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How to Castrate a Goat with an Elastrator Band

Castrating your kids is an easy procedure. If you are squeamish about it, have a veterinarian or a goatkeeper friend do it for you. If you want to observe before trying it yourself, volunteer to hold the goat for the procedure. All of the methods require a helper to hold the goat.

About a half hour before castrating the kid, give him one adult aspirin, 0.25 cc of Banamine (prescription only), or some white willow bark tincture to help prevent pain, and 1 cc tetanus antitoxin to prevent tetanus. The kid will experience some discomfort after castration but will soon forget about it.

Banding is the most common method that goat owners use to castrate their goats. It is quick, easy, bloodless, and reliable. Banding refers to applying a small, thick rubber band to the top of the testicles with a metal tool called an elastrator.

To prevent bands from breaking down, keep them in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them.

An elastrator is the most common tool for castrating.
An elastrator is the most common tool for castrating.

To prepare for banding, place a band that has been soaked in alcohol for a few minutes on the prongs of the elastrator. No other disinfectant or cleaning is needed because the procedure is bloodless.

Follow these steps to castrate using an elastrator:

  1. Restrain the kid.

    Your helper can hold the kid in her lap, facing outward with his back to her chest, or she can straddle the goat and lift the kid’s back legs up so he is standing on his two front feet.

  2. With the prongs of the elastrator facing the kid, expand the band by squeezing the elastrator.

  3. Place the band over the scrotum and testes, close to the body, making sure that both testes are below the ring.

  4. Release the elastrator and pull it from the band, making sure that the band is close to the body and that the teats are not trapped in the band.

    If you believe that the band is not on correctly or if one of the testes is not below the ring, cut off the band and repeat the procedure.

The scrotum and testes dry up and drop off in about two weeks. Check them regularly after that if they have not fallen off. Check them for infection and spray with Blu-Kote or another spray antiseptic, if needed. In a few cases, they may be hanging by a small amount of tissue, and you can cut them off with a clean scalpel or sharp knife.

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