Bands on a calf

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ashley01

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I was just wondering, could anyone give me the step by step on using a banding gun to castrate my dairy feeders? I haven't done it in a LONG time, dont want to mess up :oops:
 

flaboy+

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Here are the steps I use.

1. Get bander loaded. Get rubber band on the bander.
2. Catch the bull calf and restrain however necessary to get a hold of his sack.
3. Reach down and feel the sack to ensure that both of the testicles are down.
4. While holding the sack, fully open the bander. Mine has a lock in full open.
5. Go up with the bander while pushing or pulling the sack and testicles into and through the band on the bander. Once you have the sack through the band, MAKE sure you feel TWO testicles below the band line in the sack.
6. Sometimes the testicle will pop backup into them and you will need to work it back down into the sack and below the band. I never release the bander until I have double checked to make sure both testicles are down in the sack.
7. Release bander.
8. Get out before helper lets go of him. :lol:

I work my bull calves in the squeeze chute just because that is the easiest way to catch them for me. I usually get in with them and catch their head because my squeeze will not close far enough to hold a small calf. I usually have a helper hold the head (nose) once I catch them while I sort of straddle his back. Once we have control of his head I start at step 3 above. MY experience is usually once I start messing around down there they seem to calm down some. This is not always the case though.

I would be interested to hear how others are capturing their young bull calves for banding. I am getting to old to wrestle with these little fellers.
 

milkmaid

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I do it similar to the way flaboy does it. I do try to get it done on my bottle calves before they're a month old. One person job for me - I'll either pin them in a tight corner, or throw a rope and snub. They usually move less with the latter; they'll lock their knees and pull back against the rope, and don't really notice what you're up to at the other end until it's too late. :lol:

I've also tried throwing them down and banding them that way, but it's a lot easier to miss one.
 

CattleAnnie

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Just an add on here.

If you don't get both nuts in the band the first time, I'd highly advise putting a new band onto the bander.

The only wreck we've ever had banding was once when Honey had a tough time banding a Limo sired calf with a super short scrotal neck...took him about three tries to get both nuts into the sac.

About two weeks later the poor calf's scrotam sloughed off, but not the testes.... had to take him to the vet to have a bit of cutting and sewing done.

The vet said that because the band had been stretched so many times during the application, that it had lost enough elasticity to be able to effectively castrate, plus with the scrotal length being so short so the band was probably only on half the testes and not above them.

Still, all told and done, not bad luck with only 1 screw-up out of nearly a thousand calves. Go banders!

Take care.
 

dun

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After you release the band, make sure you check and count 2. If not, use a cutter and remove the band and start over

dun
 

cfpinz

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I would be interested to hear how others are capturing their young bull calves for banding. I am getting to old to wrestle with these little fellers.

I try and catch them all the day they are born if possible, if I can't catch one then I run him up in the alley and slide a board behind his butt the next time we work cows, my old headgate wouldn't hold them. Slide another board behind their legs and it keeps your shins from turning purple. I just bought a new For-Most chute and looking forward to putting it to work in the next few weeks. It looks like it will squeeze down pretty far but I haven't used it yet. (Tried to get the wife in there but she's too smart for me. :lol: )

cfpinz
 

Alan

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I'm planning to band this years calves with in 24 hrs of birth, when I first check them.

Does anyone that does this notice a difference in the calves after banding? Loss of appetite, loss of vigor?

Thanks,
Alan
 

dun

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Alan":ysstonk0 said:
I'm planning to band this years calves with in 24 hrs of birth, when I first check them.

Does anyone that does this notice a difference in the calves after banding? Loss of appetite, loss of vigor?

Thanks,
Alan

Nope

dun
 

Susie David

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Keep a pair of cutters handy, we use a small pair if dykes, just on the off chance that one slips out of the band and you need to start over. Be sure to leave plenty of sack, we have the stones in the botton of the sack. DMc
 

lkcows

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You should also consider giving a dose of tetanus antitoxin to the calf at the same time you band if tetanus is a problem in your area.

I've never had a prolem with calves acting differently after banding.

Lorena
 

backhoeboogie

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There's great advice here. I get mine banded the first day, after they nurse and lay down. Seems like no stress at all for them. I have been out of pocket/out of town and my bro-in-law took care of some for me.

Since I don't live down there, I bought a big pistol carrying box. It will hold the bander, bands, ear tag applicator, ear tags, syringes, a nursing bottle and powder cholesterol etc. There is more real estate in that box than I thought. Anyway, those little boxes are waterproof, dustproof etc. You can bet some day you are going to be working in a muddy/raining environment. It is also nice to hand off the box to someone who if filling in for you. There is room in there for a good sharp razor/side cutters/end nips/zip lock bags etc. The foam top shelf holds the important stuff pretty tight and the box is pretty deep. It helps me keep up with EVERYTHING.

The only thing I didn't see in this thread of replies was the age of the bands. Bands are cheap. I toss out old ones. I buy new ones each year. I also look closely at the packages I buy to ensure they are fresh.
 

Bama

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Very good advice here the only thing I'll add is a trick for holding the little guys in a big headgate. Most older cows will stick their head through and are a lot easier to catch. Calves have a tendency to jump though with feet first. On big headgates this can be a problem to catch. Now the trick part. Open the headgate as wide a possible and take a section of 1" or 2" PVC pipe. Heat this with a heatgun or carefully over a fire. ( don't let it get to hot to fast ). After its hot bend in to follow the shape of the gate. Let it cool. Wiping with a wet rag speeds up this process. After its cooled attach to the gate with long screws. This will allow it to catch one of the smaller guys. Note don't let it stick to far down or it will close on itself and not be small enough in the center.
 

flaboy+

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Alan":z3cqa5kc said:
I'm planning to band this years calves with in 24 hrs of birth, when I first check them.

Does anyone that does this notice a difference in the calves after banding? Loss of appetite, loss of vigor?

Thanks,
Alan

Nope difference I have seen. I wait until they are fighting size just for the fun. :lol:

Actually I have a hard time finding them at one day old so I wait until I am sure of what I have.
 

OklaBrangusBreeder

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Generally agree with all that has been said...

I don't mess with the head gate. This time of year, all my cows come to a feeding pen about 4 hours a day to eat hay. The first time the newborn calf follows momma into the feeding pen, I'll nudge him over to a secure area. Once there, I grab the little critter by the ankle and flip him over and set on him. My dad comes behind me and does the banding. Works fine if you have two people for the process.
 

dun

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Gliderider":gcz86vvl said:
So what happens if you miss one? Is he still considered a bull? (Able to breed?)

A bull with a retained testicle will have decreased fertility, but they can still get a cow pregnant. I've been conversing with a friend of mine that had a bull calf that neither nut had descended so he just ran him in the feedlot with the others steers and heifers. The nutless wonder is gone, but he has had 4 calves born in the past 2 weeks from the heifers in the feedlot that were only exposed him to and steers.

dun
 

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