there is no headgate to run them through, but I do have a trailer to catch them in. As of now, I either buy some calves as steers, leave them as bull calves, or run them by a vet friend of mine who specializes in large animals.
 

buckmaster33

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I've always done it by myself when they're a day old. Of course, my cattle allow me to make this a one person job, I'm in contact with them almost everyday and disposition is a priority in my herd. I do band, but have never had any issues doing it. Just have to make sure you get them both and he doesnt suck one back in on ya...just have to let the calf relax and start over. I never really understood all the problems people have with banding. Its not really rocket science. Of course, I guess if you have a cow ready to rip your head off, you might hurry the job causing some missed ones?.....
 

Limomike

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I do about the same as buckmaster does. I band the bull calves as soon as I can. (usually within the 1st day or two because if you wait longer, they get stronger and faster) I usually just go up to the calf and rope it, or catch it while its lying down. :nod:
Like buckmaster said, cow disposition is very very important. MOst of my cows dont bother me at all, when I am banding..just come up to sniff her calf. For the difficult few that I have, I always bring some feed with me, to distract the momma, and keep a shocker right next to me, just in case.
I dont have a problem with banding either... but each has their own preference.
 

KNERSIE

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In the case of newborns banding is by far the easiest to do without help and in my opinion the safest for the calf.

Why aren't you a fan of banding newborn calves? I can understand if it was weaning age calves, banding wouldn't be my prefered method on them either.
 

Mat Man

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I have always banded as new borns.I never let one up untill I double check them.If I miss one or dont like the way it looks,I cut the band off and try again.Never had a problem with any calves.
 

larryshoat

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If you're gonna cut them and you value your fingers, you've got to have help . That is one of the reasons banding newborns is so popular .

Larry
 

hillsdown

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brandonm , I have to go with everyone else. Banding by far is the easiest for a one man operation. If you can't feel two for sure, wait a couple of days and try again. Sometimes there aren't two both down and then you have to cut them later on. Also what was said if you don't trust your mommas separate the calf from them to ensure your safety first.

Banding at one day old is a quick fix. I tag ,band ,tattoo and if necessary dehorn all at once by myself. Just get yourself a tool kit/box and bring it out with you when you go to do the calves. Is almost too convenient. :)
 

hillsdown

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I am sorry, I may have misinterpreted your question. You buy baby bull calves and then have to castrate them later by yourself ? Or you do have calves born that you need to castrate? :?
 

KMacGinley

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Get about 4 feet of cotton boat anchor rope. Make a slipknot in one end. Throw the calf. Put your right knee below the pins against the hocks and put the loop over both rear feet above the pasterns. Force both rear legs forward with your knee. Take the free end of the rope and circle 1 front leg above the pastern and the two rear legs, 4 or 5 times. Tuck in the rope to your loops. Now you have an immobolized calf. He may flop around a little, but not for long. Now take a sharp and sterile pocket knife or scapel if you prefer, and cut off the bottom of the scrotum. Lower 1/3. Pull out each testicle. Use screwworm bomb or some disinfectant. You can also give him his shots at this time. Release the calf and you are done.
 
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brandonm_13

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To answer the questions-

I don't really like banding, because it's anerobic, which can cause problems with tetnus. It takes longer for the wound to heal, and there seems to be more fly problems. Plus, I've seen bands break halfway through the procedure. The testicles still have life in them, but they're half rotted.

I buy some dairy bull calves, and I also raise beef calves. Normally I don't worry about castrating, because I sell at weaning, and you don't lose as much in money once you consider loss of gain, no infections, and no death. I am, however starting to hold back calves for freezer meat. I think bulls make good meat, but since I would kill at a smaller size than is probably optimal, I want something that is better marbled at a smaller size.
 
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brandonm_13

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Oh, and I use an emasculator to cut and crush at the same time, so the only time I would have to worry about an open blade is on the opening cut. I would use a newberry knife for that, but I don't like vertical cuts. The bottom of the sack holds more blood that a horizontal knife cut.
 

KNERSIE

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I don't really like banding, because it's anerobic, which can cause problems with tetnus. It takes longer for the wound to heal, and there seems to be more fly problems. Plus, I've seen bands break halfway through the procedure. The testicles still have life in them, but they're half rotted.

I must have been very lucky in the past as I've not encountered one of these problems when banding newborns and I've done a few in my life.

When cutting flies is more of a concern for me and when using the burdizzo (or banding weanling bulls) the tetanus risk is increasing, you can always use two bands if you are paranoid of one breaking, but even then the scrotum dries up and falls of and there is no open wound in my experience and certainly no half rotten testicles.
 
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brandonm_13

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The ones I saw like that were from an old farmer that a friend and I were doing some work for. It was cold, wet, and muddy, and tha calves were very large. Can't remember exactly how big now, but I remember they were far too large for banding.
 

randiliana

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We've banded about 50 bull calves here each spring for the last 10. Never had a broken band, open wound or sick calf yet. I'm sure it can happen, but when they are done small (we do them within 24 hours old) it sure minimizes the problems. Banded a 700 lb'r here this fall, and it worked just fine, but we used the calicrete bander to do him.
 

Cowdirt

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I have heard all the tales about things that can go wrong when banding calves. If done at an early age and given reasonable attention, I believe it's a very reliable way de-ball calves. I've been banding since 1991 and have not had a single failure of the procedure. I don't give a tetanus shot. You may question the wisdom of this but without an open wound I don't think there's a big risk. Hope I don't jinx myself by posting this!
 

grubbie

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We band, brand, and 8 way vac at about 3 months. Been doin it that way since 1980. Have NEVER had a problem with banding. The only issue we have ever had is some of the calves are a challenge to get the nutz in there at that age cause they are so big.
 

Limomike

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brandonm_13":3ufve1o4 said:
To answer the questions-

I don't really like banding, because it's anerobic, which can cause problems with tetnus. It takes longer for the wound to heal, and there seems to be more fly problems. Plus, I've seen bands break halfway through the procedure. The testicles still have life in them, but they're half rotted.

I buy some dairy bull calves, and I also raise beef calves. Normally I don't worry about castrating, because I sell at weaning, and you don't lose as much in money once you consider loss of gain, no infections, and no death. I am, however starting to hold back calves for freezer meat. I think bulls make good meat, but since I would kill at a smaller size than is probably optimal, I want something that is better marbled at a smaller size.
Brandon,
Not to argue with you, because I thought the same thing a while back. But according to a study done by the Oklahoma State University Extension for Livestock; they did a study on feeder calves and what the factors were in some of the prices being high or low between bulls, heifers, and steers. According to them, you stand to lose about $5-7 per calf, if you DO NOT castrate a bull calf. Buyers WANT a steer, not a bull calf. Same goes with horns....get rid of them if you are selling feeders.
 

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