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RoseAmy

Ram lamb with one testicle

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Got a 6 day old ram lamb that I'm trying to get banded. But so far he's only got one testicle. I've sat him down, and stood him upright but try as I might I can only find one. Been checking him each day hoping the other will drop down. So is there a chance that there is only going to be one and just band him now or keep waiting.

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Sit him on his rump with his back to your belly and push on his belly between the belly button and his scrotum. They should pop down and out. they can be tricky to get a band around but that is the best way I have found to getting them.

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Hi Rose Amy,

 

A ram lamb with only one descended testicle is termed a monorchid, and it does occasionally happen. A ram lamb with no descended testicle is termed a cryptorchid, and that can happen in sheep, as well. An almost one week old lamb with only one descended testicle is not likely to drop the other testicle, but it may happen, so keep checking.

 

What you do with this ram lamb will depend on what your plans are for him. Will he remain in your flock? Will he be sold to slaughter as a lamb? Will he be sold to slaughter as an adult? Will he be shown as a market lamb?

 

If your ram lambs can be managed as a separate group or will be slaughtered young, then I suggest that you leave him intact. I don't castrate any ram lambs in my flock, as I have no reason to castrate them. After weaning, I keep the ram lamb group separate from the other sheep until sold either as breeding stock or for slaughter.

 

If you are thinking of keeping him in your flock, unless you can remove both testicles, he will remain a ram. Rams, even those with undescended testicles, can impregnate ewes, and they can be dangerous to be around.

 

If he is to be shown as a market lamb, he would probably develop the characteristics of a ram (not a wether) and probably not be a good candidate.

 

My suggestion is to leave this little guy intact, and to sell him early (three to four months old) to slaughter. Also, if you have other ram lambs with undescended testicles, you may want to use a different ram, as it is a heritable trait.

 

Regards,

nancy

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Nancy

 

Thanks. Unless I have an order for a ram I usually band everything so I don't have any serial rapists! I keep some wethers each year to train on when the ewes are on "maternity" leave. And to use for puppy training. The rest are sold for slaughter or pets for the "green acres" folks to play farmer with. Have to just make sure he gets shipped out early.

 

As far as the ram I've had him for 2 years and this is the first time this has happened. A friend had him for a couple of years before me and had no problems so I think this is just one of those flukey things.

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Hi Rose Amy,

 

It's good that you have not had this problem with ram lambs previously sired by your ram, and those "flukey things" do happen.

 

And, keeping wethers for dog training is a great idea, and I have some wethers in my Katahdin flock, as well.

 

Regards,

nancy

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Frankly I am surprised that´s legal over there, at least i assume it is as this is openly discussed here on the forum. In the european countries I know (Iceland ,the Netherlands, Germany) these kind of practices are banned.

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You aren't allowed to castrate; or you aren't allowed to Band? It is fairly standard practice to band or bradizzo to wether a ram lamb.

 

I would leave the band off of this ram, mark him and ship him before his 5th month

 

Cynthia

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Well both; banding/bradizzo is a form of castration.. Such an operation is officially something only vets are allowed to do, under local anesthesia. Doesn´t mean farmers don´t do it here, but as said it is illegal.

I own two wethers myself (for dogtraining), they were castrated by my wife (ah, the merits of marrying a vet...;))

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Well both; banding/bradizzo is a form of castration.. Such an operation is officially something only vets are allowed to do, under local anesthesia. Doesn´t mean farmers don´t do it here, but as said it is illegal.

 

 

Trying to picture a vet using anethesia on 500 lambs :unsure:

 

We band( tails and nuts) within in the first 12 hours of a lambs life. There are many countries that only allow bands to be used in the first few days of a lambs life.

 

There are people in the US who would do away with banding, or castration of any kind. They would also do away with Border Collies.

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Trying to picture a vet using anethesia on 500 lambs :unsure:

 

Just out of interest why would you want to band all your lambs? Dont you slaughter them before they reach sexual maturity?

 

 

 

 

There are people in the US who would do away with banding, or castration of any kind. They would also do away with Border Collies.

A rather irrelevant analogy. Using stockdogs is quite something else than a laymen performing medical procedures. This remark seems to make you imply that the non banding rule is based on ignorance.

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<<Just out of interest why would you want to band all your lambs? Dont you slaughter them before they reach sexual maturity?>>

 

Nope. Sexual maturity can happen in 4 months and my lambs don't go until October. Doesn't matter if they're born in January or May.

 

I laughed too at the picture of a vet coming out to castrate lambs. Especially since I can do it quicker and much cheaper.

Laura

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Just out of interest why would you want to band all your lambs? Dont you slaughter them before they reach sexual maturity?

 

 

 

 

 

A rather irrelevant analogy. Using stockdogs is quite something else than a laymen performing medical procedures. This remark seems to make you imply that the non banding rule is based on ignorance.

