Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Rulton's Goat Farm

Home
Our Farm
Goat Information
Adopt A Goat
Our Goats

Neutering

How to

It is common practice to postpone neutering as long as possible to allow the wether's urethra to grow as a prevention measure against "stones". We neuter our male kids at 4 weeks of age. We never neuter earlier than three weeks of age.
Please read the information provided here: Urinary Stones.

How to restrain the kid for neutering:

The kid is held by an assistant who holds the kid in his lap. The assistant should grasps the kid's hind and front legs of the same side with each hand. The kid will be in a human-like "sitting" position with it's back to the assistant and his butt is cradled in the assistants thighs.

There are three ways of neutering a buckling:
"Cutting", "Banding" and using a "Burdizzo".

Cutting:

This entails cutting the bottom of the scrotum off and pulling out the testicles.
Pros: Most reliable method; Inexpensive.
Cons: Cutting the scrotum opens the door to infection and tetanus. Definitely not for the squeamish
Notes: Kids with a scrotal hernia should not be castrated by the cutting method. Care should be taken not to excite kids before or immediately after castration.
Materials needed: A sharp knife or scalpel, soap and water, disinfectant, syringes and tetanus antitoxin.
Age of kid: Any time after the testicles descend.
Note: Extreme care must be taken when "cutting" older bucks because of the possibility of bleeding to death. Bucks over month old should be "cut" only by a vet, or experienced breeder, while under anesthesia.
Technique:

  1. We recommend you administer something to help with pain.This is the humane thing to do to help the kid deal with the pain of the procedure. You could use:
    1. Banamine - give the kid a shot 1/2 hour before you neuter. It will also aid in reducing swelling as well as makes the kid just a little easier to hold. - OR -
    2. Ow-ese Herbal Tincture - aids with stress and well as pain and inflammation. Give about 1/2 - 1 hour before proceedure.
  2. Begin by washing your hands and instruments thoroughly with soap and water and then disinfectant. Wash the scrotum and disinfect.
  3. Restrain the kid (see photo).
  4. Push the testes up out of the way and cut off the lower 1/3 of the scrotum with a cut parallel to the ground. The testes should now be visible.
  5. Using your fingers, grasp one of the testis and pull downward. The testes are very slick and difficult to hold onto, so grasp firmly. Do not to allow the testis or spermatic cord to go back up into the scrotum once you have touched it as this will increase chances of infection.
    a. In young kids (less than 4 or 5 weeks) pull down firmly, but steadily until the cord breaks.
    b. In older kids or adults, instead of pulling the cord, use the knife or scalpel to sever the cord. Do not cut the cord cleanly, instead scrape it until it abrades through. Because the spermatic cord contains many blood vessels, a clean cut could cause excessive blood loss.
  6. If a segment of the spermatic cord is protruding below the cut scrotum, it must be removed. If left exposed, it will act as a wick to pull bacteria into the body cavity and cause infection. Pull it free or abrade it with the knife.
  7. Apply antiseptic to the castration site and administer an injection of tetanus antitoxin.

 

Banding (elastrator):

This entails using a tool called an elastrator to put special heavy duty little rubber bands around the scrotum leading to the testicles. The blood circulation stops and in about 10 to 14 days, the scrotum and testes will slough off. (I laymen's terms: the scrotum and testes die, rot and eventually fall off).

Pros: Inexpensive
Cons: Least humane way of neutering; faulty castration technique results in retention of one testicle. Risk of tetanus.
Notes: Some European countries have banned elastic band castration because officials consider it's use inhumane.
I personally I feel banding is extremely inhumane. I strongly urge people to have compassion for the animal and not to use this method. Imagine putting a rubber band around your finger and then leaving it there until your finger fell off. Now imagine putting a rubber band around you own testicles and leaving it there until your tentacles died, rotted and fell off. Animals feel just as much pain as you would, and it is just as traumatic for them as it would be for you.
Materials needed: Elastrator (instrument used to apply the bands), Castrating bands or rings (Do not use household rubber bands!) and tetanus antitoxin.
Age of kid: Any time after the testicles descend.
Technique: .....

Note: I provide as much information on this site as possible so that people can make their own choices about how they wish to raise their own animals. But, I have come to the conclusion that I feel banding is so wrong and I am no longer going to provide the instructions on how to do it here on my site. I am a strong advocate of animals rights and of the compassionate treatment of all living creatures and I cannot bare the thought that information I provided would cause a living creature so much suffering. Just because it is inexpensive and relatively easy to do for the human, does not justify it as a right way to treat an animal.

