knife castration?

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royB

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I've been taking my bull calves to the vet at weaning and having them castrated. They have done real well so far but I will spend half a day loading, driving, unloading, waiting, etc to get it done. I know alot of people use bands, and I actually have one but the vets around here all cut bulls.

My question is, how hard is ti to cut one? The band sounds very easy, and yes I can count to 2, but I'm really concerned about tetnus (sp?). The flys are another issue. Whet fly spray is best when cutting a bull and do you need it when banding.

These are 700lb 5 mth old bull calves. I have a squeeze chute. Have watched the vet cut several times, it seems the trick is to pull the cord not cut it.

Or if you have compelling reasons to band I'd like to hear those as well.

thanks,

Roy
 

jt

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royB":32efzce2 said:
I've been taking my bull calves to the vet at weaning and having them castrated. They have done real well so far but I will spend half a day loading, driving, unloading, waiting, etc to get it done. I know alot of people use bands, and I actually have one but the vets around here all cut bulls.

My question is, how hard is ti to cut one? The band sounds very easy, and yes I can count to 2, but I'm really concerned about tetnus (sp?). The flys are another issue. Whet fly spray is best when cutting a bull and do you need it when banding.

These are 700lb 5 mth old bull calves. I have a squeeze chute. Have watched the vet cut several times, it seems the trick is to pull the cord not cut it.

Or if you have compelling reasons to band I'd like to hear those as well.

thanks,

Roy

it is not hard to cut a calf.. if you have seen it done, do what you saw.. cut the bottom of the sack off and pull them out... making sure you get the cord too.. i personally would not want to cut one at 700# and i usually will not cut one in the heat of the summer.. just a personal choice.

the older the calf gets, the harder it is on you and him. and a 700# calf can really hurt you if you are not careful. i usually cut all mine no later than 400# and am seriously thinking about going back to cutting them at birth.. that is the easiest time, maybe not the best, i dont know, but definitely the easiest.

i have never banded, but am not against it. just would have to make sure you give the tetaneous shot. i would lean more towards banding a 700#er.. just my preference.

jt
 

certherfbeef

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I use a callicrate smart bander. Very simple to use. Just ratchet till it won't go any more. Then use an ear tag knife to cut the band. Comes w/ a instructional video and a few bands. I band shortly after weaning most times. Never had any problems. (knock on wood) Got mine at the feed mill.
 

hillbilly

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Trust your gut. If all the vets in your area cut with a knife there might be a reason.
I was a little nervious the first time I cut a calf, you get more confidant with each calf. Pull the cords as far as possible then start twisting them.
Most will come on out, if not cut them up close.
I cut the first week of May no matter the size of calf.

Hillbilly
 

Dee

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I used the callicrate last year on a few #700, and I found it rather cumbersome to hold it, get between the bulls legs, hold the sack and ratchet. Maybe I lack coordination?!? This year I will be using the "California Bander", which I hope goes well. I only did 1 bull with it last year so no real experience. Here is a web site for it. http://www.inosol.com
(Next year I will be doing the "little green cheerio's" at birth again.)
They need a tetnus and 3 weeks later, when you cut or band they need the booster. I used screw worm spray if they had a fly problem. And a shot of long acting pennicillian (sp) with the last tetnus booster.
 

Hawk

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I have done it both ways, but have gone to banding 100% the last few years. Right now, in the dog days of summer, is not a good time to be working calves. The heat seems to make them crazier than usual and the flies will be attracted to any open wound. If you can wait until it cools off in October or November I would recommend doing it. If you want to sell them before then, do what you have to do. I agree with the others that when it comes to cutting or banding, the younger the better. If you are going to be in the cattle business I firmly believe that you have to be willing and able to perform these routine chores yourself without having to run up a bill with the vet.
 

txag

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Dee":3d6upc0n said:
They need a tetnus and 3 weeks later, when you cut or band they need the booster.

maybe we've just been lucky, but we've banded for years and have never had a problem. we band at birth & never give tetanus or penicillin.

anything that we miss that gets over about 200 lbs will get a tetanus. no booster.
 
A

Anonymous

we use the calicrate bander and I think it is fairly EZ, but usually have 3 men working cattle that day. maybe take a few proactice runs on on ald sock first. We also give tetnus, but just one on the day we band, no booster, and we give about 12 - 15 cc. of penn. IM that day too, then watch for tail twitching and excessive stomping to note fly problems. We usually pour them at banding to cut down on flies.
 

Arnold Ziffle

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royB --- Not an answer to your question, but you've obviously been doing something right, raising 700 pounders at 5 months. I think most folks would be very pleased with those results! Just curious, what part of the country are you in? What breed or crosses? Any creep feed? What are your mature cows weights?
 