 

A finished lamb of our breed will not be slaughter before sexual maturity. Our breed can settle their mothers at 4 months. We pasture lamb in May and slaughter in the late fall.

 

The same people in the US ( note once again am speaking of MY country of which i am not ignorant about the sheep or the animal politics in said country)who want to ban or limit banding also would like to see collies not only not used on stock but no "owned" at all.

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The same people in the US ( note once again am speaking of MY country of which i am not ignorant about the sheep or the animal politics in said country)who want to ban or limit banding also would like to see collies not only not used on stock but no "owned" at all.

I wasn´t talking about you when using the term ignorant, i was talking about the group of people you were referring to who allegedly are against laymen castrating and using stockdogs. You seem to imply both opinions are held by the same ignorant people (do you need me to point out the logical fallacy of that kind of argument?).

 

@Laura L, being faster and cheaper at castrating than a vet is not much of an accomplishment (I can for instance pull one of your teeth faster and cheaper than your dentist...;)).

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Smalahundur,

 

As stated perfectly legal here. I band all mine unless I have an order for a ram. As I said before I don't always know when i will be shipping them out and I don't need any serial rapists on my hands. Or fighting.

 

As for the vet the cost of having them do it would be way over the top around $150 each. And besides when it comes to sheep my vet asks me for advice and has even had people call me for sheep advice.

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Interesting turn this thread has taken...kind of a philosophical debate as to whose "jurisdiction " it is when it comes to routine animal husbandry. I'll just say that if I called a vet in every time I needed to give a shot to one of my sheep (isn't that also a "medical procedure"?) or to band a tail or testicles, or to staple up a gash in a leg, I'd sure give up keeping sheep, as there's no way I could ever make any money on my flock.

 

I'm grateful that my large animal vet agrees with me--when I do have a problem that I am unable to solve, or unsure as to how to proceed, he is available for phone consult (for NO CHARGE). Generally, we discuss the issue as equals--I tell him what I've tried or considered, and he offers additional suggestions, if there are any. He does not treat me like some kind of idiot who has no idea what I'm doing with my animals. And, yes, Lana is right--in this country, those who oppose such practices as banding are often on the PETA bandwagon,

A

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@Laura L, being faster and cheaper at castrating than a vet is not much of an accomplishment (I can for instance pull one of your teeth faster and cheaper than your dentist...;)).

Smalahundur,

I'm not belittling what your wife does as a vet. I truly appreciate what they do. But...if I had to call a vet to come out to do what I consider to be routine work it would cost me an arm and a leg.

 

And where would I find this vet? My large animal vet has plenty of experience with cattle & horses, but sheep? Sure he sees them in my pasture when he drives in the driveway, but hands on experience? Uh huh.

 

Besides a vet visit starts out at $50, then add on the work he does. My sheep don't lamb at the same time, so having someone come out to castrate and dock tails would be hard to schedule in an economical way. I've stitched up the occasional tear, given vaccinations, treated pneumonia and treated flystrike besides the banding of lambs. I also band and vaccinate my own calves. The vet is for the things that I can't handle.

Laura

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I wasn´t talking about you when using the term ignorant, i was talking about the group of people you were referring to who allegedly are against laymen castrating and using stockdogs. You seem to imply both opinions are held by the same ignorant people (do you need me to point out the logical fallacy of that kind of argument?).

 

 

 

So you don't know anything about animal politics in this country but you are going to point out the logical fallacy to me? What a joke.

 

many of the people who are against things like bands are also against using and owning dogs.

 

If you want to use the word ignorant you may. I call them mis guided and a threat to my livelihood.

 

No idea where anti vet came in here, but my best friend is a vet and i respect the profession. I just don't need to call one for every animal husbandry need on our ranch.

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Hm, everybody here seems to have gotten the impression I am against farmers doing "routine animal husbandry". I am not, and of course if banding is within the law then that´s that, but one can discuss where the limits should lie.

 

Giving your sheep injections, in itself no prob, but there are a lot of medicines the general public is not allowed to handle, and that is a good thing too. Vaccinations generally okay though there are exceptions.

 

The point with home brew castration is the lack of anestesia, this is the reason it is banned here, a good reason imo. By the way being a farmer myself I do take some offence being associated with those PETA nuts for holding this opinion.

 

As for the price, 150 dollars for a ram castration, that´s outragious, my wife does that for a tiny fraction of that amount. Another point is that because we don´t generally slaughter lambs that old there are not a lot of wethers produced.

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Two years ago we had a young stud colt that the vet was gelding that almost died from the anesthesia, had a terrible reaction to it. Luckily he made it.

 

Balancing that with the fact that in the 8 years I've been raising sheep and banding tails and nuts I've never seen the lamb bothered for more the a minute or two. More ofte then not they race off to tell mom and nurse for a few minutes then they continue on as if nothing has happened.

 

To me banding is routine. As is shots, stitching and pulling lambs if need be.