Burdizzo (aka: Emasculatome; variation: Ritchey Nipper):
(This is the method we use to neuter.)

The emasculatome , Burdizzo or Ritchey Nipper, method involves a clamp-like tool which crushes the spermatic cord and blood vessels leading to the testicles. The effect is to prevent blood reaching the testicles so that they gradually wither away and die. This method is known as a "bloodless" method since no cutting is done and when done properly the skin is not even broken. Care must be taken to be sure that both cords have been properly crushed. It is quick, and while it is not painless, the kid is up and moving with the herd right away (though he may "mince" a little). The kid is totally recovered by the next day, though there will be some swelling. We have been extremely successful using this tool, but  you should check the testicles in about 3-4 weeks to make sure they are no longer growing. The wether will always have his scrotum (I call it his "souvenir"), but his testicles will stop growing, and eventually disappear. After 4 weeks the testicles should be very small and hard. If they are the same size or bigger than they were when you neutered him, you must reneuter.
Pros: Quick recovery; No chance of infection or tetanus since there is no cutting or blood involved; Relatively humane as these things go.
Cons: The tool is expensive ($45-$107) - This is a precision surgical instrument; hence the higher cost.
Age of kid: 4 weeks - 4 months or even older.  We neuter at 4 weeks of age.
Notes: Make sure to check the kid in a about 3-4 weeks after the procedure to make sure he has been properly neutered. The testicles should be firmer and not any bigger than they were when you neutered. By 8 weeks, if he was neutered at 4 weeks of age, the testicles should be small and hard. If you feel a large testicle, he will have to be re-castrated. The longer you wait to neuter (the older the kid is); the longer it will take for the testicles to get smaller. The most important thing to look for is that they are not getting any bigger.
Materials needed:

9" Burdizzo (small)/ Emasculatome - The best price I have found is at PBS Livestock and Jeffers. Note: There are two to three sizes of this tool, you want the small one (9"). The smaller size is a "one handed" instrument that can be used for all ages (and breeds) of goats and also young calves. You can use the small tool to do adult goats.  The larger size tool (14") is for older calves and cattle, must be used with two hands, and is too big to use properly on goats.

Ritchey Nipper - There is also a slightly differently designed version of this tool called the Ritchey Nipper available at Premier1Supplies. I have not used this version to the tool, but it looks like it should work quite well.  Please see the note below regarding using the Ritchey Nipper on Nigerian.


9" Burdizzo (small)/ Emasculatome

The best price I have found is at PBS Livestock and Jeffers , though it is availble from other goat supply suppliers.

Note: There are two to three sizes of this tool, you want the small one (9"). The smaller size is a "one handed" instrument desinged for use on young calves and so can be adapted for used for all ages (and breeds) of goats. You can use the small tool to do adult goats.  The larger size tool (14") is for older calves and cattle, must be used with two hands, and is too big to use properly on goats of age age or size.


Ritchey Nipper

This slightly differently designed tool is called the Ritchey Nipper and is availible available from Premier1Supplies. It is more expensive than the Burdizzo, but is designed for use on sheep and goats (as opposed to really being intended to be used on cows) .  After trying it out on a couple of my own wethers I decided it was worth the extra money and purchased one for our own use, even though I already had a Burdizzo.   I found it a little easier to use and a bit more "sure".

I'm endorsing this tool as the one I like best.  I get no compensation or "kick-back" for endorsing this tool.

Please see the note below regarding using the Ritchey Nipper on Nigerians.

 


Above is what the tool that I use, there are no gaps in this design. My instructions below are for using this particular design.


This is a photo of the tool that has gaps. Unsuccessful neutering can happen using this tool if it is not used correctly. When using this style make certain to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Do not let the cord slip into these gaps.

You should be aware that the Burdizzo and Emasculatome are tools actually designed for use on calves and cattle, who are much, much, larger than young goats. We, as goatkeepers, adapt these tools for use on goats, and care must be taken with their use. On the other hand, the Ritchey Nipper is designed specifically for use on lamb, which are more the same size as kids.

Please note:

I have been contacted by various people who have had unsuccessful neuterings of their young goat kids using the burdizzo tool. It turns out the reason for their problems stem from variances in the design of this tool (remember, these tool are designed to be used on larger animals). The people were having unsuccessful neuterings using the style of tool that contains gaps on the edges because the small cord on young goats can slip into the gap and thus it not get crunched properly. I have no personal experience using this gap edged tool. I use a tool that has no gaps and my instructions on this page are written using a "gapless" style tool (I place the cord right against the "tooth" of the tool). I have been notified by the legal department of the manufacturer that the "gap" style tool is not defective in any way, but designed this way (for use on calves and cattle) to prevent injury due to skin pinching.