TheBullLady

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We used to use a bander when the calves were very young, but when we moved to Texas, the vets around here also always knife cut. Our local vet says it's cleaner and you don't risk as much infection.. especially with the flies. It's not necessarily hard, but someone mentioned on an earlier post, can be tough on a larger calf, and dangerous
 

TXBobcat

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Since we are on the subject of cutting calves, what method of restraint does everyone use when cutting calves - especially when cutting the bigger calves (500 -700 lbs)?

Example: For newborns I would just catch them (move them to a safe place away from mama) and have a partner hold them while I cut.
 

Texan

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TXBobcat":2ohxxt3t said:
what method of restraint does everyone use when cutting calves - especially when cutting the bigger calves (500 -700 lbs)?

Powder River.
 

TXBobcat

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Texan":2acnxnyr said:
TXBobcat":2acnxnyr said:
what method of restraint does everyone use when cutting calves - especially when cutting the bigger calves (500 -700 lbs)?

Powder River.

Headgate or squeeze chute? If you put'em in a headgate - any special kicking restraint techniques?
 

dun

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TXBobcat":w7zelymd said:
Since we are on the subject of cutting calves, what method of restraint does everyone use when cutting calves - especially when cutting the bigger calves (500 -700 lbs)?

Example: For newborns I would just catch them (move them to a safe place away from mama) and have a partner hold them while I cut.

When we used to cut larger calves we stretched them out with a couple of horses

dun
 

txag

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TXBobcat":25psisqt said:
Headgate or squeeze chute? If you put'em in a headgate - any special kicking restraint techniques?

we use headgates only for all our cattle work. if you're banding a calf, get beside him in the chute, not behind. this way, you may get bumped a little or toes stepped on but should come out w/all your teeth :)
 

sidney411

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We cut bulls as close to birth as we can catch them. My hubby holds him down and I cut him. If they are bigger then we get his brother to help and they hold him while I cut him. I then spray the wound down really good inside and out with the yellow spray (can't call the name) I have never had a problem - knock on wood -

We just bought a calf table that flips up on its side. We have used it once and had more problems then the 'throw method'. Some stuck their heads through the slats, turned around it the chute, wouldn't put their head through the catch, tried to jump out between the roof bars, wouldn't come out when we were done, etc. I think I will have to do some fabricating on it a bit to get it to suit.
 
A

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put them in a headgate, have someone lift straight up on the tail( lift up close to the tailhed) they will stand,you won't get kicked
 

Texan

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TXBobcat":28786aea said:
Texan":28786aea said:
TXBobcat":28786aea said:
what method of restraint does everyone use when cutting calves - especially when cutting the bigger calves (500 -700 lbs)?

Powder River.

Headgate or squeeze chute? If you put'em in a headgate - any special kicking restraint techniques?

Squeeze chute, cut from the sides for us. Have done plenty with just a headgate, though. Like the Guest mentioned above, a stout helper straddling the chute and pulling up on the tail has always worked well. You can always tie a leg up if you're short of help.

Great advice from txag to get beside them if you have room. Not only get kicked less from the side, you wind up with less organic matter in your ears.

One more piece of advice you didn't ask for. Look hard at the market before you spill that much blood from big calves in August!
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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We usually cut ours around 400-500lbs. We put the calf in a headgate, I slip in the chute beside the calf, wrap my leg around one of his hind legs while I pull up on his tail. My brother cuts two vertical cuts, grabs and pulls as hard as it takes to get the nuts out. So far he's got the right set of nuts everytime LOL. We've done them as big as 700 lbs with nothing but a lariat, tying him at the head and running the rope back around his body to hold him against the fence.
 
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royB

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Arnold Ziffle said:
royB --- Not an answer to your question, but you've obviously been doing something right, raising 700 pounders at 5 months. I think most folks would be very pleased with those results! Just curious, what part of the country are you in? What breed or crosses? Any creep feed? What are your mature cows weights?


Sorry Arnold, don't I wish they weighed 700 lbs at 5 mths.... I meant between 5 mnths old and up to 700 lbs (around 8 mths old or a little more). Actually, the only ones I have are 5 mths old, but I did take one to the vet that was right at 700 and he cut him, but he also has a VERY nice chute and lots of help...

The 5 mth olds I have now probably are 450-500. The cows are around 1500lbs. They are beefmaster cross bred to Angus bull. Actually the cavles are probably a little light for most people but I'm still working on getting the genitics up there and since they are pretty much grass only I figure it's not bad.

I don't creep feed specifically but they get right in there with mama when Ifeed them. I feed less then 1 pd per head of 13% every other evening since it is more just to get them up to look them over.

Sorry if I misled anyone, I try to keep things short but end up leaving out stuff if I do.

Roy
 
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