 

This year I had a pair of twins get tangled. So I stick my hand up there and get them untangled and pull them out. That's animal husbandry. Like I said before my vet asks me for advice on sheep.

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This year I had a pair of twins get tangled. So I stick my hand up there and get them untangled and pull them out. That's animal husbandry. Like I said before my vet asks me for advice on sheep.

 

Your hands are small enough to do that to a ewe? I'm impressed! B)

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Liz,

My hands fit too. I actually learned how to do it on goats (they seemed more likely to present multiple legs). It's easier to work with a ewe or goat than a cow even though the cow has more room.

Laura

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So you don't know anything about animal politics in this country but you are going to point out the logical fallacy to me? What a joke.

 

many of the people who are against things like bands are also against using and owning dogs.

 

If you want to use the word ignorant you may. I call them mis guided and a threat to my livelihood.

 

No idea where anti vet came in here, but my best friend is a vet and i respect the profession. I just don't need to call one for every animal husbandry need on our ranch.

 

Again you don´t really seem to understand what I wrote ( I surely don´t have the impression anyone including you were being anti vet).

Apparently it is necesssary to point out the fallacy after all, here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy

Nothing to do with knowledge of "animal politics". Funnily enough there is a different one one in the last sentence of your post.

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Again you don´t really seem to understand what I wrote ( I surely don´t have the impression anyone including you were being anti vet).

Apparently it is necesssary to point out the fallacy after all, here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy

Nothing to do with knowledge of "animal politics". Funnily enough there is a different one one in the last sentence of your post.

 

Wow this is fun now the topic has turned into a a zealous regurgitation of extraneous bullshit to say "nanner nanner i know more than you"

 

wait for it........................... is that one a them there fallacies? or maybe this all phallic we are taking about those boy parts...this is so confusing

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My hands fit too. I actually learned how to do it on goats (they seemed more likely to present multiple legs). It's easier to work with a ewe or goat than a cow even though the cow has more room.

 

I had to pull a (dead) kid goat one time from a friend's pygmy doe. My friend's hands were too big and even though mine aren't tiny, I was able to pull the kid, no easy feat as it was partially decomposed and slimy and floppy, but the doe was fine.

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Smalahundur,

 

I do think it's ignorant to require a vet to do castration of sheep.

 

I can castrate with a band more humanely and with fewer side effects if I do it myself within a few hours of birth than if I had to wait until a vet was available. I would continue to do it myself even if it were illegal.

 

I'd wager I'm better at it than about 90 percent of the US vets, since I have done it thousands of times over the last 20 years, and the vast majority of the vets in the US probably haven't done it since vet school -- if they even did it then. In this regard, they are more laymen than I am.

 

Banding is only painful if done on an older lamb. In my opinion, a six-day-old lamb is probably too old to be banded -- I seldom do them when they're over two days. But my understanding is that it's legal in the UK up to 10 days old.

 

We are working on razor-thin margins with very few subsidies that would not support the cost of veterinarian to administer a local and perform a minor procedure on each of a few hundred lambs. Plus, lambs are food animals, and I would just as soon not have anesthesia administered routinely to something that I am going to eat and sell to others to eat, particularly when it's not necessary.

 

If I had to call a vet out for each lamb as it was born, I would be out of business. Lambing lasts about 20 days, and I would need a vet visit on each of those days. On some days during the peak of lambing, I spend four or five hours, docking, tagging, and castrating the lambs that have been born in the past 24 hours. Our local vets' rates are $70 for a farm call and $144/hour while they're on the farm, plus expenses. A four-hour farm call would cost me $646 plus the cost of the local and bands. A more typical day would probably be a farm call plus a half an hour -- call it $142 plus bands and local. I imagine that just the cost of castrating would be over $4,000 for my little flock. To put that in perspective, that's more than I spend on winter feed.

 

The alternative is a day-long rodeo of much older lambs and using a procedure that would be bloody and leave the lambs susceptible to fly strike. I don't think it would cost a whole lot less, either.

 

Most US producers slaughter lamb at a liveweight of between 100 and 150 pounds (45 to 70kg). While most lambs are not fully mature at that age, they are certainly capable of breeding their mothers and sisters long before they get there. I realize that most Continental farms sell lambs at much lower weights, so not castrating is a more viable option.

 

I say with confidence that banding young lambs is not a painful process because I have done it thousands of times and each and every time I have watched the lamb get back up on its feet within a few minutes and go about its normal business as if nothing had happened. I am sure there's some discomfort, but if I thought it was causing significant pain, I would not be doing it. The last thing I want to be doing with a newborn lamb is to inflict pain -- if nothing else it would keep it from getting proper feedings and could lose track of its mother and become orphaned.

 

In situations where small flocks are lambed in confinement, perhaps using a vet to castrate is more practical. I can't imagine that it's really necessary, though, provided that shepherds have proper training and know how to perform the procedure.

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