So, all I can say is, be sure that if you are using the "gap" style tool, especially on young goat kids, to follow the manufacturer's and/or your veterinarian's instructions and make sure the cord does not slip into the gap.

Technique (using the "gapless" tool):
1. We recommend you administer something to help with pain.This is the humane thing to do to help the kid deal with the pain of the procedure. You could use:

  1. Banamine - give the kid a shot 1/2 hour before you neuter. It will also aid in reducing swelling as well as makes the kid just a little easier to hold. - OR -
  2. Ow-ese Herbal Tincture (this is what we use- from Molly's Herbals) - aids with stress and well as pain and inflammation. Give about 1/2 - 1 hour before procedure.

2. Restrain the kid (see photo).

3. Grasp the scrotum in one hand and manipulate until you have the testes down into the scrotum and the spermatic cord between your fingers. Manipulate the right cord as far to the right side of the scrotum as possible. When you use the burdizzo, you want to "crunch" as little of the scrotum as possible. You apply the burdizzo just below the teats, but be careful not the catch the teats in the tool.

4. Open the the Burdizzo and hold it so that the "C" side (or "toothed side"- two teeth at either end of the "mouth") of the jaw is facing up. Place the left side of the jaws of the Burdizzo over the upper right side scrotum (do not clamp yet), just below the rudimentary teats. Position the jaws/scrotum/cord so that the cord rests on the lower "C" side of the tool. The cord should rest just beside the "tooth" of the tool. Only a small amount of the scrotum will be resting on the tool (about about 1/4"-3/8"). It is important that you "clamp" as little of the scrotum as possible, but make sure that the cord is thoroughly crushed. The "tooth" will make sure the cord does not slip out of the tool.

5. When the Burdizzo is properly placed in position (make sure not to clamp the teats). Tell the person holding the kid you are ready (so he can hold tightly) and squeeze the Burdizzo totally closed, clamping it on the kid's scrotum (it will click). This crushes the cord. (At this point the kid will yell bloody murder- wouldn't you?)

6. Leave Burdizzo in place a medium count of "five" (about 5-7 seconds)

7. Open the Burdizzo, catch your breath, and repeat on the left side.

8. Gently apply some Aches N' Painz Salve (from Molly's Herbals) to the crunched area and carefully take the kid to his mother or sibling for some moral support.

9. In about 3 weeks, check to make sure the neutering has "taken". You should feel that the testicles have not grown and are actually a little bit smaller than when you neutered. If the testicles are bigger, or one is bigger than the other, you need to reuse the Burdizzo on the bigger testicle cord. If one testicle is smaller, you do not have to redo the small one. 

Note: the longer you wait to neuter (the older the kid is); the longer it will take for the testicles to get smaller. The most important thing to look for is that they are not getting any bigger.

I took this photo to aid people who worry that the burdizo neutering "took". Goats get very large testicles, but unless you've seen how big they actually get, you may mistake the "souvenir" (empty sack) for an unsuccessful neutering.

These two kids are brothers that are exactly 2 months old in this photo. The one on the left is an intact buck with normal sized balls for a two months old intact male goat. The kid on the right was neutered when he was three weeks old and has an empty little sack.

Note: The green all over the buck's tail is from him being tattooed. He is a registered buck and is about to leave for his new home where he will be a herd sire.


A pair of male, 2 month old brothers:
The brother on the left is a buck
The brother on the right is a wether; he was neutered 5 weeks earlier using a burdizzo.

Pardon the frankness of these photos, but I thought it would be helpful to you to see what unneutered, fully intact and functioning males look like so you can compare and tell it your neutering was successful.

The photo to the right is of a normal 5 month old buck. You can see that goats have quite large testicles.

Knowing what an unneutered buck looks like should help you determine it your wether is really a wether.


This is a normal sized 5 month old buck kid.

Notes:

I received this feedback from a person who uses the Ritchey Nipper:

"After a couple of years use now we have found the Ritchey Nipper to work very well in neutering baby Nigerians and we leave them intact until 6-8 weeks - a lot longer than we would leave a full-size buckling. But we do find even with banamine that it is several weeks - sometimes a couple of months even - before you can really tell that it worked. So if people are checking after two three weeks they may panic and redo the nipping when it isn't necessary. Just our experience."

 

Enter supporting content here